On Friday, I wrote about the British writer William Boyd, whose new play, Longing, debuted last week at London’s Hampstead Theatre. The play is based on two of Chekhov’s short stories, one of which (according to Boyd’s new article in The Guardian) sheds light on the great author’s love life. Apparently the young Anton had “at least two dozen” affairs.
The Ripped Bodice (the only bookstore in the United States dedicated solely to romance books) released a report looking at the state of diversity in 2016 romance novels. Last year there were only 7.8 published romance novels by writers of color for every 100 books from 20 major romance publishing companies. “Of particular concern is the suggestion, as revealed by the study, that publishers are not reflecting their readership base with any kind of parity. According to Pew Research, black women with college degrees are more likely to read a book than any other group. Since romance readers are approximately 84 percent female, this suggests there is a large swath of the population who don’t see themselves represented in authors or protagonists.” Entertainment Weekly highlights some major takeaways from the survey, read the rest of the appalling stats and then go support romance writers of color.
For those among us who have missed the eighties, from now until November 8th, Esquire magazine is hosting a special pop-up edition of SPY, that late-millennial stalwart of satirical journalism. Co-founder (and novelist) Kurt Andersen said he was moved to bring the magazine back because “lots more people, pretty much every day, said to me, ‘SPY really needs to be rebooted, if only just for the election.'”
If it’s election satire you want, we highly recommend our own Jacob Lambert‘s literary cagematch: Hemingway vs. Faulkner vs. Trump.