At Philly Mag, Sonia Sanchez shares her picks for the “essential books” of Black Literature. “Booker T. Washington’s Up from Slavery. The Souls of Black Folk, by W.E.B. Du Bois. And Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston,” Sanchez says. “You cannot teach Black literature without them. And of course, then you have Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Amiri Baraka. All of the women who came out of the Black Arts Movement, talking about what it was to be a Black female in a place called America.”
Gary Shteyngart’s Super Sad True Love Story is now a reality. He got to try Google Glass and wrote about the experience for The New Yorker. “When the velvet-rope hostess at the of-the-moment Wythe Hotel bar in Williamsburg stops to take a photo of me with her iPhone, I know exactly what the producer meant. This is the most I will ever be loved by strangers.”
Now online: PEN World Voices video of Keith Gessen interviewing Vladimir Sorokin, author of the just-released Ice Trilogy and Day of the Oprichnik. I was a little nonplussed by the Times‘ decision to begin its profile of Sorokin with a discussion of his hair, but really…it is quite something. Come for the mane, stay for the acerbic insights.
Random House is releasing a collection of previously unpublished poems and stories from Truman Capote’s youth, recently found in the archives of the New York Public Library. Over at Full Stop, Jacob Kiernan examines the keen political conscience in Capote’s never-before-published work. As he explains it, “While his early stories are structurally simple, they evince a prescient social conscience.”