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  • “He wrote the first drafts by hand, and when that became too difficult, dictated sections of the book into a tape recorder.” Before his death in July, playwright and actor Sam Shepard wrote a novel called Spy of the First Personwhich is forthcoming from Knopf in December. From our archives, a list of writers who also act.


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    ~Carolyn Quimby
  • Literary Hub has an excerpt of an essay by Chris Jackson, Editor in Chief of Random House’s One World imprint on how we can actually achieve diversity in the publishing industry. “What’s the payoff of having a more diverse workforce? Well, there’s obviously the moral case to be made—and that’s a case that I think applies to any industry. But in book publishing, I think we have a special obligation, given our central role in shaping the culture.” And he shares the origin story of how he started to work with Ta-Nehisi Coates.


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    ~Ariana
  • Eve Ewing recently released her debut poetry collection, Electric Arches, and we dubbed it one of our must-read poetry books last month. Year in Reading alum (and another Millions favoriteKiese Laymon called her for a Guernica magazine interview and the result is a wonderful discussion on shea butter, Jordans, writing with young people as her primary audience and Assata Shakur as a literary inspiration.


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    ~Ariana
  • If you haven’t had a chance to finish perusing the New York Times Style Magazine’s ‘The Greats’ issue make sure you at least find the time to read Dave Eggers profile of Year in Reading alum Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. She is on one of their seven covers and if you’ve ever wanted to know about her family and what kind of reading she wants to do more of, this is the interview for you. “‘That boy,” she said, and sighed. She was still thinking about Edwyn. ‘There was something so clean and pure and true about his writing, don’t you think? Increasingly I find that that’s the kind of thing I want to read.'”


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    ~Ariana
  • “We break down thirty-nine literary journals and well-respected periodicals, tallying genre, book reviewers, books reviewed, and journalistic bylines to offer an accurate assessment of the publishing world.” This year’s VIDA Count is out.


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    ~Kirstin Butler
  • “In the new environment, science fiction writers needed new formulas – or even better, needed to have the courage to operate without pre-cooked recipes of any sort. In short, science fiction needed to grow up and take on the adult world, in all its messiness and uncertainty.” Ted Gioia pens a paean to sci-fi writers of the 1960s. Among his recommendations (including a reading list of 64 works): Camp Concentration by Thomas M. Disch, whose larger oeuvre is considered here.


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    ~Kirstin Butler
  • Something you didn’t know you needed in your life: a squad of librarians recreating the “iconic” Vanity Fair Kardashian family photo shoot (via The Digital Reader). Also relevant: Alizah Salario‘s piece about the naming of North West.


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    ~Kirstin Butler
  • Out this week: Infinite Ground by Martin MacInnesShadowless by Hasan Ali ToptasStart Without Me by Joshua Max FeldmanThe Letters of Sylvia Plath: Volume I; and Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks. For more on these and other new titles, go read our most recent book preview.


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    ~Thomas Beckwith
  • “Located along a private beach on 235 Middle Neck Road, this opulent Gatsby-inspiring estate spans over 5 acres. A mere 25 minutes away from New York City by boat, this home is the perfect scene for a roaring 20s party. Just picture the glitz and glamour of fireworks reflecting across the water at all hours of the night.” For a cool $16.9 million you, too, can live in the home that inspired F. Scott Fitzgerald. Pair with our own Sonya Chung on adding The Great Gatsby to her teaching syllabus.


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    ~Kirstin Butler
  • “[T]aken as a whole, the shortlist from which this year’s judges choose their winner tomorrow night is just more evidence of the continued neo-colonial cultural dominance of the UK and the US – the institutions, the power, the money, the contacts.” How to win the Man Booker? According to the numbers, move to London or New York. In case you feel like placing bets anyway, here’s this year’s shortlist.


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    ~Kirstin Butler
  • “It comprises 10 short stories written by Iraqis, all of whom were guided by a simple yet fertile premise: What might Iraq look like a century from now?” The Atlantic review’s Tor’s anthology Iraq + 100 (originally published last year by Comma Press in England), which was released stateside last month—in an attempt to bring visibility to an underrepresented group of writers in America. Read The Millions’ review of the “ambitious short story collection” from March.


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    ~Carolyn Quimby
  • “A book critic working today must contend with a world in which more diverse voices are heard and the traditional gatekeepers have less power to enforce conformity.” LitHub interviewed Kate Tuttle, the president of the National Book Critics Circle, about literary criticism. Read our own Emily St. John Mandel on bad reviews.


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    ~Carolyn Quimby

Read More The Millions Top 10 September 2017