long time

Writer market

Writing Challenge is a writer’s first foray into fiction

The real story behind the photo: Editor Cindy Pierce snapped this photo of the old door with a letter slot as she strolled the streets of Charleston, SC, while there for a wedding in April 2021.

When he retired from the securities industry 30 years ago and moved from Chicago to Naples, Charles Guptill began writing letters to family and friends about his new life in the Sunshine State. .

He still likes to write letters.

“But, of course, the letters are not fiction,” he says.

As the son of a foreign correspondent whose reporting assignments often moved the family and to cities such as Buenos Aires, Rome and Mexico City, nonfiction came naturally to Mr. Guptill. His first attempts at fiction didn’t come until he discovered the Florida Weekly Writing Challenge in 2020, when he was 82 years old.

“The challenge has provided a much-needed distraction during the pandemic,” he says of the contest which provides photo prompts to inspire short stories of up to 750 words. It was born as a distraction from the heat, humidity and threat of hurricanes during the scorching summer days of 2010. It continued that way until April 2020 when we started it early as a distraction from closures, cancellations and social distancing. by COVID-19.



Mr Guptill looked forward to the 2021 challenge. When the first photo was posted in August, he said: “I was loaded for the bear! I got to work and found a story that I really liked it.

But then he misread the submission deadline and missed it.

“I was so disappointed in myself,” he says.

He would go on to submit seven stories during the challenge, which ended in late November.

His process was the same for every entry: “I would write the story straight away, usually 1,500 words the first day,” he says. “Then I nibbled, edited and slowly consolidated so that every word counted. I thought about my story as I rode my bike, walked around the neighborhood, folded laundry.

Because of the word limit, he says, “I had to focus on the plot at the expense of character development. My plan now is to flesh out the stories by developing the characters.

He spent about an hour a day working on each entry. “It was like carving into a piece of marble, until the deadline,” he says. After missing the first, he pressed “send” on the keyboard a few hours after every other 5 p.m. deadline.

Writing for Mr. Guptill is one of three loves, the others being watercolor painting and cooking (a love he has managed to incorporate into more than one of his writing challenge entries).

“I married late and retired early, just like Mr. Mom did when we were raising our three daughters, all of whom graduated from Barron Collier High School and the University of Florida,” he says. . “I did all the family cooking for years.”

He always does something for me every day. “I’m a foodie for sure,” he says. A dish that has always resonated with him is caccio e pepe, a simple pasta dish with Romano cheese and black pepper. “It has demonized me since the dawn of time.”

Although he likes to share a meal with his friends and family, Mr. Guptill says he never shares his writing challenge entries with an editor or proofreader.

“I tend to be very introspective as a writer,” he says. “I’m not sharing with anyone until I send it to Florida Weekly.”

Mr. Guptill attended Rice University in Texas and served in the Navy as a destroyer navigator before earning a degree in civil engineering at the University of Texas. He worked for Dean Witter in Chicago before running his own brokerage firm for 15 years. ¦

A pebble for the tombstone


The Great Man of Letters was dead.

She heard the news the day before. Then in the morning, after reading the Chicago Tribune obituary, she decided on a last rite.

She straightened up, hailed a taxi and directed the driver to North Astor Street.

In the Italianate building, she could see the letters coming through the wrought iron door of glass and filigree. She opened the door and entered. She crossed the hall and stopped in front of the mail depot.

Memories came back from the afternoon over 40 years ago. He had chatted with her at the food market. “Not the can of tomatoes you’re holding,” he said. “Go for the San Marzanos instead. They are better.

He invited her for a beer in the afternoon. She was skeptical, but Otto’s on Halstead was a place she liked, so she agreed. After Otto’s they went back to his apartment in Astor – a sublet, he told her. He cooked dinner, she brought the tinned tomatoes. They dined on bucatini in a marinara sauce which he infused with a porridge of anchovies, red pepper flakes and white wine. Gorgeous.

She told him that she worked for an insurance company on LaSalle Street. He calls himself a novelist, his first two books acclaimed. Now, while waiting for inspiration to pick up again for his third book, he’s writing short stories. A few days later, she moved in.

He frequently talked to friends over the phone. Once he called her at work. “Go down to Billy Goat’s Tavern. I’m here with Mike Royko. I will present.

She was charmed but had to work on him for an introduction to her mother. They partied and had dinner with his college friends. He joined in the conversation about the Cubs, the market, and Mayor Daley’s setbacks. She worried about his obsession with superstitions, tensed up when he dodged cracks in the sidewalk, or stayed in bed on Friday the 13th because bad things had happened to him on that date in the past. When his self-deprecating friends told tumultuous tales in which their fortunes were turning ever lower, he repeated a cautionary mantra: “When you find yourself in a hole, man, stop digging.

Eventually, the Big Man discovered her talents as a secretary. He asked her to type and send her news. She prepared envelopes for publishers he knew, carefully sticking on return address stickers with her name printed large.

The weeks passed without return. “It had never happened before,” he said. “News checks pay the rent. I’ll call my agent. Are you sure you are using the correct postage? »

“Yes of course.”

“Show me the process.”

“I address the envelopes and place them in the letter slot downstairs.”

“Lunge, what slit?”

“He who marked letters.”

They went down to the hall. She showed him.

“Funny, that never occurred to me. I always posted from the box around the corner. Please use that box in the future.

Soon the responses poured in.

“Not for us.”

“Try us next time.”

“Sorry, I just posted a similar story.”

He was sorry.

After the last rejection, a week later, as she came home late from work, the apartment seemed unusually tidy, quiet. In the kitchen, she spotted a folded note on the counter. “I don’t do goodbyes well,” he wrote.

“Yes I understand!” she barked at the ceiling.

The great man of letters then completed his third book in New York. He won the Pulitzer for his fourth. Her marriage to a celebrity ended in acrimony and court battles.

In Chicago, it took him a long time to recover from his sudden departure, the sting still there for decades. She had been painfully young then, she lamented, a naive groupie from Lima, Ohio, thrown on a slag heap. But luckily, she came to terms with the pain, combined it with strong Midwestern instincts, and thrived. I never went all-in again; never dug deeper.

Over the years, she noticed that the Big Man was grafting portions of his young personality onto ingenues populating his books. Not enough for her to point to old friends and ask, “Who does this remind you of?” But she knew he was thinking of her, of her youth, trapped in time.

She walked over to the slot, reached into her Prada shoulder bag, pulled out a soft cloth, shone the flap of the metal letters, smiled at her reflection, stepped back, and let go.

– Read the story of the 2021 Florida Weekly Writing Challenge first place and three honorable mentions in our December 29-30 editions online at Of the remaining six stories in our Top 10, David Dorsey’s “Beauteous Flowers” was released on January 19 and Brian Fowler’s “Out of the Closet” was released on February 9. Charles Guptill’s “A Pebble for the Headstone” is the third of six, which will be released over the next few weeks as space permits.

read more
Book creator

Why ‘Bad Fat Black Girl’ Creator Sesali Bowen Won’t Shut Up About Fatphobia

How Sesali Bowen flipped the script on fatphobia. (Photo: Toni Smalls; designed by Quinn Lemmers)

He figures is Yahoo Life’s body image series, delving into the journeys of influential and inspiring people as they explore what body confidence, body neutrality and self-love mean to them.

As a fat queer black girl growing up in South Chicago and establishing a career in New York, Sesali Bowen no longer afraid of the stigma that people may have against her.

The author of Bad Fat Black Girl: Notes from a Trapped Feminist is known to talk about her body when she started addressing a culture of fatphobia and her own experiences on Facebook, using the platform to expose the misconceptions people have about tall women .

“I think people who suffer from grossophobia are supposed to be quiet about it. Like we’re expected to have nothing to say back,” she told Yahoo Life. “It was literally just me screaming into the void – or actually screaming at very specific people – about the things that were being said about how I understand my body was seen by other people. And people never heard that before because people really feel entitled to be fatphobic.”

For Bowen, being fat and understanding her fatness has been a constant, as she grew up “in a house full of fat women” in Chicago. However, what has evolved for her throughout her life is how she understands fatphobia in others and how she engages with it. The first step to this was realizing that she didn’t have to subscribe to the negative thoughts other family members had about living in a larger body.

“It wasn’t a body-positive home. A lot of them had a lot of negative thoughts about their bodies. Thoughts that for a long time I thought I needed to internalize, especially around a relationship with the body. ‘body image and food,’ she says. “But I wasn’t the fat girl who hesitated or even held herself back from having certain experiences.”

She describes herself as having an inherent confidence that she’s always possessed — although society only talks about confidence “in regards to how you look,” she says. “I think I’m generally a more confident person.”

Still, she faced instances of fatphobia, judgment, and bullying as a fat person that would cause her to examine the nuances of it. Some of her earliest memories of understanding the impact of fatphobia on society and her role within it came in middle school, when people started exploring romantic relationships.

“As people go through puberty and develop their crushes and all those things, I started to get a sense of the value of what it meant to be wanted or not wanted, the kind of social capital that came with it” , she explains. “I understood that there is a certain social capital attached to desirability and the way fatphobia works is that it inherently tries to view fat people as less valuable. And that’s why we have so many stereotypes about fat people being lazy or delusional, all these negative tropes that come up when we start talking about fat people, and I think that all of that contributes to this idea that because they’re fat, they’re less desirable.

Bowen’s book explores the ways this thought alone contributes to the discrimination fat people face when it comes to accessing relationships, careers, wealth and joy, noting that it becomes even more complex when it is also associated with racial and sexual identities. “We expect them to have a less enlightened life,” she says of people with larger bodies. She decided to use her understanding of fatphobia to determine ways to circumvent this perception. Above all, she chose to assert her identity as a fat person.

