• May 4, 2018

    Amy Chozick

    BuzzFeed news reports on the newsroom drama at the New York Times in response to Amy Chozick’s new book, Chasing Hillary, about the paper’s coverage of the 2016 campaign. Times staffers have expressed misgivings that the book contains private comments from colleagues, an inside look at the maneuverings of reporters angling to get front-page stories, and a general theme that journalists are driven by ego and ambition as much as by lofty ideals about truth and accountability. For her part, Choznick says, “I haven’t heard any complaints,” while executive editor Dean Baquet’s comment offers a case-study in carefully calibrated diplomacy: “Amy is a talented journalist and a wonderful colleague. . . . She was not privy to every discussion we had about coverage and I don’t agree with some assessments of our coverage in her book but I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.”

    Jennifer Egan’s novel Manhattan Beach has won the “One Book, One New York Contest,” which is a citywide book club sponsored by the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and New York magazine.  

    The Huffington post has a leaked transcript of a staff Q and A The Atlantic held the day after columnist Kevin Williamson was fired. Williamson was brought on to provide conservative commentary for the magazine and was dismissed after two weeks on the job (he wrote his account of the firing for the Wall Street Journal). In the transcript, editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg and writer Ta-Nehisi Coates discuss the hire and the decision to let Williamson go.  

    At the New Republic, Eve Fairbanks writes about Tom Brokaw’s response to a sexual harassment allegation and what it reveals about power in media.

  • May 3, 2018

    Gabriel Sherman. Photo: Nephi Niven

    The Loudest Voice in the Room author Gabriel Sherman is working on a screenplay about Donald Trump. According to the Hollywood Reporter, The Apprentice will follow Trump’s road to fame and the presidency, “focusing on his early influences like attorney Roy Cohn.” In a statement, Sherman explained that his interest in the film comes from the fifteen years he’s spent reporting on Trump. “I’ve long been fascinated by his origin story as a young builder coming up in the gritty world of 1970s and ’80s New York,” he said. “This formative period tells us so much about the man who today occupies the Oval Office.”

    After New York Times metro editor Wendell Jamieson’s resignation following an internal investigation into claims of inappropriate behavior by several female employees, Vanity Fair’s Joe Pompeo writes that, in the wake of the paper’s Pulitzer Prize–winning investigations into Harvey Weinstein and Bill O’Reilly, among others, “some people both inside the Times and out have been less than satisfied with the paper’s handling of its own #MeToo controversies, talking the talk, they’d argue, while not fully walking the walk.”

    Just one week after the second season debuted, Hulu has announced that The Handmaid’s Tale will get a third season.

    Annie Proulx has won the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction. Proulx will receive the award next fall.

    At Off the Record, a journalism event hosted by BuzzFeed, Quartz, and The Information Mark Zuckerberg discussed Facebook’s plans to address concerns about fake news and publishing revenues on the platform. Although Facebook is currently working on “a system that ranks news organizations based on trustworthiness,” Zuckerberg said that there are no plans to pay publishers for articles shared on the platform.

    New Yorker writer Maria Konnikova has pushed back the release date for her book on the world of professional poker because, according to Deadspin, “she got too good at poker.”

  • May 2, 2018

    Rachel Kushner. Photo: Lucy Raven

    Rachel Kushner talks to Entertainment Weekly about art, activism, and her new book, The Mars Room. Although some recent works on the criminal justice system, like Serial and Making a Murderer, have led to activism, Kushner says that wasn’t her aim in setting The Mars Room in a women’s prison. “I don’t think art can be message-y or political,” she said. “Why not just write an op-ed? And I’m not the person to do that.”

    The Washington Post‘s Jason Rezaian is joining CNN as a global affairs analyst. In his tweet announcing the new job, Rezaian, who was arrested and detained in Iran for nearly two years, wrote that the chance to work for both the paper and the news network “is one that I could have hardly imagined not too long ago.”

    According to the Associated Press, “more than a year has passed since President Donald Trump held the only solo news conference of his administration” and there are no plans for one in the future. Instead, Trump relies on questions shouted at him from journalists who have been invited to observe specific events, which makes it much easier for him to “ignore questions he doesn’t like and dodge follow-ups in a way that would be glaring in a traditional news conference.”

