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Your guide to December’s free virtual literary events.

Katie Yee

November 30, 2022, 9:30am

Winter is coming, and we are not leaving our homes (but still want to attend book events)!

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The Trauma of Caste: A Dalit-Feminist Led Celebration & Discussion
December 1 @ 7:30pm EST

To celebrate the publication of Thenmozhi Soundararajan’s new book, The Trauma of Caste, the Asian American Writers’ Workshop is hosting a discussion with the writer, to be joined by John Boopalan, Pabitra Dash and Mimi Mondal, and moderated by Dhanya Addanki. You can RSVP here.

“all swirl and pivot”: A Public Reading of Sonnets
December 5 @ 6pm EST

An evening of poetry hosted by Cave Canem! Register for the livestream here.

Jessica Grose: Screaming on the Inside with Amber Tamblyn
December 6 @ 7pm EST

The subtitle of Jessica Grose’s book is “the Unsustainability of American Motherhood.” In it, she dismantles two hundred years of unrealistic parenting expectations. Hosted by Books Are Magic, she’ll be joined in conversation with writer and actor Amber Tamblyn. The event will be available to stream here.

On Marguerite Duras’ The Easy Life
December 7 @ 8pm EST

Translators Emma Ramadan and Olivia Baes have brought Marguerite Duras’ The Easy Life to English readers for the very first time. Join them in conversation with poet and essayist Elissa Gabbert. Co-presented by Third Place Books, Community Bookstore, and the Transnational Literature Series at Brookline Booksmith, this event is free with registration.

Rupture Tense: Jenny Xie and Chen Chen
December 9 @ 7pm EST

Hosted by the Seminary Co-op, National Book Award finalist Jenny Xie is going to be discussing her new book, Rupture Tense, alongside the poet Chen Chen. Register here.

PEN America Town Hall: Do Publishers Have a Moral Obligation to Diversify American Literature?
December 13 @ 7pm EST

How can the publishing industry and literary canon better reflect American society? Do publishers have a moral obligation to diversify the literary landscape? Can we move beyond the long-standing institutional assumption that whiteness is the default? Min Jin Lee, Ayad Akhtar, Roxane Gay, Erroll McDonald, and Suzanne Nossel weigh in. Tune in to the Livestream.

Tess Gunty’s The Rabbit Hutch is coming to the screen.

Dan Sheehan

November 29, 2022, 11:36am

The Fall of Tess Gunty (I speak of Autumn, not ruination) continues apace with news that the Indiana author’s much-ballyhooed debut novel The Rabbit Hutch—the story of a group of residents of a low-income housing community in a fictional Indiana town over the course of one sweltering summer—has been optioned for the screen.

American Gods producer Fremantle and Richard Brown’s Passenger have pre-empted the rights to the novel, which has received near-unanimous critical acclaim since its release.

“Tess Gunty has written a wildly inventive and mesmerizing novel populated with irresistible characters, including a heroine for the ages—we’re delighted that she has trusted us to adapt it for the screen,” Brown said in a statement last week.

Gunty won the inaugural Waterstones debut fiction prize back in August, and just six weeks later took home the National Book Award for Fiction, which made her the first debut novelist to win the award since Julia Glass (Three Junes) back in 2002.

8 new books for your reading pleasure.

Katie Yee

November 29, 2022, 4:51am

Time to get cozy with this perfect octet of new books.

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the intimate city

Michael Kimmelman, The Intimate City: Walking New York
(Penguin Press)

“New York City comes alive in this scintillating collection of conversations between New York Times architecture critic Kimmelman … An enchanting and lyrical montage of an ever-evolving city.”
–Publishers Weekly

all the broken places_john boyne

John Boyne, All the Broken Places
(Pamela Dorman Books)

All the Broken Places is a defense of literature’s need to shine a light on the darkest aspects of human nature; and it does so with a novelist’s skill, precision and power.”
–The Guardian

shotgun seamstress_osa atoe

Osa Atoe, Shotgun Seamstress
(Soft Skull)

“The clash between the high technology of the era and the zine’s analog nature gives the book profound gravitas—Atoe cuts right through the noise of digital media. The book will leave readers furiously immersing themselves in the music and art of Shotgun Seamstress‘ subjects and contributors, which is where the real magic of this book lies.”
–Booklist

the forever witness_edward humes

Edward Humes, The Forever Witness
(Dutton)