“I really walked through that era of personal storytelling and was able to get my foot in the door that way. So the kind of writing that I do requires a certain level of visibility and exposure that I don’t think I could have participated in if I wasn’t ready to say, ‘Okay, let’s go, no pun intended, the elephant in the room,” Bowen says. “‘I’m fat'”

Her relationship with her fatness in the public sphere would always be complicated, even with her “Bad Fat Black Girl” nickname, as she found herself mollifying critics by distancing herself from certain assumptions about fat people. She reflects on a time when she felt that her ability to live publicly as a plus-size woman could be justified by the fact that she had good health.

“When I was younger, in my early twenties, it was like, Well, I don’t have any of those problems. I’ve never had high blood pressure, my blood sugar is fine. I can show that I have this good state of health and therefore I have the right to exist here. But I think now that has changed, why do we only require obese people to be healthy?” she recalled. “I think there is this requirement that obese people be healthy that we don’t impose to no one else. And that’s why I really had to admit that I was ableist. And also that fat people who aren’t healthy shouldn’t be called whales and elephants in their pictures either.”

She continued to challenge the stigma surrounding obesity by opening up about her experience with a eating disorder, changing the conversation about fat and the perception that many have of fat bodies. Ultimately, it encouraged her to address the damage people everywhere face when they’re not allowed to “live comfortably in their bodies” – something she says may have even become more difficult with the perceived control we have over our appearance.

“We live in a culture that teaches us that your body is this thing that’s like Play-Doh, and you can sit there every day and tweak this and tweak that, and make it the thing you want. be, the thing it should be,” she explains. “And that’s not really how our bodies work.”

And despite societal decline and how insidious fatphobia has become among close family, friends and internet trolls, Bowen’s acceptance and authenticity about his body allows him to live without the repercussions of self-hatred.

“I’ve been talking about my body on the internet for over a decade at this point. And in the best possible way, I now have a strong sense of the lack of control I have over my body,” she says. “While we have lots of options in terms of things we can do to our bodies, we don’t have as much control over them as we like to think we have. ‘getting wrinkles or preventing us from having gray hair. There are just things that are going to happen with our bodies over time that are going to happen and I really reveled in that and felt a lot of acceptance around of that.

More importantly, Bowen’s approach to understanding his body and talking about it with others allowed him to take control of the narrative surrounding his figure, making it the context of his story and not the story itself.

“People have to make a lot of very difficult decisions every day about their bodies just to exist. And that includes me, that includes you, that includes everyone,” she says. “I’m here. I’m fat. I’m okay with that. Let me tell you how I feel about this and how I expect you to discuss it. And then let’s move on.”

Want to get lifestyle and wellness news delivered to your inbox? Register here to Yahoo Life Newsletter.

read more
Book creator

BookTok could change the way Filipinos read

After the pandemic cut short my academic life in person, I have since studied at Trinity College Dublin, Warren University in New England and the University of Exeter in the UK – by which I mean that I lived vicariously through college lives of Marianne and Connell from “Normal People”, Samantha from “Bunny” and Dolly Alderton from “All I Know About Love”.

Books have always taken us somewhere else, but this carrying capability has gained unprecedented relevance with home orders. Frankly, reading was a welcome coping mechanism. So it’s perhaps fitting that I discovered these titles — and my love for reading — from another coping mechanism: TikTok.

Appropriately named BookTok, this corner of the application dubbed the last sane place on the internet is responsible for the fact that thousands of people around the world – including Filipinos – have become accustomed to reading, that they have been interested in books before the conception of the community. Thanks to BookTok, Vianchi, 25, started reading again after seven years. Chia, 18, has never read as much as she reads now. Aya, 18, didn’t read at all until she found BookTok. At the time of writing, the hashtag #BooktokPH has generated 139.9 million views on TikTok.

The ever-growing community is increasingly making its presence felt outside of the app. When Bryan, who creates BookTok content as Books by Bryan Hoards, made a viral video about the young adult mystery thriller “A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder”, a local bookstore saw an influx of orders. He adds: “Local bookstores now have their own ‘BookTok Favorites’ section in their physical and online stores. I’ve also seen new local book businesses emerge along the way; most of them even respond to pre-orders from international bookstores. (For context, bookstore sections dedicated to YouTube or Instagram rarely exist, perhaps proving BookTok’s unprecedented impact.)

Screenshots of Fully Booked and National Book Store “BookTok” online shelves. PHOTO BY NATIONALBOOKSTORE.COM

No one is quite sure how videos about books that make us cry or romantic feel-good novels found their way onto our For You pages. True to TikTok’s mystical, hyper-personalized algorithm, the book-related videos just popped up, and soon users found themselves overcoming year-long reading dips. Such is the story of Julienne, known to her TikTok followers as Love, Juliennewhich rekindled her love for reading after she sold out on BookTube, BookTok’s former YouTube counterpart.

“Factor yung short videos [sa TikTok]”, she said, “On BookTube kasi, watching 10-minute videos of a book language, so at noon, usually very interested in the language of the book in this book.” Due to TikTok’s three-minute limit , the creators cut to the chase, often featuring multiple titles and using tropes and themes as shorthand for what makes them appealing. sapphic protagonists, beautifully crafted enemies for loverseven books with female characters who can kill you in a second — all before a 30-second snippet of a viral song plays off.

Julienne also observes that BookTok is more laid back. Bryan, who has been posting about books on Instagram since 2018, agrees: “Bookstagram thrives on a perfectly polished aesthetic, [while] BookTok embraces everyone. On TikTok, creators have carte blanche: some play scenesCraft book-inspired moodboardsor save them (usually weepy) natural reaction at the end of a book. “I’ve seen TikToks where people show up after reading ‘A Little Life’ [by Hanya Yanagihara] and I got so curious why everyone was crying so I got it myself,” says Hannah, 19.

“A lot of people see that side of reading, that it can be fun,” says Jam, a 27-year-old content creator who started including books in her videos during her quarantine. “It may be for pure entertainment and not all books are intimidating.”

The laid-back nature of BookTok lends a sense of authenticity that readers now find crucial for finding book recommendations, to the point that they trust the creators of BookTok more than best-seller lists or promotions supported by editors. “Strangers don’t feel like strangers, and the reviews aren’t intimidating or overwhelming for the beginning reader. It’s not something you get from other platforms,” says Vianchi. Bianca finds the reviews on BookTok are fueled by a creator’s pure passion for a book, and as such feels more personal than publishers telling her to buy something.She adds that BookTok has made book criticism – often seen as nerd or overly academic – feels new and accessible.

And thanks to TikTok’s random algorithm, more and more users are discovering these short, accessible reviews, opening them up not just to the immersive world of reading, but to the plethora of genres they otherwise wouldn’t be able to check out. Thérèse, a college student, who creates videos as notthesereads, has always been a voracious reader, but joining BookTok pushed her to venture out. “Over the many years na nagbabasa ako ng libro, hindi ako napapaisip dati na, bakit parang all white yung binabasa ko,” she says. “BookTok has diversified my reading.”

This debunks the common misconception about BookTok: that it recommends the same titles over and over again. While many books have gone massively viral in the app – many of which are indeed straight and white – the community is rapidly growing globally, and given its local and self-made nature, creators of marginalized identities can celebrate books that may be overlooked in book charts or other platforms.

Homosexual books often take center stage. Some creators make Rick Riordan and Colleen Hoover videos one day, and then Bob Ong and Jonaxx the following. Each August, BookTok joins Wikithonan annual read-a-thon featuring Filipino authors, where readers are introduced to Jessica Zafra and Nick Joaquin.

RELATED: Read These Clips From Jessica Zafra’s ‘Twisted: 25th Anniversary Edition’

I was bitten by the BookTok bug in mid-2021, and when a video I made on “Sexuality and the Philippines” from the University of the Philippines gained attention, it reinforced my belief that local readers are receptive to Filipino titles; they just don’t know where to find them. The book has since been out of print, with the online press store’s top review thanking BookTok for the recommendation.

This is not an isolated case. Filipino author SJ Wolf says TikTok was instrumental in promoting his self-published novel ‘Under the City Lights’: “TikTok reaches billions of people around the world. It’s also free marketing, and it’s very useful for little authors.” This contrasts with other platforms like Facebook, which require her to pay for ads before showing her book to an audience she can access for free on TikTok.

As a reader, SJ finds BookTok “a very comforting community”, noting that for many people, books have become their friends during long periods of isolation. Entrepreneur and content creator Cleo, who started reading and creating book content during quarantine, feels the same way. “People needed escape, and books did that for us,” she says. “It gives us a sense of connection with other humans, a feeling we’ve longed for since the start of this pandemic.”

Books have always had this power – I remember Joan Didion’s oft-quoted statement, “We tell stories for a living” – and BookTok is an extension of that. “A comforting na umiyak ako sa part na ‘to ng book, and siya on the other side of the world, umiyak din. It creates a kind of bond,” says Therese. Many readers also express that BookTok makes them feel seen , understood and that they belong; feelings that they have a hard time finding elsewhere, especially now.

Many readers also express that BookTok makes them feel seen, understood and belong; feelings they struggle to find elsewhere, especially now.

That said, since TikTok is designed to incentivize quick content consumption, creators feel compelled to read more. There’s also the pressure to buy as many physical books as possible – a problem endemic to BookTube and Bookstagram as well – which makes reading accessible only to those who can afford tall, full shelves.

