For Tor.com, Tochi Onyebuchi reflects on his role as a black writer during protests against police brutality and the killing of black men and women. “And there I was, walking past that hollowed-out grocery store that November night, writing. Struggling with the possibility that this writing does nothing,” Onyebuchi notes. “I know it is a thing that brings me joy. I feel useful doing it, even if that feeling is an illusion, smoke keeping me from seeing a difficult truth reflected back at me. Writing will not rebuild that Foodtown that went up in flames that night. It will not restock it with cereal and toilet paper and canola oil. But terror abates when I write.”
“Millennials are so frequently hyped as the first digital generation that people tend to forget that we were raised first and foremost with books. TV and the Internet may have shaped our identities, but so did old-fashioned, printed stories.” Everybody is tired of the word “millennial,” but this piece makes some great points about Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad series and how it taught children to understand and appreciate their individuality.
Henry Holt & Company stopped printing and selling Charles Pellegrino‘s The Last Train From Hiroshima last week, following allegations of fraudulent sources and fabrication in the work. The New York Times examines the debacle: “If book publishers are supposed to be the gatekeepers,” novelist and Studio 360 host Kurt Anderson asks, “tell me exactly what they’re closing the gate to.”
Kory Stamper, one of the lexicographers responsible for Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, describes the pleasures and poetry to be found in the Third Edition’s “color definitions.” Take vermillion for example, which is listed as “a variable color averaging a vivid reddish orange that is redder, darker, and slightly stronger than chrome orange, redder and darker than golden poppy, and redder and lighter than international orange.” (Related: how colors got their names; who names colors what.)