Shelf Awareness is hiring a publishing assistant to help coordinate review copies, produce the email newsletter, and other administrative tasks. If you'd like to work in the publishing industry, here's your chance.
The Establishment shut down yesterday. The intersectional feminist publication co-founded, in part, by Seattle writer Ijeoma Oluo, was drawing over a million readers a month, but it couldn't monetize those readers.
Let me repeat: publishers can't turn a million readers a month into any kind of sustainable business model. The internet is deeply broken.
You have already heard that yesterday, the Pulitzer Prize for fiction was awarded to Richard Powers for his novel The Overstory. Powers is a great, very smart novelist and The Overstory is a very good book. But I do wish that Tommy Orange's novel, There There, had been named the winner of the Pulitzer rather than the runner-up. Powers is in no need of a higher profile, and bestowing the Pulitzer to a debut novelist would have been a powerful statement. Still, the other literary awards — particularly Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom and The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke — seem very on-point. And it's good to see a book from Milkweed Editions on the runner-up list for the Pulitzer for Poetry — Milkweed is consistently one of the best publishers in the US, and they deserve greater attention.
Sci-fi writer Gene Wolfe died yesterday. Cory Doctorow wrote a brief but loving tribute at BoingBoing.
Did you see Ian McEwan's Guardian interview? Seems the poor fellow Franzened all over himself by blabbing about things he doesn't understand:
There could be an opening of a mental space for novelists to explore this future, not in terms of travelling at 10 times the speed of light in anti-gravity boots, but in actually looking at the human dilemmas of being close up to something that you know to be artificial but which thinks like you. If a machine seems like a human or you can’t tell the difference, then you’d jolly well better start thinking about whether it has responsibilities and rights and all the rest.