Bryan assures readers that everyone is welcome in the Booktok community, “even if you read e-books.” Julienne shares that she takes reading breaks to combat burnout, although they never last too long: “Nae-encourage talaga ‘ko magbasa [dahil sa BookTok], kasi marami akong nakikilalang bagong authors, bagong books. Thérèse reminds readers to “don’t let anyone force you to read books you don’t want”.

I remember my first few weeks on BookTok, watching ten-second book unboxing videos and seeing dozens of comments with variations of “I hope you enjoy the book.” I soften at the sheer purity of the act, and find myself posting the same good wishes. In a way, the title of the books doesn’t even matter – it’s enough that we both find refuge in reading, that we both know something that not everyone else knows. I press twice, comment “good reading!” and, for the first time in a long time, scroll without a gnawing sense of dread.

read more
Reading and writing

Heather Haverlisky’s ‘Foreverland’ is an honest and hilarious take on marital bliss

Heather Havrilesky reading | Endleaf Books, Chapel Hill | Thursday February 17 | Signing begins at 5:30 p.m.; limited seating

eternal country | Eco; Tuesday February 8

“Can I make myself smaller?” Heather Havrilesky asks, squinting and playing with her zoom settings. This may be the only time you will hear him make a request like this.

Havrilesky is the author of popular advice column “Ask Polly”, which, since she began writing it in 2012, has taken the genre to new heights with sprawling existential answers that are, in turn, nurturing, tender, brutally honest and laced with profanity. As Polly, Havrilesky encourages readers to embrace life’s mess and be honest about the limits of perfectionism. However, she never asks them to take up less space.

Amid the pandemic, Havrilesky, long based in Los Angeles, moved to Bull City, where she grew up. This is where she zooms in with me now, having adjusted her camera settings to her satisfaction and has just started interviews for her new book Foreverland: On the Divine Boredom of Marriage. The book, a reflection on her marriage, was released this week.

“Even though I visited a lot, I forgot about the insects,” Havrilesky says with a laugh about his return to the South. “I forgot the weeds. But I knew I’d like to be surrounded by smart, interesting people in a place that’s hugely community-based and creative.

Havrilesky grew up in Durham in the 1970s and 80s, her father an economics professor at Duke University, where Havrilesky later studied. After college came the move to California and jobs that resemble the CliffsNotes version of a certain foundational era of internet writing: work at, long as a TV reviewer for Salon .com, birth of “Ask Polly” at The puncha move to New York magazine, and now, a new era at Substack. Also on the way: Marriage to Bill, to whom you’ll end up feeling quite close, in eternal country-and the children. Last year the family moved to Durham.

“I was surprised at how un-haunted I felt growing up here,” says Havrilesky. “All the things that I feared would be difficult about this move turned out to be easy. Being with my family is amazing – there’s something about being in the same city with your family where you are. understand better.

eternal country Part of it is about family and mutual understanding, but it’s also very much about marriage flaws and warts. This is the “divine boredom” part: the phlegmatic partner and the suburban team at Little League games, the marital doubt and the self-doubt.

“I knew I wanted to talk about the kind of delights and perils of commitment, boredom and repetitiveness, but also the inherent gifts of companionship,” says Havrilesky, married for 15 years. “As I delved deeper into the book, I was increasingly confronted with the arbitrary, strange, and moralistic aspects of attaching oneself to someone for the rest of their life.”

I came to eternal country as a long-time reader of Havrilesky’s work. In my early twenties and swimming in confusing feelings, I used to trade his columns on Gchat with my friend Molly like baseball cards. Polly’s emotional swagger was ambitious, and regardless of the question posed, her answers landed in a pleasantly disruptive way. (“YOU ARE PRAYING ON THE ALTAR OF THE MOST BORING RELIGION IN THE UNIVERSE RIGHT NOW,” she wrote in a column to a woman embittered by rejection from men.)

As my twenties fell behind, I continued to read his writings, realizing that Havrilesky’s advice would continue to resonate because life, ultimately, continued to have its own complications. This is one of the fundamental aspects of “Ask Polly”: a recognition that life is a bit of an open wound and that the trick is to try to get through it with love and vulnerability, anyway, to try to to be kind to yourself and other people. Also: an acknowledgment that there really is no trick.

Early January, The New York Times published an excerpt from eternal country. The title of the play was tongue-in-cheek – “Marriage Requires Amnesia” – with a catchy subtitle: “Do I Hate My Husband? Oh sure, yes, definitely.

Maybe the essay landed on a slow internet day, or maybe just at the perfect point of Omicron’s fatigue, but it sparked a day of outrage online, even leading Mindy Kaling to weigh in: “Wait, this is crazy,” Kaling tweeted. “Does her husband not care that she says she hates him in the New York Times?”

“The Time chose this chapter,” says Havrilesky. “I was surprised they chose it, but also kind of open to it – it comes two-thirds through the book.”

Thanks to Time piece, however, opinions on the book rolled around a few weeks before its release: Marriage should be sacred, private. If you don’t like your partner, leave them. One person, says Havrilesky, said the book failed to ‘read the room’: that is, during a pandemic, people don’t want to think about the dark, dusty corners of a relationship. . Havrilesky does not buy this idea.

“It’s not my job as a writer to read the play,” says Havrilesky. “I understand there’s a culture of influencers and that kind of stuff where you’re part of the culture — like, ‘I give you things and you’re my buddy, and you can talk to me in the comments.’ I’m not against it, I feel like it’s a matter of human connection But when you create an artifact that you want to sing about that feels alive, you can’t argue whether or not it puts readers comfortable and safe. The point of art isn’t to make you feel comfortable in whatever you already feel. That’s a politician’s job.

Nevertheless, readers of eternal country will find themselves loved by Bill, who comes across as smart, good-natured, and caring. The book begins with the story of how they met – Bill, a college professor and fan of her writings, sent her a cold email when he found out she was single – and fell in love, before traversing a tundra of pregnancy, suburbia, aging, extramarital crushes, haywire vacations and health issues.

It’s an engaging, self-effacing read that, despite all the rhetoric surrounding it – a recent dismissive New York Times the book review was titled “Heather Havrilesky compares her husband to a pile of laundry” stimulating a slew of angry male commentators – it’s really not even that dark. (Who isn’t a pile of laundry sometimes?) Craving marital obscurity? Try Norman Mailer.

Although Havrilesky is perhaps more honest than most about how annoying she sometimes finds her partner, the book shines with affection and it’s clear she doesn’t hate him. Exaggeration is part of his coping toolkit; some readers will appreciate it. Others don’t.

As we chat, Bill enters the frame, back from a walk with the dog, who is vigorously shaking off the rain. Hearing an interview unfold, Bill affably ducks out the door. “Hi, baby,” Havrilesky calls, before turning back to the camera.

“I decided to write this book, partly because I didn’t like any of the marriage books,” she says. “I just hated the way people wrote about their marriage. I felt like it was always a bit of a jerk or sugar coated or just miserably negative because they had already divorced. I didn’t want to write, like, a tragedy or a light, heartwarming comedy. I wanted to write something that had elements of both because that’s how life feels.

We are sold so many ideas about sex, love and marriage. Writing, here, from the perspective of a single Southerner, the selling of surround sound seems to be that marriage is the ultimate act of self-realization, that it will complete you and work out all the loose ends; that your parents and your tax accountants will finally accept you. I mention this to say that I was wondering how I would feel reading eternal country: What version of marriage was he going to try to sell?

Thankfully, I found the book to be much more nuanced than a sales pitch and a refreshing counterpoint to the pervasive idea that marriage is a secret institution that you have no right to complicate your life about. This is the thing that Havrilesky often comes back to, in his writings: the idea that we should make room for our feelings, no matter how tender or ugly, because that’s the only way to get through them. – and perhaps the only way to be truly known and loved.

“There’s an idea that relationships should be easy for us or they should end, and I think that’s bad for us,” she says. “If you’re really showing up and being honest and real with another person, there will be times when it’s not going to be easy because you’re not mirroring each other.”

Support independent local journalism. Join the INDY Press Club to help us ensure the viability of fearless surveillance reporting and coverage of essential arts and culture in the Triangle.

Comment this story on [email protected].

read more
Reading and writing

Louise Welsh: “It was like driving with the headlights off” | Detective novels

Lthe intensely atmospheric debut novel by ouise Welsh, The cutting room, won awards and plaudits when it was published in 2002. Its protagonist is Rilke, a gay auctioneer and accidental detective who stumbles upon a disturbing cache of photographs. Now, 20 years later, comes an equally compelling sequel, The second cut, in which Rilke must navigate Grindr, queerwashing and Covid restrictions, as well as murky events at a crumbling mansion and the sudden death of an old friend. Welsh, born in 1965, is a creative writing teacher and former old bookseller. Like Rilke, she lives in Glasgow with her partner, writer Zoë Strachan.

Why did you wait so long to write a sequel?
You have to have the right story, and I guess I didn’t really feel like I had anything to add. The cutting room changed my life, so I didn’t want to do anything lame.

What made you feel differently?
I think that’s changed enough now. I wrote that first book with hysterical laughter and a lot of anger during the campaign to defeat Term 28. Now we’ve had equal marriage for a long time, hate laws… A lot has changed in the auction world too. Plus, Something Good Happened: The Saltire First Book Prize Awarded Best 30-Year-Old Winner [the Most Inspiring Saltire First Book award]and the public voted for The cutting room. It was just another little scramble.