    The Pisces author Melissa Broder says that her move from poetry to prose writing was sparked by relocating to Los Angeles. “When I lived in New York, I wrote poetry on the subway,” she explained. “But when I moved to LA four years ago, I started dictating my work in my car. The line breaks disappeared and the language became more conversational. . . . The geography literally informed the text.”

    At the 2018 Digital Content NewFronts, the New York Times discussed its plans to move into television and film content. Assistant managing editor Sam Dolnick detailed projects that are currently in production—which include a Netflix version of the paper’s Diagnosis column on difficult medical cases and a movie based on their reporters’ coverage of Harvey Weinstein (“All the President’s Men, with three women”)—and floated ideas for future shows. “We think (dating column) Modern Love should be a series on TV,” Dolnick said. “The Crossword Puzzle. That could be a game show.”

  • May 1, 2018

    Antoni Porowski. Photo: Netflix

    Antoni Porowski, the food expert from Netflix’s Queer Eye, is writing a cookbook. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2019, the still-untitled book “will continue to promote the simple, healthy, visually appealing fare that marked his culinary approach on the Netflix reboot.” In a statement, Porowski said he’s excited to be publishing the book with “the talented and passionate Rux Martin,” editorial director of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. “We immediately bonded on the importance of hor-d’oeuvres and our mutual love for Vermont,” Porowski explained.

    Mark O’Connell’s To Be a Machine has won the 2018 Wellcome book prize.

    The New York Times has hired several new editors and thirteen reporters for their 2018 midterms politics team. In a statement, the paper explained that the new hires “will bring voters, candidates and campaigns to revealing life; dig in to where American politics, policy, identity and culture are going in the Trump era; and undertake beats and original projects.”

    After a Guardian article mentioned a rumor that the tech company is looking to buy “parts or all of the troubled magazine publisher Condé Nast,” The Outline wonders which publication might be up for sale.

    In response to the controversy generated by comedian Michelle Wolf’s routine at the White House Correspondents Dinner, association members are brainstorming new ways to make the event less “controversial.” Solutions include discontinuing the dinner, booking new entertainment, inviting a “pair of comedians, one with a liberal bent and one with a conservative bent,” or changing the event “to make its focus the promotion of journalism and the freedom of the press.”

    Tonight at McNally Jackson Books in Manhattan, Adelle Waldman talks to Sheila Heti about her new book, Motherhood.

  • April 30, 2018

    The Nobel Prize in literature may be canceled this year due to a series of accusations of sexual abuse. In November, French photographer Jean-Claude Arnault, who is married to Nobel academy Katarina Frostenson,  was accused of sexual assault or harassment by eighteen women. If the prize is not given, it will be the first time it has been withheld since World War II. The Swedish Academy will make its decision this week, on May 3.

    Ninety years after it was completed, Zora Neale Hurston’s book about a former slave, Barracoon, is being published this week by Amistad press.

    Adam Fitzgerald

    Adam Fitzgerald

    The Home School in Hudson, New York, will be offering its annual poetry conference this summer from July 29 through August 3. “The key inspiration for Home School Hudson,” says the website, “is John Ashbery’s 19th-century Hudson residence, a carefully composed collage-environment the poet has constructed and curated over thirty-five years with an eclectic array of fine art by European and American masters, furniture, pottery, textiles, bric-a-brac, toys, and other objects—all organized in an architecturally-distinguished setting.” This year’s faculty includes poets CAConrad, Adam Fitzgerald, Myung Mi Kim, Harryette Mullen, Eileen Myles, Frank Wilderson III, and Divya Victor, Che Gossett. The school has extended its deadline for applications until May 1.

    LARB has an article about the cultural phenomenon of Cho Nam-joo’s Kim Ji-young Born 1982, which was the bestselling novel in Korea last year, and became so popular that the government drew on it for a recent PR campaign.

