Book News Roundup: Big money

  • Congratulations to Seattle poet Jane Wong, who won the 2017 James W. Ray Distinguished Artist Award. The award is $50,000 — one of the biggest available to writers in the area — and Wong will have the opportunity to present her work at the Frye Art Museum. We'll have more news about that exhibit when it gets closer to happening.

  • Former Gawker writers are now running a Kickstarter campaign to bring Gawker back as a nonprofit. They need half a million bucks to get the site going again. This is a big deal, because Gawker was a very important website, when it wasn't busy being a very bad website. For me, the good far outweighed the bad. You should do your own math, and if it works out in the positive, you should donate what you can.

  • A paper manufacturer named Northern Pulp convinced a Nova Scotia bookstore to uninvite an author of a book that's critical of Northern Pulp. Pretty fucking sketchy.

  • A good short story by Kristen Roupenian in the New Yorker has gone viral. The story, titled "Cat Person," caused a stir on Twitter over the weekend. It seems that people — men, to be clear — love to judge the protagonist, a young woman who has sex with an older man. Plenty of men online are accusing the protagonist of being manipulative, without realizing that they're maybe telegraphing some of their deeper-seated neuroses about women for all the world to see. The Twitter account "Men React to 'Cat Person'" is one of the most delightful single-serving social media accounts I've seen in a long time. Megan Garber at The Atlantic sums up the situation quite well:

So many of American culture’s creaky misogynies have a way of leaking into fiction. There’s the wearying, and longstanding, mandate for writers to create female characters who are likable. (Claire Messud: “If you’re reading to find friends, you’re in deep trouble.”) And the common tendency to dismiss the literary products of women writing about women’s lives as “chick lit.”
  • Happy Hanukkah to all! Here's a delightful celebration of the holiday: