What will the United States become? In Victor LaValle and John Joseph Adams’s new anthology, A People’s Future of the United States, they gathered a group of writers to answer the question using speculative fiction. Over at Electric Literature, LaValle discusses his thought process while editing the collection. “In the case of this anthology we took it for granted that if we invited a genuinely diverse group of wildly talented writers into the anthology, we would see wildly diverse pictures of the future. Somewhere in the world, someone always has a boot on their neck. That’s true of the past, and the present, and will be true of the future, too.”
The publishing industry is roughly 86% white. Yet comparative titles, or “book comps,” are whiter still, the L.A. Review of Books has found, arguing that this makes it exceptionally difficult for writers of color to place their books with imprints at Big Five publishers. “Comps,” in other words, “perpetuate the status quo.” Here’s how.
Beauty is in the eye of the writer. Adelle Waldman discusses why many novelists fail to address female beauty in a meaningful and nuanced way. “Women are not only subject to a constant and exhausting and sometimes humiliating scrutiny—they are also belittled for caring about their beauty, mocked for seeking to enhance or to hold onto their good looks, while men are just, well, being men.”