In her “By the Book” interview with the New York Times, author Sarah M. Broom discusses the importance of allowing Black writers to write with a sense of boundlessness. “I wish (and I know this was not the question, exactly) for the day when Black writers — especially women — are free to write whatever in the world they want,” Broom says. “And are fairly paid for the thing they wrote. Am thinking so much these days of Toni Morrison’s apt quotation: ‘The function, the very serious function of racism is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining, over and over again, your reason for being.’ I am looking for intellectual boundlessness in my own work.”
Last year we highlighted University of Nebraska Press among other small presses for the keeping in print otherwise little known future Nobel laureates. Today’s honoree Mario Vargas Llosa is quite well-known by comparison, but University of Nebraska Press has nonetheless (barely) run its Nobel streak to three straight years by way of Vargas Llosa’s inclusion in the press’ soccer writing anthology, The Global Game: Writers on Soccer.
Robert Darnton at the New York Review of Books considers the feasibility of creating a National Digital Library: “I know: the devil can cite Jefferson. Anyone can cull through the papers of the Founding Fathers in order to find quotations in support of a cause. But I can’t resist.”
“Being nominated for an award feels the way I imagine winning the lottery must feel: You’re deeply grateful and a little disoriented, you feel very lucky, and you know that it could just as easily have been someone else.” Our own Emily St. John Mandel writes about “the vast distance between literary prizes and literary work” and reading Norman Mailer for The Atlantic‘s By Heart series (which we’ve covered many, many times before).
If consecutive profiles in The New York Times and The New York Review of Books are any indication, the reopening of Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre is a very big deal. To celebrate from the comfort of your chair, however, you can listen to the overture from Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky‘s opera The Voyevoda, which opened in the Bolshoi in 1869.