What was it like finding Rilke?
It was really great fun. I haven’t gone back to read the previous book – you don’t want to ventriloquize something you did earlier – but we share some memories, Rilke and I, about the history of this town. Another treat was that I got permission to think about the fabric of things, because Rilke is an auctioneer [both novels involve him being called to do a house clearance]. When he picks up something, he knows where it came from, and there’s some detective work in there.

Do you and Rilke share any characteristics?
He’s tall, he’s thin, he’s a man – my physical opposite. And I think he’s better than me: he sees something wrong and goes to fix it. We share a sense of humor.

Did you plot a lot before you started writing?
It was like driving with the lights off – you have scenes in your head but there’s a lot of instinct. I knew I wanted to start with the wedding of the two Bobbys [Rilke’s friends have the same name]. People still have ideas that queer lives are a bit transitory; they confuse this with simply being completely sexual – chance would be a beautiful thing! And so I wanted this image of a lasting relationship, because Rilke won’t have that. To some extent, the genre demands this; if he settles, it’s a different book.

To doDoes being described as a mystery writer make you feel locked away?
It’s an extremely large church so I’m happy. Along with love stories and ghost stories, detective writing is an essential part of life. Love, fear, justice – it’s always been there. I guess the fact that it has sometimes been kind of denigrated means the person on the street is empowered to pick it up, and that makes it a great political tool. Each writer also decides their own ethics, so my books don’t contain a lot of murder, and they tend not to have the naked, tortured female body.

Do you worry about the impact of such images?
It’s not my favorite image. At the same time, we know that women are murdered, so how do we represent the world if we don’t represent this torture, which we know some people enjoy and find energizing for some reason? I think Denise Mina is really good at addressing the misogynistic aspects of society. You can feel the political commitment and yet she expresses it in a story that people will want to read. This is good advocacy work.

How integral is Scottishness to your writing?
Identity is funny because you don’t go to your office thinking Here I am, a Scottish lesbian novelist, writing at the beginning of the 21st century… But I inhabit this landscape and it is the language on which I draw .

You have a wall of books behind you (we are on Zoom). How do you organize them?
It’s very willy-nilly, like a reflection of my brain. You can’t find anything. We’re moving into the downstairs apartment and maybe we’ll crack this time.

As a former bookseller, are you good at wrapping books?
The thing is, you get distracted, because you think, I remember reading that. Fortunately, I have a very strong friend who will help me. I won’t be able to watch because he’s running with the boxes and I’m catastrophizing – I see accidents everywhere.

What’s the last really great book you read?
I really liked Pat Barker The Women of Troy. The things he tells you about war and the consistency of how women in particular are treated – she’s an amazing writer. I also thought of Ai Weiwei 1000 years of joys and sorrows was great.

Did any of your childhood readings stand out to you?
All of Robert Louis Stevenson – I think because it was read to me. I used to pull a bunch of Alfred Hitchcock ghost stories out of the library with very spooky covers, and I still remember some of them. Maybe that’s why I write the kind of stuff I do. What do I associate reading with? Adventure, being afraid or being sad – an emotional response, anything that makes the blood flow faster.

What’s the last book you put down without finishing?
I’m not finished Thousand and one Night again. I started it because I was interested in the story of the Three Apples, which is about a woman whose body is dismembered, so it’s a very early iteration of that image we were talking about.

Do you have a favorite literary hero?
I love Sarah Waters’ books and her female characters – there’s always someone heroic, admirable, and flawed enough for you to love her. I also thought of Rebecca recently – which in my opinion isn’t the best book in the world, but who wouldn’t want a friend like Mrs. Danvers? She is so loyal and passionate.

The second cut by Louise Welsh is published by Canongate (£14.99). To support the Guardian and Observer order your copy at Delivery charges may apply

read more
Reading and writing

1st year down | Farm progress

When I graduated from college and got my job as a farm broadcaster, I had no idea of ​​the connections and friendships I would make covering news in the tri-state area. As passionate as I am about the work done by Extension, I have always missed the agricultural aspect of my job as a county 4-H officer. Being able to join the team here at Farm Progress as the managing editor of Dakota Farmer seemed like a dream come true, and the past year has been full of learning, writing, driving and planning magazine pages .

Back to media

When I joined Farm Progress last February, I was exhausted and exhausted from quitting my job with Extension. As much as I loved my job there, spending long hours, nights and weekends playing the role of three people took its toll, especially during a pandemic. Coming back to farm media has been a breath of fresh air.

You probably know by now that I am extremely passionate about agriculture and the people who work in it. The ability to get paid to attend agricultural shows and research summits, and of course, to visit your farms and ranches always seems too good to be true. The connections I’ve had the privilege of making with some of the best in agriculture are irreplaceable.

One such person, a woman I met on Twitter a long time ago when I was in college writing a series of interviews about women in agriculture, forwarded to me the job posting for my current role here at Farm Progress. She remains someone I and many others look up to and respect within AG. I always make sure to stop by his Bison tailgate cooler.

Many lessons

From finding enough stories to fill the many pages of Dakota Farmer to writing about new gear found at Husker Harvest Days, I’m happy to learn quickly. Stepping out of my comfort zone has always been something I’ve enjoyed — whether it’s my first time reading Farmers Markets Live as a broadcaster or driving myself across the state of Nebraska at 11 p.m. .

Although I spend much of my time in my home office, changing webinars or agricultural shows, or furiously writing and rewriting the next cover, the times I travel and am on the road to cover stories are some of my favorites – minus the blizzards and wintry weather that we in the Dakotas are blessed with every year.

I am forever grateful to everyone here who has guided me through my freshman year and beyond. Mindy Ward, my boss who’s been on numerous video calls with me, while I’m reorganizing 64 pages of a magazine, trying to hire a new freelancer, or choosing the best photo for the story. Kevin Schulz, our personal writer whom I am so grateful for, brings his years of experience and his network of South Dakota farmers to our pages. It is always a pleasure to work with Diane Barry, our editor; Shelly Jarka, our artistic director; Curt Arens, editor of Nebraska Farmer; and the countless others who have provided advice or assistance over the past year.

I must also thank our readers. You may not have really had a choice of the next editor of your (hopefully favorite) farm magazine, but meeting up at farm events and hearing your comments on stories or ideas is still the one of my favorite parts of the job. I hope to continue filling these pages with stories of resilience from fellow farmers, helpful production tips and advice, and all things Dakota farming.

read more
Book creator

Bad Blood Reveals New Cover, Gets Comic Book Release

the Deadpool: Bad Blood graphic novel is making a return to comic book stores this spring. Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld teamed up with writers Chris Sims and Chad Bowers to deliver Deadpool’s first original graphic novel in 2017, and now the action-packed story is making a comeback as a miniseries. serialized comics. New prints available in April will include new cover art from Rob Liefeld, who transformed the Merc With a Mouth from a popular X-Men and Marvel Comics character into a feature film superstar played by headline-grabbing Ryan Reynolds. of two tentpole films with a third in the works from Marvel Studios.

“I don’t know which call was better, the one from 2017 when Marvel told me DEADPOOL: BAD BLOOD was the #1 graphic novel of the month or the call from last month when Marvel told me they wanted to break the 100 pages down into a mini-series for an audience that might have missed the first time!” Liefeld said. “Deadpool! Cable! X-Force! Kane and Thumper’s debut! This is my favorite work, a personal work, and I’m so thrilled that we’re releasing it in a brand new format! Get it on hand in April !!!” can exclusively reveal one of the covers of Deadpool: Bad Blood, which shows Wade Wilson holding a gun in one hand and a sword in the other hand. His signature red and black costume also shows some light damage. We also spoke to Liefeld, who provided details on the graphic novel’s single-issue release.

“You know, it was an idea. Marvel approached me with it, and I was super excited. It made sense. It was five years later,” Liefeld said of Marvel’s decision to to go out Bad blood again. “And the icing on the cake is that I was at my retailer yesterday to buy some books and he said he was going to order it as a new issue one of Deadpool because a lot of people couldn’t afford a hardcover in 2017. And that was music to my ears.”

Liefeld also added what he loved about the story: “It’s still my favorite work. I love everything about it. The pacing, the design, the characters, the coloring, the script, it’s really great. And, so I just think, digging it out and breaking it up into singles is exciting. And when they said, “We want to do new covers,” and of course, because the graphic novel was 100 pages in a row. Now it needs page breaks and new entry points. So it will be, each issue will have new pages making it easier for it to be published in a different format.”

Finally, the creator of Deadpool also revealed new details about its sequel, Deadpool: Badder Blood.

Deadpool: Badder Blood if it were to be released as a single, it’s way beyond the two numbers,” he said. It’s been drawn, colored, and finished for two issues worth the work, and is in Marvel’s hands. The idea is to ride Badder Blood on the heels of Bad blood. And even. I dig it. I really like working with guys. I really enjoy working with everyone at Marvel and the Synergy. And when they want to flip the switch, it’s exciting because when you have something you believe in, it’s even more exciting. A guy said to me yesterday “I love how excited you are about everything.” Well, double for that. I’m really excited for this. You and I are old enough to know that in the 90s when Friends and Seinfeld ruled on Thursday nights, they couldn’t have new episodes all the time, could they? And they had a campaign that said, ‘If you haven’t seen it. This is new to you!'”

The description for Deadpool: Bad Blood reads: “Wade Wilson has been shooting, stabbing and teasing people for a long time. He’s made a lot of enemies. But the one he just can’t place is the brutal Thumper, who can’t stop hating. “Show up out of the blue to pound him into jelly. What’s Deadpool’s past connection to that beefy pestle? Wade has as many clues as you! So he decides to enlist the help of an old friend: Domino. Can he and Domino get to the bottom of things before Deadpool meets his maker again?The answers may lie in a secret mission from years ago that brought Deadpool and X-Force together.

