Tommy Orange has won the Pen/Hemingway Award for his debut novel, There There. “The breadth and scope of this novel are matched only by the fierce and relentless intelligence that Orange brings to his characters, who despite tragedy, heartbreak and loss, reside in a remarkable world of hard-earned grace,” this year’s judges for the prize said in a statement. Orange will receive the award at a ceremony in April.
Anderson Cooper has signed a two-book deal with Harper. Cooper will write both nonfiction books with Katherine Howe. The first is expected in 2022.
At the Paris Review, Nikki Shaner-Bradford talks to Bryan Washington about community, food, and his new story collection, Lot. Washington credits Chang-rae Lee’s New Yorker essays with helping him understand the connection between food and memory. “But just as often as food can bring us together, it’s also a reminder of the stratification that exists in our cultural contact zones,” Washington continued. “There’s a human cost for the gratification that comes with a meal, and it’s usually on the bodies of minorities in the back of the house—and in Houston, especially, on our Latino communities, who are the backbone of the city.”
Allison Braden looks at the rise of “alt-alt-weeklies.” As many alt-weeklies have closed over the past few years, some laid-off staff have started their own publications in response, relying on outside investors, non-profit status, or their own savings to help fund the projects. “No one is coming to save us, we have to save ourselves,” Baltimore Beat editor Lisa Snowden-McCray explained. “Nobody has the answers right now, which is terrifying and liberating at the same time.”
Former New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman is starting a new online food publication at Medium. According to Bittman, the new publication, Salty, will focus on “practical stories that will help people see food in a way they haven’t seen it before.” However, in a Twitter thread, a year-old newsletter of the same name that “amplifies the voices of women, trans + non binary people” pointed out some similarities between the new project’s design and their own. “Against ALL ODDS we have built a thriving, fun, smart, large & important intersectional feminist community & media outlet,” they write. “So when [Medium] invests in and launches a ‘new’ platform called Salty—with an eerily similar logo and led by an old white dude no less . . . something is awry.”