The 2015 VIDA count was published on Wednesday, tracking the representation of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual identity, and ability in liberal arts. It’s a good time to revisit our piece on last year’s numbers to see what progress has been made.
Everything you’ve ever wanted to know (but were afraid to ask) about book sales — from what the heck even constitutes a sale, to standard print runs, to author earnings per sale — from Lincoln Michel at Electric Literature.
Here are the first lines of the new David Mitchell novel, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, forthcoming in July: “‘Miss Kawasemi?’ Orito kneels on a stale and sticky futon. ‘Can you hear me?’ In the rice paddy beyond the garden, a cacophony of frogs detonates. Orito dabs the concubine’s sweat-drenched face with a damp cloth.”
The brand new Library of Birmingham opens next week, and the gigantic structure is said to be “Europe’s largest public library.” In addition to its modern architecture, the facility also offers “a room from the 19th Century … to house one of the UK’s most important Shakespeare collections.”
Recommended reading: The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on the new modesty of literary criticism and the complicated relationship between texts, critics, and politics. For more on the balance between art and politics, look no further than Jonathan Clarke‘s Millions essay, “Alive with Disagreement and Dissent.”