Deadpool: Bad Blood #1 goes on sale April 6, with Deadpool: Bad Blood #2 following April 20.

read more
Fiction publisher

Why We Fall In Love With Romance Novels Again | Claire Armitstead

IBack when I took young children on vacation, I made it a point to read at least one of the novels on the shelves. Some of them were terrible: sagas of frightened clogs and shawls, sassy fantasies of doctors and nurses and oh so many dog-eared Dan Browns. But that’s how I got to know Danielle Steel, Marian Keyes and Julia Quinn, to name just three. And guess what? They’re still around, squeezing the top of the sales charts and helping to drive a 20% increase in fiction sales in the pandemic year.

The biggest increase by far concerns “fiction and romantic sagas”, whose sales jumped 49% to nearly 6 million. Even though that’s only a third of the number of “crime, thriller and adventure” novels devoured during the year, that’s a lot of beating hearts. And, given that in literary and non-commercial terms, “romance and sagas” is another way of saying women’s fiction, while crime, thriller and adventure are three genres with a universal vocation, rather than finding their readership among half the population, these figures seem all the more astonishing. So what’s up?

The sales blurb for Marian Keyes’ latest succinctly points to an answer: “Tired of being an adult?” Get away from it all…” However, the Irish author has long been promoted out of the genre fiction ghetto and treated as a national treasure, and her novels have never been mere exercises in escape. The best known of these, Rachel’s Holiday, threw a serious drug addiction on the way to her happy ending. I discovered it in Corfu in the year 2000 and I secretly enjoyed it more than the novel I had taken with me – La vie de Pi by Yann Martel, which was to win the Booker. I’ll definitely be reading the Keyes sequel, which is due out next month.

On the other hand, I had completely forgotten about American romance novelist Julia Quinn until the series based on her books, Bridgerton, appeared on television. But yes, I was smitten by the dazzling Regency tailoring of The Duke and I – the first in the series – during a wet off-season break in the early 2000s when one or the other of between us kept going to bed. The oblivion of romantic fiction is part of the problem: it’s like an unconditional holiday romance, or the fleeting treat of a fish and chips wrapped in newspaper on the pier with the sunlight at your back. And sometimes that’s just what every reader needs.

Interestingly, the only two fiction categories that lost value to publishers over the year were ‘short stories and anthologies’ and ‘horror and ghost stories’. It may be that the previous year’s sales were bolstered by a handful of top sellers, but my unscientific view is that the top ones look too much like hard work, when – frankly, in all years – who need more horror?

However, we need books to read in bed. Although I’ve never been a fan of Mills & Boon (a publisher that’s become a genre in its own right), I can see the appeal of its whimsical antics of bounty hunters and fugitive billionaires when lockdown has pushed you back. under your duvet and your fantasies are limited by living in a household of other bored and depressed people. Mills & Boon effectively divides its romance into six categories: modern, medical, historical, hero, true love, and desire. And even before the pandemic, a Mills & Boon novel was selling every 10 seconds somewhere in the world.

Undoubtedly, more prosaic issues have also contributed to this boom, including the fact that bestsellers are sold in supermarkets, which have remained open, while everything else has been forced to close. With fewer things to distract them and fewer ways to spend their money, UK shoppers may have turned to what was literally on the shelf in front of them.

But there is a serious point here about the place of books in popular culture. A wise colleague of mine once said that if the book were invented today, it would be hailed as a technological genius. It’s cheap, fits in a bag, doesn’t run out of battery, and can easily be passed from hand to hand. It is also surprisingly indestructible. Fun fact: up to 2 million individual medieval manuscripts still exist – although I’m not sure if the mass-produced airport novel would last that long. Time will tell us.

read more
Writer market

What could have been the silly IndyCar driver market season

Some people predicted that the silly IndyCar driver market season of 2022 wouldn’t be exciting, but it wasn’t.

An influx of young European juniors, two respective Indy 500 winners and IndyCar champions, seats at Andretti, Penske and Rahal were all in the market and of course Romain Grosjean’s future was a long saga.

Looking back – and trying to be realistic about the options available – The Race went back and rephrased the silly 2022 season.

Let us know your queues in the comments and where our writer went right or wrong.

Penske’s fourth car

Our driver: Rinus VeeKay

In this alternate reality, Penske is the first domino to fall because they’re a team any driver would be foolish for not wanting to drive for and their track record speaks for itself.

Scott McLaughlin was a revelation in 2021 given his lack of single-seater experience, but preseason predictions that he would win a race were wrong. McLaughlin will get there, but in the second season – 2022 – Penske lost an Indy 500 champion and winner to Simon Pagenaud and didn’t replace him as he shrank to three cars.

McLaughlin may be a long term gain, but Pagenaud is a short term loss.

It could refocus a team that never really wants to expand to four cars, but it could also be a huge mistake in terms of IndyCar results.

The Penske / Pagenaud relationship had run its course, so arguing for his re-signing is unrealistic.

Given the options in the market, it’s tempting to go part-time and get Takuma Sato into the squad, as Penske’s Indianapolis 500 form has been dismal since the aeroscreen was introduced in 2020, a year ago. during which Sato won the race.

However, a part-time car isn’t ideal for Penske, and Sato is married to Honda, so the next best option for Chevrolet-powered Penske is to sign the best young driver around and it could well have been the winner of the 2021 race. Rinus VeeKay.

OK he was extremely inconsistent, but he unlocked an Ed Carpenter car that was difficult to drive like no one else and would surely be a regular threat in Penske’s battle against Ganassi.

The last time Penske made the bet by signing a young driver from Ed Carpenter, it worked out pretty well with Josef Newgarden. VeeKay isn’t the same package he was at this point in his career, but he’s young and full of potential.

Arrow McLaren SP’s third car

Our driver: Simon Pagenaud

Simon Pagenaud Honda Indy 200 in Mid Ohio M44287

That’s a tricky question because for the basis of this feature we are giving Arrow McLaren SP its third car for 2022, which it has failed to do in the real world.

However, he could have done it if he had found the right pilot.

And who better to drive than Pagenaud? He has known some of the team’s staff since he was on the team before, and with a new car coming in 2023, who better to help develop things than Pagenaud? He has an engineering mind and has so much experience.

He might not be the long term option that AMSP is looking for, but he has it in Pato O’Ward. Felix Rosenqvist still has time to make it a sustainable home, too.

Take Pagenaud while it’s in the market and you add someone who won a championship and a 500. That’s what this team is currently lacking with two light drivers on the IndyCar experience. Signing someone like Stoffel Vandoorne would only add to that.

Andretti Autosport’s third and fourth cars

Our drivers: Romain Grosjean, Kyle Kirkwood

9, 2021 Kodak Colorplus 200 Canon Ae 1 Nikon F100

No need to change Grosjean’s signature, it’s an excellent signing. If he increases his performance with the modest resources of Dale Coyne, then he is a championship-caliber prospect. If he’s struggling to adjust for whatever reason, he still brings a wealth of experience that would at the very least help this Andretti squad become a respected contender again. Not just with Colton Herta.

The deal to sign Devlin DeFrancesco has been in the works for some time and, having covered DeFrancesco for a long time, I know there is potential there.

However, in this alternate universe, Andretti made the right decision that Kirkwood is a once in a lifetime chance for a future American hero. The Floridian is well presented and has the best junior open wheel CV America has ever seen.

If he’s not an IndyCar-ready prospect, I don’t know what it is, and no team should have ignored him.

Rahal Letterman Lanigan second and third cars

Our drivers: Christian Lundgaard, Santino Ferrucci


Christian Lundgaard’s performance at Indianapolis this year made him an obvious choice for Rahal and his potential means there is no need to change that decision. It is good.

In this scenario, Rahal went in a slightly different direction and signed Santino Ferrucci for his new third car.

His record in the team car this year speaks for itself with the fifth-best series average for drivers who have completed more than one race.

Granted, one of the team’s flaws has been their qualifying performance and that’s probably Ferrucci’s weakest attribute, but Rahal isn’t suddenly going to qualify the miles better after signing Jack Harvey in real life. .

That doesn’t take anything away from Harvey, but it’s clear that qualifying is an area the whole team needs to focus on.

With Sato gone, the team has no Indy 500 winners, one driver who has yet to do so and another with a better ninth finish.

Ferrucci is an upgrade there. Give it a year to deliver on the promise posted in 2021, and if that doesn’t work, go for one of the big names in a silly season in the pilots market stacked in 2023 instead. It’s the perfect stopgap.

Meyer Shank Racing two cars

Our drivers: Helio Castroneves, Jack Harvey

Jack Harvey Meyer Shank IndyCar

No change from 2021 in our alternate universe, although obviously in real life, Harvey’s departure paved the way for Pagenaud’s membership.

The team loved Harvey, they had an adjacent sports car program with big ambitions to return to Le Mans, and he had just started working with this generation’s top Indy 500 driver in Helio Castroneves.

Rahal may be moving forward, building a new factory, and leading BMW’s sports car effort in the United States, but he didn’t win a race in 2021. , and neither does Harvey. There are definitely some bright spots in staying with MSR.

Ed Carpenter Racing two cars

Our drivers: Ryan Hunter-Reay, Oscar Piastri / Jack Aitken / Ed Carpenter

Oscar Piastri Alpine F1 junior F2

Okay admittedly readers if you want to get angry in the comments this might be the place to start. It’s kinda bonkers, but with her VeeKay talisman heading to Penske at the top of this post, we had to get creative.

