Brit Bennett discusses her latest book, The Vanishing Half, with Simran Hans at the Guardian. The novel, which was an instant bestseller and quickly optioned by HBO, follows twin sisters who decide to live on opposite sides of the color line, one as a white woman and one as a Black woman. “I think there’s a larger social context into which the book entered the world,” Bennett says. “It explores racial identity at a time when people are really eager to read and engage with conversations about that, which is true all around the world as you see with these protests in all these countries.”
The 100th anniversary of the publication of James Joyce’s Dubliners occurs this month, and the occasion is being celebrated with the launch of Dubliners 100, a “reimagining and rewriting of the 15 original stories by a range of well-established and promising writers.” Among the modern writers lending their talents to the homage is Paul Murray (Skippy Dies), Donal Ryan (The Spinning Heart), and Pat McCabe (Butcher Boy).
William Stuntz’s book The Collapse of American Criminal Justice investigates “how, over the past 50 years, our criminal justice system had been transformed into an unfair, amoral bureaucracy–one that had given up on the very idea of justice.” Its genesis is worth reading about. So, too, is this related article in the most recent edition of n+1, “Raise the Crime Rate.”
The story of how a publishing house began is the definition of literary inside baseball, but this piece by Jonathan Galassi — in which the FSG president responds to an upcoming book on the heyday of his company — does a pretty nice job of spurring a general reader’s interest. Among other things, it reveals that First Wife Dorothea Straus once called the company’s office “a sexual sewer.”