Brandon Taylor reflects on Real Life being longlisted for the Booker Prize; A. O. Scott writes in praise of Edward P. Jones; Southside Weekly profiles Chicago poet Tara Betts; and other stories.
How are you doing? This is an essential question for all of us. In New Orleans, asking such a question could still mean how are post-Katrina? Recovery. Resilience. These are words attached to the city’s brand. However the reality for many people, in particular writers and artists, is still arduous.
The world can learn from New Orleans during the coronavirus pandemic without deeming it a “Katrina moment.” Our moment was our moment but the lessons about government failure, natural disasters, and depending on strangers for survival are applicable. We know how education systems can change overnight.
For many in New Orleans and the surrounding affected areas, the pandemic adds more weight to an already heavy living. But New Orleans has the writers, researchers, artists, stories, food, land, and music that tell stories of humanity and point a way to the light.
August 29 marks fifteen years since the levees broke in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. I am excited to be curating some virtual events with Poets & Writers, including a reading dedicated to remembering the impact the storm has had on the people and culture of this city.
Follow my Twitter feed, @NOLApworg, for more details and updates for this event and more from New Orleans. I’ll also share about upcoming events in our other United States of Writing cities: Detroit and Houston.NOLA@pw.org or on Twitter, @NOLApworg.
A growing list of grants and emergency funds for writers as well as resources for booksellers, tools for working from home, and more.
Michael Kleber-Diggs listens to the rapper Big Boi while grieving George Floyd; Morgan Jerkins reflects on the emotional stakes of researching the Black diaspora; BuzzFeed highlights upcoming literary events; and other stories.
Elias Khoury responds to the recent explosion in Beirut; the Los Angeles Times Book Festival will move online; Hazel Carby revisits the archival documents she consulted while writing Imperial Intimacies; and other stories.
The board of the National Book Critics Circle elects a new president; a Beirut bookseller describes the damage to her shop from Tuesday’s explosion; Alexis Soloski unpacks H. P. Lovecraft’s legacy; and other stories.
Camille Dungy will serve as poetry editor at Orion; Marc Rivers considers Toni Morrison’s legacy, one year after her death; layoffs at Hudson News; and other stories.
Leah Hampton’s F*ckface: And Other Stories, Megha Majumdar’s A Burning, Marie-Helene Bertino’s Parakeet, Karen Tei Yamashita’s Sansei and Sensibility, and C Pam Zhang’s How Much of These Hills Is Gold.