Hunter-Reay may have had a dismal year at Andretti, but it’s not entirely his fault. Obviously the team has a very irregular car on the road / street courses. Someone with more experience than VeeKay and Conor Daly may be able to help the team get over this and Hunter-Reay is a champion and an Indy 500 winner to boot.

There is a lot of frustration that Oscar Piastri is not on the Formula 1 grid in 2022 despite his prodigious talent. So who better to bring to IndyCar?

With what VeeKay may have done with the car on occasion, you might persuade Piastri to participate in a partial program, although of course he will be busy with his F1 reserve duties.

Piastri could do five races without missing any in F1, and given that Alpine was happy to let Lundgaard pass – but not as a reserve driver – there could be more potential.

In this scenario, it would be great for Sébastien Bourdais to replace and do the other races – I still can’t believe a top-level team didn’t choose him – but he makes full-time sports cars with it. Ganassi. So let’s move on to the real-world option of Jack Aitken who is currently discussing a part-time or full-time deal with the team.

If Piastri is not available, entrust the work to Aitken. He’s known for his developing skills and would surely help the team’s performance on the road, although he doesn’t necessarily meet the team’s criteria to be a threat of victory for the Indy 500.

Either way, he pulls out a third car for Indy – so Aitken can get up and learn – and is still a contender there, so he could persuade a heavy hitter to come in and do a job. Bourdais is the guy for that too.

The two cars of Dale Coyne

Our drivers: David Malukas, Takuma Sato

2020 Takuma Sato Indy 500

No need to change either decision here. Coyne just isn’t going to compete for an IndyCar title with such a stacked field, so why not try the next best thing and go for the 500?

Sato was the best driver in the market for this, strengthening the team’s bond with Honda and giving him a fighting chance in a car that had the potential to be very good in the 500.

Along with Malukas he has strong support and brings some really exciting American talent with a lot of potential. This is another opportunity for Coyne to continue his record of training young talent.

AJ Foyt Enterprises two cars

Our drivers: Devlin DeFrancesco, Linus Lundqvist

Devlin Defrancesco evaluation test with Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport at Barber Motorsports Park M50024

We already have Kirkwood at Andretti and feel Dalton Kellett is not the quality to help push this Foyt team onto the grid, as nice as Dalton is.

With DeFrancesco tapping into some potential and good support, we’ve squeezed him into this more low-key debut at Foyt than he’ll get in real life at Andretti.

In the real world, if he finds it difficult to adapt immediately, he will be criticized, as will Andretti for not signing Kirkwood. Here DeFrancesco gets an IndyCar start under the radar and may win this stage in the future.

Lundqvist could be a season too early for promotion after finishing third in the Indy Lights Championship. However, the underlying potential is there.

If Foyt is really interested in having young drivers instead of his recent form of going for most of the veterans, then this training would be high risk – which is necessary due to the poor results of the team – but potentially very rewarding.

Juncos Hollinger Racing a car

Our driver: Callum Ilott

Ilott Juncos

The IndyCar grid teams clearly weren’t aware that Ilott was available for 2022 and hadn’t considered it, which is why he fell to a team making their IndyCar comeback and their first full season.

However, it’s a good game for both sides. Ilott is fortunate enough to use the skills he learned from developing Ferrari F1 cars to take Juncos forward and give himself two options. Be part of the Juncos by becoming a competitor or impress one of the great teams for a practice.

Juncos knows what he’s got at Ilott and even though he’s only had it for a year or two, it’s only positive. The only question is whether he can put the right people around him to make him a quick hit.

read more
Writer market

Falling Turkish Lira Reminds Risks Facing Emerging Markets

The writer is investment director at GAM

On paper, 2021 should have been a great year for emerging market currencies and bonds as global growth recovers from the shocks of Covid-19. But the alarming fall in the Turkish currency this year has shown just how bad things can sometimes go in the emerging market world.

On the emerging market strength checklist are a series of ticks: strong export growth, accommodative monetary policy in large developed economies, rising foreign exchange reserves, and high commodity prices. Still, the JPMorgan Emerging Market Currency Index has fallen 9% this year and yields have risen.

This is due at least in part to the return of the “vigilance” effect in financial markets where countries that deviate from traditional economic orthodoxy or borrow too much pay the price for weak currencies and higher bond yields. students. In large developed economies, these forces are still inactive. This is not the case in emerging markets.

Turkey is the most obvious example after the pound fell 20% over the past two weeks following further rate cuts that have heightened concerns about Ankara’s economic management.

Turkey’s economic fundamentals are in many ways the best in years, but President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s insistence on interest rate cuts has put pressure on the pound.

In July 2019, Erdogan sacked central bank governor Murat Cetinkaya. The lira appreciated over the next month and at the end of 2019 was pretty much unchanged. When Erdogan repeated action against Naci Agbal in March this year, the pound fell 15% in one day before recovering and has struggled ever since.

But a rate cut last week – the third since September – sent the lira plummeting, hitting 13 per dollar (up from 7.2 on Agbal’s last day in office). The worst day for the pound came after Erdogan reiterated his attachment to his unorthodox views that high interest rates cause inflation.

The case of Turkey is perhaps the most extreme, but there have also been investor uprisings in markets from Brazil to South Africa.

Emerging markets were dragged down by three factors. The first is the strength of the dollar. Emerging markets have always struggled when the US dollar is strong. This makes it more expensive to service the external debt and can stimulate investment outflows.

The second is the Covid. The deployment of the vaccine has been done and has disappeared in developed economies, causing euphoria and then disappointment. Emerging markets went straight to the disappointment. Vaccines took a long time to reach the poorest countries. Even when available, vaccination rates are low.

The third, and arguably the most intractable, is the price emerging markets pay for populist, sometimes unpredictable governments with a relaxed approach to budget spending.

Unlike large developed economies, emerging markets have much less flexibility on the political front. Residents of emerging markets are much more inclined to transfer their savings in foreign currencies and even abroad, resulting in revaluation of bond prices and exchange rates.

Beyond Turkey, longer-term bond yields in emerging markets raise doubts about fiscal sustainability. Brazil’s key rate is 7.75 percent, but 10-year bonds are yielding 12 percent. South Africa’s figures are 3.75 percent and 10 percent. South African bonds have struggled to recoup post-Covid losses as Brazilian investors assume the country is entering one of its periodic phases of rate hikes.

These countries indicate either higher credit risk in a few years or high long-term rates to stem capital flight. Even Russia – with a sovereign balance sheet that would leave most finance ministers green with envy – is paying almost 9% to borrow for 10 years.

These rates appear to be an anomaly in a world where G20 yields are still historically low. It appears that investors who are happy to pay stratospheric valuations for tech stocks or fraud-prone cryptocurrencies suddenly become sober and cautious of poorer countries. Emerging markets rarely get the benefit of the doubt.

This has not been uniform since the Covid outbreak – while emerging markets were sold with everything else in the initial outbreak, a strong rally at the end of last year generated a return of 9 , 6% of the JPMorgan Emerging Market Local Currency Debt Index in the fourth quarter of 2020 and the index hit an all-time high at the start of the year.

To an investor, the current path seems clear: Emerging market assets are cheap, but investments in them are best funded by currencies other than the dollar, and it’s best to stick with countries with governments. responsible.

Not covered – Markets, finance and strong opinion

Robert Armstrong dissects the most important market trends and explains how the best minds on Wall Street are reacting to them. Sign up here to receive the newsletter directly to your inbox every day of the week

read more
Fiction publisher

Faber To Post Authorized Biography Of John McGahern By Frank Shovlin

In The Irish Times this Saturday, Emily Ratajkowski talks to Laura Kennedy about her essay book, My Body. Titles reviewed are Oliver Farry on Keep Calm and Trust the Science by Luke O’Neill and A State of Emergency: The Story of Ireland’s Covid Crisis by Richard Chambers; Mia Levitin on Sarah Moss’ The Fell; Michael Cronin on the best new translations; Keith Duggan on The Nation Holds Its Breath from George Hamilton; Richard English on Ernie O’Malley: A Life by Cormac KH O’Malley and Harry F Martin; Margaret Kelleher on All Strangers Here: 100 Years of Personal Writing from the Irish Foreign Service, edited by Angela Byrne, Ragnar Deeney Almquist and Helena Nolan; John Boyne on The Pawnbroker’s Reward from Declan O’Rourke; Niamh Donnelly on Aisling and the City by Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen; Dean Jobb on The Dublin Railway Murder: The Sensational True Story of a Victorian Murder Mystery by Thomas Morris; and Sarah Gilmartin on Today a Woman Went Mad by Hilma Wolitzer.

If you buy a copy of The Irish Times from Eason this weekend, you can also buy Snow by John Banville for € 4.99, saving € 6.

Faber will publish the authoritative biography of John McGahern by academic Frank Shovlin.

Shovlin is Professor of Irish Literature in English at the University of Liverpool and editor of The Letters of John McGahern, which Faber published in September. For more than a decade, he has researched the author’s life through his archives at the National University of Ireland, Galway, as well as in private articles and exclusive interviews with his widow, Madeline McGahern, with which he will work closely on this biography.

Faber said: “This will be the definitive biography of one of the most important writers of the 20th century. As Frank says, a portrait of McGahern’s life is inextricably a story of modern Ireland, providing a unique glimpse into a society on the verge of transformation. Yet it will also be an intimate portrait of an enigmatic artist, illuminating both the man himself and his earth-shattering novels like never before.


From the city famous for its love of the good festival, Dingle Lit is expected to sell out in their venues from November 19-21, with tickets for Michael D. Higgins, Declan O’Rourke and Diarmaid Ferriter sold at capacity.