“Humes’ writing is suspenseful yet also journalistic, providing fascinating details about the case, technological advances in police work, and genetic genealogy. A winner for any fan of true crime.”
–Booklist

Jason McBride, Eat Your Mind: The Radical Life and Work of Kathy Acker

Jason McBride, Eat Your Mind: The Radical Life and Work of Kathy Acker
(Simon & Schuster)

“A wholly unique, insightful look at Acker, whose work remains highly relevant today.”
–BookRiot

Mary-Alice Daniel, A Coastline Is an Immeasurable Thing
(Ecco)

“In her incandescent debut, Nigerian poet Daniel recounts her life on three continents, surrounded by stories that made up the fabric of her African upbringing … This is a gem.”
–Publishers Weekly

Ethan Joella, A Quiet Life
(Scribner)

“Heartwarming, character-driven charm. Empathetic without becoming saccharine, A Quiet Life highlights the power of closure and the importance of a connected, compassionate community.”
–Booklist

a heart that works

Rob Delaney, A Heart That Works
(Spiegel & Grau)

“As heartbreaking as the book may be, Delaney’s pitch black humor buoys even the toughest moments…Delaney’s book is ultimately about all-encompassing, heart-exploding love.”
–The New York Times

n+1’s Bookmatch has perfect book recommendations for you (and every protagonist in your life).

Jessie Gaynor

November 28, 2022, 12:01pm

In case the barrage of Cyber Monday emails from every store you’ve ever patronized (or thought about patronizing, or accidentally landed on while searching for “normal pants”) on the internet has you on the verge of declaring a moratorium on holiday gift-giving and maybe Stuff in general, I have great news for you: There is an antidote to consumerist despair, and its name is Bookmatch.

Here’s how it works: if you make any level of donation to n+1 this month, they’ll send you a personalized reading list, with ten books recommended by writers and editors including Alexander Chee, Jonathan Franzen, Hua Hsu, Rachel Kushner, Vladimir Sorokin, and Jia Tolentino. If you’re feeling flush, you can up your donation and receive copies of some or all of the books in return.

The unique lists are the result of your answers to the Bookmatch quiz, which is extremely scientific and also very fun, whether you take it for yourself or on behalf of someone else—like, say, the protagonist of your favorite contemporary novel, as I did.

Behold, the perfect books for all your favorite modern fictional archetypes (with the full—uncannily accurate—lists at the links).

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1. Unlikable female protagonist, alienated:

2. Unlikable female protagonist, horny:

3. Likable female protagonist, horny:

4. Likable female protagonist, bookish:

5. Male writer, agent won’t call:

6. Male writer, agent won’t stop calling

7. Patriarch, tortured:

8. Patriarch, TRYING HIS BEST HERE, OKAY?

 

Want to find the perfect reading list for yourself, or any protagonist you know? Take the Bookmatch quiz!

Merriam-Webster’s 2022 Word of the Year is . . . gaslighting.

Emily Temple

November 28, 2022, 9:48am

Ah yes, gaslighting. It’s been with us since time immemorial, but like plenty of other terrible things, it was particularly big this year.

“The increase in dictionary lookups for gaslighting is striking,” says Peter Sokolowski, Merriam-Webster’s Editor at Large. “In our age of misinformation—’fake news,’ conspiracy theories, Twitter trolls, and deepfakes—gaslighting has emerged as a word for our time. From politics to pop culture to relationships, it has become a favored word for the perception of deception.”

Those lookups? They increased 1740% this year, according to Merriam-Webster, who announced gaslighting as their Word of the Year this morning. People encountered the term “in a wide range of contexts in which misinformation was perceived to be part of a larger plan, from the January 6th Committee hearings to government oversight of the fossil fuel industry, from accusations around crime data to a scandal on ABC’s The Bachelor in Paradise.” That tracks.

Other words considered were:

Cancel culture

Omicron

Oligarch

Codify

LGBTQIA

Sentient

Loamy [because of Quordle!]

Raid

Queen consort

Happy almost-end to 2022.