    On Wednesday night in New York, George Saunders appears at the New York Public Library, and Geoff Dyer talks with filmmaker Michael Almereyda at Brooklyn’s Murmrr Ballroom.

  • April 27, 2018

    Rita Dove

    New York Times Magazine editor Jake Silverstein has announced that Rita Dove will be the publication’s poetry editor starting this summer. Dove, a former Poet Laureate of the United States and the author of numerous books—including poetry, short stories, and essays—will take over the job from poet Terrance Hayes.  

    A movie focused on the journalists behind the Harvey Weinstein exposé is in the works. Deadline magazine reports that the film will focus on how reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey and editor Rebecca Corbett broke the Pulitzer Prize–winning story: “The thrust of the film isn’t Weinstein or his scandal. This is about an all-women team of journalists who persevered through threats of litigation and intimidation, to break a game-changing story, told in a procedural manner like Spotlight and All the President’s Men.”

    Charlie Rose, who stepped down from hosting his PBS show after sexual misconduct allegations from seventeen women surfaced last year, is reportedly pitching a show on which he interviews other powerful men, such as Matt Lauer and Louis CK, who have been accused of harassment. On Twitter, New Yorker television critic Emily Nussbaum wrote: “I am only up for this Charlie Rose show if it is a reality competition called The Reckoning & it is hosted by the angry ghost of Frances Farmer.” Tina Brown says she was approached to produce the show, adding, “These guys are already planning their comebacks!”  

    The Library of Congress has announced a new poetry podcast.

    At the New York Review of Books Daily, Jay Rosen writes about Trump and the media, tracing the long history of the Right’s attempts to discredit journalists: “There is alive in the land an organized campaign to discredit the American press. This campaign is succeeding. Its roots are long.”

  • April 26, 2018

    In a press release, George R.R. Martin announced the publication date for his next book, Fire and Blood, and confirmed that “winter is not coming . . . not in 2018, at least.” While The Winds of Winter won’t be arriving any time soon, “imaginary history” Fire and Blood will be published next November.

    Peter Thiel. Photo: Dan Taylor

    Peter Thiel has withdrawn his bid for Gawker.com. In an agreement with the adviser in charge of the site’s liquidation, HuffPost’s Sara Boboltz reports that Thiel has promised “to not remove Gawker’s content from the internet or to pay anyone else to do so on his behalf.” Boboltz writes that the decision may have been made in order to avoid a tortious interference lawsuit.

    A Danish court has found Peter Madsen guilty of murdering journalist Kim Wall on his homemade submarine last year.

    The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on the case of Drew Cloud. A supposed student loan expert that had been quoted by the Washington Post and other news outlets, Cloud turned out to be the creation of LendEDU, a student loan refinancing company.

    Reporters Without Borders has released their annual World Press Freedom Index. The US is ranked at 45, and other countries like Turkey and the Philippines have fallen lower on the list. “When foreign leaders see the U.S. president denounce the media on a regular basis, it gives them free rein to do the same,” RSF North America director Margaux Ewen told the Washington Post. “It is much harder for foreign leaders to take our requests for them to show greater respect for human rights and press freedom seriously when the U.S. does not lead by example.”

    Tonight at McNally Jackson Books in New York, Viv Albertine talks with Joanna Scutts about her new memoir, To Throw Away Unopened.

  • April 25, 2018

    Roxanne Gay. Photo: Kevin Nance

    In her Medium pop-up magazine Unruly Bodies, Roxane Gay writes about her difficult decision to undergo weight reduction surgery. “I worried that people would think I betrayed fat positivity, something I do very much believe in even if I can’t always believe in it for myself. I worried that everyone who responded so generously to my memoir, Hunger, would feel betrayed,” she writes. “I worried I would be seen as betraying myself. I worried I would be seen as taking the easy way out, even though nothing about any of this has been easy, not one thing.”

    James Comey’s A Higher Truth sold more than half a million copies in its first week, double sales for Hillary Clinton’s What Happened and triple those of Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury.

    Lorne Michaels and Aidy Bryant are creating a Hulu series based on Lindy West’s Shrill: Notes From a Loud Woman.