Claire Keegan will discuss her long-awaited new novel Small Things Like These, while the new will be celebrated with Nicole Flattery and John Patrick McHugh. Skelligs goaltenders Catherine Merrigan and Robert L. Harris will discuss their very unique life experiences on Skellig Michael.

Hybrid in more ways than one, Dingle Lit offers events in Irish and English, live and online! For more details visit


Isabel Waidner won the Goldsmiths Prize of £ 10,000 for her ‘mind-blowing’ novel Sterling Karat Gold, published by Peninsula Press.

Sterling Karat Gold is their third novel and their second to be shortlisted for the award, following We Are Made of Diamond Stuff (Dostoyevsky Wannabe) in 2019.

Peninsula described the winning novel as follows: “Kafka’s lawsuit written for the era of gas lighting. A surreal investigation into the real effects of state violence on Mavericks, workers and blacks. Sterling is arrested one morning having done nothing wrong and is “plunged into a terrifying and absurd world”. Sterling, with the help of their three best friends, must challenge bullfighters, footballers and spaceships to exonerate himself and hold the powers that be to account.

The list of finalists included Checkout 19 by Claire-Louise Bennett, Assembly by Natasha Brown, A Shock by Keith Ridgway, This One Sky Day by Leone Ross and The Little Scratch by Rebecca Watson.

Presiding Judges Dr Nell Stevens said Waidner brought “wit, arrogance, playfulness and fury to an unfettered journey through an unjust justice system.”

Judge Kamila Shamsie said: “Isabel Waidner collides the real and the mythical, the beautiful and the grotesque, with stunning effect. Time travel constrained by the limits of Google Maps and the essays of Hieronymus Bosch never dazzle the human heart in this novel of friendship, art, injustice and all that can be imagined and unimaginable.

Hachette Books Ireland to publish Any Girl by Mia Döring next February

Hachette Books Ireland to publish Any Girl by Mia Döring next February

Hachette Books Ireland will publish Mia Döring’s Any Girl next February, a personal account of surviving rape at age 16, then sexual exploitation and the sex trade in Ireland as a young woman.

Editor Ciara Considine said, “I can honestly say that this book landing on my desk has had the greatest impact of any submission in my nearly 30 years of editing. I started reading it at ten past five in the evening, right after Agent Jonathan Williams sent it to me, and finished it after midnight, barely looking up from the pages. The effect was visceral – I was both shocked and amazed. Any Girl is a singular and extraordinarily courageous work that explores the nature of trauma and presents a striking image of physical, mental and emotional landscapes. Both deeply personal and artfully political, I believe this is an important memoir for our time and a uniquely female perspective on important cultural issues. “

Döring said: “It means so much to me that Hachette is publishing my first book. I struggled for a long time in writing and rewriting this one, developing my own throughout and coming to terms with what it means to bring awareness to subjects so deeply personal. While it is an act of vulnerability to expose one’s most private and painful experiences in the public realm, I hope it inspires others to carry their own stories with bravery and compassion. It is difficult to talk about sexual violence because our society is still not able to respond to it with the empathetic courage it deserves. My hope is that by being empathetic and courageous in myself, the book will do something to help this process. I can’t wait to read it and can’t thank Jonathan Williams and Hachette Books Ireland enough for believing in him and me.


The Irish Writers Center and Words of Color Productions partner to deliver UPLIFT, a new pilot international workshop and mentoring initiative for young people of color with leadership ambitions in the literature sector in Ireland and the UK .

The program aims to support two color arts practitioners based on the island of Ireland between the ages of 18 and 30. Successful applicants will benefit from mentorship and workshops from established industry professionals – award-winning writer and editor Farhana Shaikh (The Asian Writer, Dahlia Publishing) and award-winning poet and director Nick Makoha (The Obsidian Foundation). Ideal mentorship candidates are people who believe they have the potential to encourage writers and audiences of color to participate in the Irish Writers Center and contribute to the wider Irish literary scene.

The workshops will take place on Saturday March 5 and Saturday March 12, 2022, with mentoring sessions to be organized between the mentor and the mentee. Those interested in applying can find out more on the Irish Writers Center website.


The winners of the third annual Comedy Women in Print (CWIP) award were announced this week at the Groucho Club in London. The CWIP Prize for Published Comedy Novel went to Jesse Sutanto for his first adult novel, the crazy romantic murder comedy, Dial A for Aunties, the story of a matriarchal family of Chinese-Indonesian wedding planners set in California which has already been photographed by Netflix (HQ). The finalist was Dolly Alderton for Ghosts.

Joanne Harris, President of the Judges, said: “We all agreed that Dial A for Aunties should be the winner: it’s a deliciously frenetic comedy, filled with absurd situations, hilarious dialogue, wonderful family dynamics and cracklings. comic energy. The finalist, Ghosts, is a wonderfully accomplished, loving, spiritual and human story that should speak to women everywhere.

The award for unreleased comedy novel was won by Rebecca Rogers, employment agency employee and single mother. His original, overturning and hilarious novel, Purgatory Poisoning seemed to the judges inspired by a childhood diet of Blackadder and Monty Python. Rogers won a publishing deal and a £ 5,000 advance from HarperFiction.

From left to right: Lorraine Candy, Anita Sethi, Mary Ann Sieghart, Dorothy Koomson and Pandora Sykes.  Photography: Agence Sam Holden

From left to right: Lorraine Candy, Anita Sethi, Mary Ann Sieghart, Dorothy Koomson and Pandora Sykes. Photography: Agence Sam Holden

Mary Ann Sieghart, former associate editor of The Times and author of The Authority Gap, will chair the jury for next year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction. She is joined by Lorraine Candy, award-winning journalist and editor; Dorothy Koomson, internationally successful novelist, journalist and podcaster; Anita Sethi, award-winning author and literary journalist; and Pandora Sykes, journalist, broadcaster and author.

The announcement of the preselection will take place on March 8, the preselection on April 27 and the winner on June 15. The 2021 winner was Susanna Clarke’s Piranesi.

Sieghart said it was “a great honor to be chosen to chair the jury for the Women’s Prize for Fiction. There are so many fabulous contemporary writers that deserve to be read better. I hope our long list, shortlist, and final winner will inspire new readers, both men and women, to sample the extraordinary variety of fiction created by women today.

read more
Fiction publisher

Planeta Prize: The truth about Spanish novelist Carmen Mola: “We didn’t hide behind a woman, just behind a name” | Culture

The three men who, it turns out, were truly writing Spanish novelist Carmen Mola’s best-selling thrillers have spoken out to tell their story, following the controversy sparked last week when their true identities were revealed during the award ceremony for a major literary competition.

Jorge Díaz, Agustín Martínez and Antonio Mercero, professional screenwriters in their 40s and 50s, were persuaded to come forward when their manuscript The bestie (or, The Beast), a bloody story of child murders set in Madrid during the cholera epidemic of 1834, was named the winner of this year’s Planeta Prize, presented by the publishing house of the same name. This year, the prize money had increased from € 601,000 to € 1 million, exceeding the Nobel Prizes in the amount awarded to the winner.

Díaz, Martínez and Mercero said the idea of ​​choosing a woman’s name as a pseudonym was not a deliberate one. According to Martínez, it only took “a minute and a half to throw out names of men, names of women, names with a foreign sound …”

“I don’t know if a female pseudonym sells better than a male pseudonym, I have no idea, but it doesn’t sound like that to me,” Mercero added. “We didn’t hide behind a woman, just behind a name.”

Carmen Mola had become a literary sensation, producing a blockbuster trilogy about a police detective named Elena Blanco who solves horrific crimes. The first novel, The gypsy bride, was released in 2018 and a fourth volume in the series is expected in March from publisher Alfaguara, owned by Penguin Random House Group, Planeta’s main rival in Spain. Under the Planeta Prize, which accepts only unpublished manuscripts, The bestie will be published by Planeta.

Mola, whose Elena Blanco trilogy has already sold 400,000 copies, had also been marketed as a college professor in her forties and a mother of three who wrote fiction in her spare time and preferred to remain anonymous using a pseudonym. She even gave interviews to written news agencies. EL PAÍS conducted an interview with Mola in 2018 via email, the only way “her” would agree to speak to the media.

When the three authors finally revealed their true identities on Friday at the awards ceremony, it caused a stir in literary circles and on social media. Beatriz Gimeno, writer, legislator and former director of the Institute of Women of Spain, said the deception goes far beyond the literary realm. “Beyond using a female pseudonym, there is the fact that these people have been giving interviews for years,” she said in a Twitter message. “It’s not just the name, it’s the fake profile with which they duped readers and journalists. Crooks. “


All three writers now say that if they had guessed the success of their debut thriller about Detective Elena Blanco, they would have thought more about it and maybe come up with a different name. “But it all started to gain ground and turned into a wave that we couldn’t get out of. There were translations, we were asked for another novel … ”said Díaz. “We had to write something about the author for the jacket sleeve, so we made it up that she was a professor at the University of Madrid. But she might as well have tasted the gin and tonic … first we said she had two kids, then we forgot and said she had three … we weren’t very strict about it, ”Mercero added.

Penguin Random House downplays the relevance of the fact that rival publisher Planeta lured writers in with its $ 1 million check. But María Fasce, editor at Alfaguara, called it a “marketing operation”. Screenwriters are increasingly sought after by publishing houses due to the growing popularity of often book-based television series.

