Welcome back to Vox’s Saturday book link roundup, a curated collection of the week’s best writing on books and related subjects. Here is the best the internet has to offer for the week of March 26, 2017.
- You might remember that we talked to Timothy Snyder about his new book, On Tyranny, a few weeks ago. A fake book with the same title just popped up on Amazon, apparently to direct sales traffic away from Snyder’s book, and the Guardian reports that the fake book appears to have been created in Russia.
- That Italian TV series adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels will be coming to HBO, with subtitles.
- Vanity Fair has a terrific and super juicy profile of Nan Talese, legendary glass-ceiling-shattering editor and wife to Gay:
“Her infidelity was taking other authors’ books into bed with her,” says Pamela. “And then to read them in bed. And he would get very agitated about certain of her authors and become very competitive.” Indeed, it’s hard not to detect a tinge of irritation when Gay speaks about her devotion to her writers. “In our marital bed for more than a half a century there’s never a night in bed where there are not manuscript pages all over the sheets,” he says. “If you roll your foot around, there are manuscript pages under your feet. And all over the floor.”
- At the Guardian, Sam Leith writes in praise of indexers:
The index is, in any nonfiction book, more useful than almost anything else in the apparatus. It is a map of the text; a cunningly devised series of magical shortcuts that can in the good case save a scholar many hours of work, and in the bad one save a bookshop-browsing cabinet minister from having to buy a former colleague’s memoirs.
- Remember all that sturm und drang over Milo Yiannopoulos’s book deal? BuzzFeed reports that it might get picked up by Regnery Books, the independent publisher that essentially invented the conservative book publishing model.
- As the NEA faces the possibility of losing its funding, Book Riot has a list of 10 books we would not have without the NEA.
- It is always worthwhile to read Ursula Le Guin, and I have a special fondness for the any instance in which she gets her literary critic on — she is so smart, and knows her genre so well, that she always has interesting things to say. In this Guardian piece she’s writing about Neil Gaiman’s new book (which I liked), but you don’t need to have read the book to appreciate Le Guin’s criticism:
Any retelling of a tale from times long past must be an interpretation, a translation into language and concepts that the present audience understands. The original myth may have been told as uninterpreted fact, but later re-tellers are and must be conscious of who their audience is and the purpose of the telling. To what extent does this consciousness shape the choice of what’s told and the language that it’s told in? Interpretation may clarify, betray, reveal, deform.
- The Cooperative Children’s Book Center’s data on books for kids by and about people of color is out, and the numbers are not great:
While the number of diverse books has increased substantially, the number of books written by people of color has not kept pace. In fact, in 2016, Black, Latinx, and Native authors combined wrote just 6% of new children’s books published. In other words, while the number of books with diverse content increases, the majority of those books are still written by white authors. We wrote about this phenomenon back in 2015, and the numbers haven’t changed much since then.