Gawker Review of Books · 12/03/14 12:22PM

William Faulkner gives a speech upon receiving the National Book Award in 1955 for A Fable, which was also awarded the Pulitzer Prize. [Photo by Peter Stackpole/Getty Images]

Toni Morrison Already Wrote the Best Book of 2015

Jason Parham · 12/02/14 11:46AM

Toni Morrison doesn't need to write another book. She's published 1o celebrated fiction titles and won nearly every award there is to win as an author (a Nobel, Pulitzer Prize, and Presidential Medal of Freedom are among her honors). But, no matter! Toni Morrison is pulling a Toni Morrison—again. The distinguished author is set to release her new novel, God Help the Child, in April.

What President Obama Is Reading This Holiday Season

Jason Parham · 12/01/14 05:56PM

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, President Obama, along with daughters Sasha and Malia, stopped by Politics and Prose, an independent bookstore based in the nation's capital. The First Family purchased 17 books in total—ranging from Jacqueline Woodson's brave memoir in verse Brown Girl Dreaming to Katherine Rundell's magical Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms.

Everything Is Red and Sticky: The National Book Foundation's Cozy Racism

Nikky Finney · 11/21/14 01:32PM

On Wednesday night Jacqueline Woodson won the 2014 National Book Award for Young Peoples Literature. After she left the stage the host of the National Book Awards, Daniel Handler, told the crowd that she, a Black woman, "was allergic to watermelon" and then implored the crowd at the National Book Awards to "let that settle in your mind." I found myself staring at my laptop and choking on a waterfall of watermelon seeds.

Jonathan Franzen to Excrete Book Called Purity

Leah Finnegan · 11/17/14 02:23PM

Jonathan Franzen, master of his own author photo propaganda, has a new binding of pages with words written on them coming out in... ten months. It is called Purity. Have you ever been more excited to read a work of lidərəCHər in your entire life?

The Difficulties of Publishing While Black

Jason Parham · 10/20/14 03:17PM

I don't think it's any surprise the publishing industry—print and digital—is overwhelmingly white. But the statistics are far more upsetting than you might imagine: a recent Publisher's Weekly survey revealed the makeup of the industry to be 89 percent white, 3 percent Asian, 3 percent Hispanic, 3 percent mixed race, 1 percent black, and 1 percent other. Twenty-eight percent of respondents admitted that many publishing houses suffer from a lack of racial diversity.

How Should We Define Masculinity? A Q&A With Charles Blow

Jason Parham · 10/07/14 01:42PM

“Writing in general by black men from the south is very slim. To the degree that it exists—it’s women.” It’s a Thursday in early October and we’re at The Lamb’s Club in Midtown, a high-priced food depository where hundred-dollar business lunches have become daily rituals. Amid the clatter of silverware and conversation, New York Times columnist Charles Blow opens up about his new memoir, Fire Shut Up in My Bonesa stirring testimony of growing up in Louisiana and discovering what it means to be a man.

A Biography of Jonathan Franzen Will Soon Exist

Michelle Dean · 09/26/14 05:06PM

A professor at Swarthmore has decided to embark on a biography of the still-living (at least at last report) novelist Jonathan Franzen. One can only imagine the anticipatory salivation at Oprah's Book Club headquarters.

The End of the Mitford Sisters

Michelle Dean · 09/26/14 08:45AM

Deborah Mitford, the last of the "Mitford Girls," died this week in England at the age of 94. She and her five sisters, Nancy, Pamela, Diana, Unity and Jessica (called Decca), were the Middletons of their day. That is, if Kate had literary talent, and was ever called upon to utter a political opinion. And if Pippa married a fascist.

Why Being a Football Fan Is Indefensible

Steve Almond · 09/25/14 08:00AM

Last season, the Minnesota Vikings paid a man named Jared Allen more than a million dollars per game to maul opposing quarterbacks. The "market"— meaning us, the fans—has determined that Allen's value is roughly $18.5 million per year. The State of Minnesota pays an elementary school teacher an average of $38,000 per year. Paramedics make $42,000; cops, $28,000. That makes one quarterback mauler worth 474 elementary school teachers.

The Original Gone Girl: On Daphne du Maurier and Her Rebecca

Carrie Frye · 09/19/14 08:50AM

As kids, the three du Maurier sisters—Angela, Daphne and Jeanne—had a code. Something "wain" was embarrassing, a "crumb" was a boast, a "tell him" was to be boring, to "nim" was to pee. Someone "beady" was observant. All three girls grew up "beady" themselves.