    Boston Globe columnist Kevin Cullen has been suspended after a column on the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings was found to have “several inconsistencies.”

    Curtis Sittenfeld says that Alice Munro is the only author that she rereads regularly. “Sometimes I reread her stories because the plots are complicated, and I read the first time to get a handle on the plot and the second time more to enjoy her insights about people,” she explains. “I also find that as I get older, it’s different to read a Munro story in my forties that I first read in my twenties. Even if I liked it 15 years ago, I now identify with her portrayals of motherhood or marriage in a much more visceral way.”

    Vanity Fair is implementing a paywall on its website. Readers will have access to four articles per month before they need to subscribe. “At a moment when quality journalism is not a luxury, but a necessity, your commitment will enable us to invest in our reporting, writing, photography, and video, expanding into new areas and onto new platforms, with you, our core reader and viewer, clearly in focus,” editor Radhika Jones writes. “We cannot do it without you.”


  • April 24, 2018

    Hanya Yanagihara

    The Guardian profiles Hanya Yanagihara, the author of A Little Life and editor of T: The New York Times Style Magazine. Yanagihara says that besides health care, she decided to take a job with the Times because the collaborative nature of working at a magazine balances out the effects of working on a novel. “Fiction writing is so interior and makes you into an awful person in a lot of ways,” she explains. “The private . . . becomes much more sharply private when you have a job, especially one that’s in the world. It reminds you on a daily basis of what people sound like, how they move, what their concerns are, how they think.”

    A former Vice producer is suing the company after being sexually assaulted while on assignment. Saher Shakir was working with a film crew to cover a soccer game in Algiers when she was groped by a group of men outside the stadium. According to two coworkers who witnessed the assault, “Shakir returned to the U.S. shaken and fearful that speaking about the incident or asking the company for assistance in dealing with the trauma would threaten her job.”

    Very often, women in fiction are held up as either bitter enemies or as complete BFFs. Neither of those portrayals is very complicated, very interesting, or very true,” Celeste Ng tells the Los Angeles Review of Books. “Much more common — and to my mind, interesting — is the middle ground, in which we find ourselves both drawn to and troubled by another person.”

    Jeet Heer explains why Kevin Williamson’s Wall Street Journal essay about being fired from The Atlantic “is, from top to bottom, bullshit.”

    New York Times editorial page director James Bennet talks to Politico about the role of politics in journalism, Trump’s effect on the press, and handling criticism of his section’s writers, which can often be found on social media. “It’s really hard, I find, in this environment to sort out the signal and the noise,” he said. “What is the important reaction, response, counterargument that we should be hearing? And are those readers, you know, real readers, or are they just people performing for each other on social media? And, again, I don’t want to sound like I’m—you can’t dismiss it. You can’t just say, ‘Oh, they’re all a bunch of jackasses,’ because they’re not. But some of them are jackasses.”

  • April 23, 2018

    Jennifer Egan

    Jennifer Egan notes the challenges facing the writers collective PEN America now. “At the core of PEN America’s advocacy have always been threats to free expression. Under the Trump administration we’re seeing more of those on our domestic front than most of us could have imagined five years ago. PEN America is uniquely equipped to fight these practices—after all, we’ve been calling out the tactics of repressive regimes for decades.“

    Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe might be the focal point of an upcoming Justice Department criminal investigation, but that isn’t stopping him from meeting with publishers in the hopes of getting a book deal.  

    The Brooklyn arts series Murmrr has announced its next author event: On May 2, Geoff Dyer will give a talk and a slide show about his latest book, The Street Philosophy of Garry Winogrand. It promises to be a delightfully interdisciplinary event: Interviewing Dyer will be director and writer Michael Almereyda, whose movies include Marjorie Prime. Tickets are available here.

    Margaret Sullivan of the Washington Post has written an article about Moira Donegan, the former New Republic staffer who created the Shitty Men in Media list. Says Sullivan: “She created a document to warn women of sexual harassers. It’s haunted her ever since.”

    An article at Vox uses Sally Kohn’s new book about bigotry, The Opposite of Hate, to address the shortcomings of fact-checking in the publishing industry.