American Publishing’s Literary Apartheid
Plus: The Kremlin Drone Ding and the Wagner Rant
Recently in The Bulwark:
CHARLIE SYKES: Biden’s Wakeup Call
JVL: If DeSantis Can’t Beat Trump, It’s YOUR Fault 🔐 and Confessions of a Trump Voter
CATHY YOUNG: The Queen and the Chevalier
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RICHARD NORTH PATTERSON: American Publishing’s Literary Apartheid.
In a recent Wall Street Journal essay, I described the unwelcome novelty of having numerous publishers reject my latest novel after publishing twenty-two prior novels, sixteen of them New York Times bestsellers. But most dispiriting was confronting the new regime in publishing: that as a white author, I should not have presumed to write fiction which featured black characters grappling with issues of racial justice.
Happily, I found an independent publisher willing to defy the strictures of literary apartheid. They are publishing Trial on June 13, and we have started releasing installments on Substack (see richardnorthpatterson.substack.com), so that readers can judge for themselves. But the larger story is what I learned from writing fiction about racially charged topics, and what that experience says about the toxicity of creative segregation. And the larger question raised by that experience is whether, and how, writers of fiction can continue to engage compelling social and political issues—as they’ve done for centuries.
🎥 PODCASTS AND VIDEOS 🎧
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CATHY YOUNG: The Kremlin Drone Ding and the Wagner Rant.
The past week has seen two strange developments related to the Ukraine war that have raised more questions than answers: the drone strike at the Kremlin last Wednesday and a rollercoaster drama involving the head of the Wagner Group.
The drone strike—or rather strikes, since there were two about 15 minutes apart—happened in the early morning hours. Remarkable video footage shows the small drone slamming into the flagpole atop the dome of the Senate Palace building in the Kremlin and bursting into flames.
Happy Monday! Did you stay up and watch the coronation? Like our former colleague Matt Labash, I missed it, as I was too busy taking the fam to Luray Caverns.
What are we doing to make 2024 better? Asks Amanda Carpenter. Read this and ponder. Perhaps Kyrsten Sinema, who is both sidesing election denial, should think about this a little more deeply.
When did Megyn Kelly… Become a conspiracy theorist?
Tucker Carlson’s Dark and Malign Influence… Over the Christian Right. Must-read David French.
AI fools Alex Jones… And he’s not happy, either. He thought Tucker Carlson was calling him to do a collab, where, they’d… I’m just gonna let you read it. Deep Fakes, as we’ve warned, are going to become more and more of a problem. You can listen to the call here.
Young voters… Are more moderate than you think. Lauren Harper and Hugh Jones observe: “Youth voters are far more middle-of-the-road, less partisan, and more nuanced in their views than the dominant media narrative lets on.”
An accidental Emmett Till moment? This weekend’s horrific mass murder at an outlet mall in Texas proved to be too much for Elon Musk’s Twitter, which allowed images of the deceased to spread without warning. At Connors Newsletter, our friends argue this is such a moment, and America can do something about it.
Our Newly Fatalistic Right… Damon Linker writes: “Republicans increasingly view mass shootings as acts of God or nature we have no choice but to endure.”
Naturally, right wingers tried to blame Biden with racist theories since the shooter was Hispanic before the facts were in: He was one of them, an extremist. Seems like Axios, which was mocked for this article last year by right wingers, was onto something.
Write LIKABLE on the top of your debate notepad… “Don’t try to piss off his voters”… Inside Ron DeSantis’s 2018 debate prep. But hey, apparently Trump hasn’t been able to lay a finger on Ron DeSantis! Talk about wishcasting.
How the “Pink Beret” lady was caught… Turns out reading Mein Kampf didn’t sit well with an ex boyfriend, who turned her in.
Banned… From the “Woke Free Zone” of CPAC Hungary, which had quite the lineup. (Bonus: CPAC admits Kari Lake lost.)
How to Build… (and Destroy) a Social Network. If you’re on BlueSky, come say hi.
Monday 🧵… The story of Sony. From rice cookers to Playstation.
Shut up… And take my money.
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