“It is not normal for the President of the United States to refuse to offer even passing respect to the idea that telling the truth matters. It is not normal for the President to pretend that any news coverage he dislikes is ‘fake news’ that has been fabricated by the reporters who made up the story as well as their sources.”Because this is where we are, PEN America has issued Trump the Truth, a report on free expression during the President’s first 100 days. And in case you missed it, you must read our own Adam Boretz‘s review of Mark Lamont Hill‘s Nobody.
Using pen names has been a common practice for, well, a very long time. George Eliot is a nom de plume, as are George Orwell and George Sand. Though not a George, journalist Sarah Hall chose to publish her fiction under a different name. She writes for The Guardian about this decision, the history of the pen name, and the reasons authors continue to use them.
“The first sentence, itself described as a ‘decoy for attention’ in a 1930 story on the new art, is a lure within a lure, created in a new economy increasingly predicated on commercial diversification and instant appeal, in a book market that had never been so populated.” Electric Lit takes us through the history of the novel’s first sentence. Pair with our essay on the art of the opening sentence.
Last year, Laura van den Berg came out with a new book, The Isle of Youth, which Nathan Huffstutter reviewed for The Millions. On the Guernica blog, Dwyer Murphy interviews van den Berg, who talks about jacket photos, her first collection and whether a writer from Florida is part of the Southern tradition. (You could also read van den Berg’s Year in Reading entry.)