In fact, the story begins with a former employee of Penguin. Justyna Rzewska, who worked in Penguin’s international rights sales department, founded a small literary agency named Hanska in 2017 and sent Alfaguara Negra the manuscript of the first novel she would portray. This department, specializing in detective novels, was looking for a writer in Spain who would have a similar impact to foreign authors like Pierre Lemaître or Joël Dicker. The manuscript was received by María Fasce, who was fascinated by the story, but soon learned that Carmen Mola was a pseudonym and that the real writer wished to remain anonymous.

“In these cases, when a publisher enters into a deal with a writer, the deal is strictly honored. You act like he’s a writer who doesn’t want to talk to you and you’re waiting for his great novels, ”she said in a conversation with EL PAÍS. The book was an immediate bestseller.

The winners of the Planeta Prize, Agustín Martínez, Jorge Díaz and Antonio Mercero, with King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia.
The winners of the Planeta Prize, Agustín Martínez, Jorge Díaz and Antonio Mercero, with King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia.Albert Garcia

The editor said she couldn’t comment when she knew Mola was really Jorge Díaz, Agustín Martínez and Antonio Mercero. Secrecy has always been part of the process, even after The purple network was released in 2019 and the girl in 2020.

“We’ve been lying like dogs for four years and several months,” Díaz laughs. “It has been a long time since [I published my own] last novel, and more than one person had criticized me for not writing anything else, for being lazy. And I would think, ‘If you only knew …!’ “

There was a circle of people who knew something was up, but very few (and very discreet) who knew that one of the three could be behind Carmen Mola. But no one knew it was the three of them.

Díaz, Martínez and Mercero said they did not expect to start a new saga with The Bestia. Then again, they also didn’t expect to write several books about Elena Blanco. “We had a great time working in this genre,” Martínez said. “We live by the principle of pleasure. We are hedonistic writers, not authors who suffer when they write, and I think when you have fun, the book comes out better. That’s what we’ve always wanted to do, have fun writing.

read more
Fiction publisher

Clinton and Penny team up to write “State of Terror” novel

The nearly 500-page novel combines other details that resonate with recent news – for example, a Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who, like General Mark Milley under Trump, challenges civilian leadership – as well as explorations of friendship; a cameo for Penny’s famous fictional investigator, Armand Gamache; and, for the writers, the pleasure of placing women of a certain age at the heart of a political thriller.

Sitting together on a modest-sized sofa, Clinton and Penny converse like two public figures who know how to share talking points with the media while clearly sharing a private story of trips, meals, confidences, jokes and mutual esteem. When Penny recalled her apprehension about meeting Clinton – “Hillary Clinton, my God, so impressive, smart and thoughtful” – Clinton smirked and rolled her eyes.

“Do you remember the first time we met?” Penny told Clinton. It was at a restaurant in New York City, just months after Clinton’s shattering loss to Trump in 2016.

“And you were at an event, I think the first in-person post-election event, in Boston,” recalls Penny. “So you were late, and you walked into this restaurant – a public restaurant, obviously. And she came to the door, and the restaurant was throbbing. Silence. Silence. And then together they got up and went. applauded. “

“It was in New York,” Clinton noted with a laugh – her home state, where she had won in double digits.

Each writer contributes an afterword in “State of Terror”, reflecting their friendship and professional partnership. It turns out that they admired each other for a long time. Penny had followed Clinton’s career since the early 1990s when Bill Clinton was first elected president, while Clinton’s best friend Betsy Johnson Ebeling told a reporter in 2016 that she and Clinton were fans of detective novels and read Penny.

Penny met Ebeling shortly after the interview and was surprised to learn that someone so close to Hillary Clinton was not an “intimidating power agent” but a light and unpretentious woman with ” the warmest smile and kind eyes ”. She heard from Clinton a few weeks later. Penny’s husband, Michael, had died of dementia, and among her condolence cards was one from Clinton who cited her accomplished medical career and offered thoughts on loss and grief.

“Secretary Clinton, in the final stages of a brutal and murderous campaign for the most powerful office in the world, took the time to write to me,” Penny wrote, adding that they had yet to meet. and that Penny, a Canadian, could not ‘vote for her.

“It was an act of selflessness that I will never forget, and that inspired me to be nicer in my own life.”

The book is shaped by Penny’s narrative style and by Clinton’s government experiences and global outlook, but also by grief that Clinton still struggles to “fully embrace.” Ellen Adams is based in part on Clinton’s friend, former Under Secretary of State Ellen Tauscher, who died in April 2019. Ebeling, inspiration from Ellen’s best friend, Betsy Jameson, in “State of Terror “, died a few months later. Ellen Adams’ daughter, Katherine, is named after Tauscher’s daughter.

Hillary Clinton, whose closest experience to writing a novel had been a play she wrote in sixth grade on a trip to Europe, is not the first in her family to do so: Bill Clinton directed two hit thrillers with James Patterson, and their success has made some editors question whether Hillary should try something similar.

The idea of ​​teaming up with Penny started with Stephen Rubin, a longtime industry executive who, since March 2020, has been a consulting editor at Simon & Schuster.

In a recent email to the AP, he noted that Simon & Schuster CEO Jonathan Karp was looking for ideas for a new book by Hillary Clinton, who has worked at the publisher for over 20 years and has writes the bestselling memoirs “Living History” and “What Happened”, among others. The publisher of Penny is St. Martin’s Press, a brand of Macmillan, where Rubin once worked.

“I really knew and loved Louise from my Macmillan days,” Rubin wrote. “And I knew she and Mrs. Clinton were very close friends.”

Fiction allowed Clinton and Penny to envision a world on the brink of disaster, but also to work in more personal and light details. One passage is an obvious nod to an awkward moment for Bill Clinton – a reference to “didn’t inhale,” his 1992 cover description of his college marijuana use. Clinton says that “selfish and ill-informed” President Dunn (as he is described in the book) is and is not Trump, and argues that the hostility between Ross and the president she serves under, Douglas Williams, does not is not a reflection of its time. with Obama.

“It wasn’t my experience, but the fact that I was a surprise choice – I was well aware of it – led people to speculate that this was the experience I would have,” said Clinton said.

Fiction allows for what politicians call “plausible deniability,” and that extends to the possibility that Clinton and Penny may team up again. The novel’s ending strongly suggests that another Ellen Adams novel is likely, but Clinton responds as she might have had years ago when asked if she was running for president.

“It’s for another day,” she said.

read more
Book creator

Talk about ‘MAÑANA: Latinx Comics From The 25th Century’ with JOAMETTE GIL

Located throughout Latin America in the 2490s, MAÑANA: 25th Century Latinx Comics (available now in English & Spanish) presents readers with a radical array of futures, ranging from post-apocalypse to liberationist utopia, to the magical realism of a slice of life. With over 270 comic book pages featuring 27 young adult sci-fi stories from Latinx creators in the United States and Latin America, Joamette gil is the editor of a project of such scope, as well as the head of Electric and magic press, the editor of MAÑANA. Joamette is also a designer, illustrator and letterer in several other projects. Our own reporter Duna had the chance to chat with Joamette about MAÑANA, its creation, its editorial process, its range of diverse visions for the future, etc. Here is the result.

Comic Watch: Thanks so much for speaking with us, Joamette! Well, first of all, can you tell us where the idea of MAÑANA came, and what are the things that helped it flourish in the 50+ creator anthology that we get?

Joamette Gil: MAÑANA, as a concept, arose out of two disparate places: the excitement I witnessed among my fellow Latins when Star Wars started recruiting more Latin actors, and the desperation I felt in the face of the child separation crisis at the border. Our imaginations revolve around the stars and the future, but our realities are complicated by violence and trauma, making many of us doubt a future. I wanted this anthology to reflect as many different Latin American cultures as possible and as many versions of the future as possible. We did the work of matching writers with candidate artists, and the result was the greatest creative team we’ve ever worked with at P&M Press.

CW: You are the editor and senior editor of Power & Magic Press, the press behind the edition. MAÑANA. How did this project get started?

JG: P& M Press started in early 2016 with the call for applications for POWER AND MAGIC: Queer Witch Comic Book Anthology. In a nutshell, I was not happy with my experience working in comics so far, especially the low pay. P&M Press is my way of giving other BIPOC and queer creators the chance to work on projects that center their experiences, treat them with respect and pay them fairly.

Desiree Rodriguez, Naomi Franquiz

CW: I have noticed the emphasis on LGBT + creators and creators at other intersections both in MAÑANA and in the other press anthologies. What do these diverse perspectives – sometimes in multiple ways – add to the books?

JG: They are the beating heart of our press! Adequate representation by / for / of marginalized people has never existed in the Americas. The most well-known and mundane story can become instantly fascinating just by inserting a BIPOC or queer person, because that’s how rare it is still to see us centered in any medium. But beyond adding us to the stories we already know, BIPOC and LGBTQIA + people have totally original experiences and perspectives that have yet to be told to a large audience. This is what interests P&M Press: the freedom of marginalized creators to invent and reinvent freely.

CW: Most visions of hegemonic sci-fi narratives (white, wealthy, European, male) focus either on a future completely detached from the past (“progress”) or on a future that repeats past failures, especially . In MAÑANA we have links with the past that seem much more enriching to us from the past and look at it in a totally different way. How do you think these voices can bring something different and important to science fiction?

JG: MAÑANA’s stories cover many different visions of the future, some totally utopian and others… rather dark! Darker futures always contain a seed of hope, if not a way out of potential disaster. Ultimately, each story is very human, focusing on the impact of the future on people’s bodies, relationships, working lives, beliefs, lifestyles, and philosophies. The past is omnipresent, as it indicates what each character values, how they live, what they have never known, and which choices were mistakes. In that sense, it’s a very Latin book. The shadows of colonization, capitalism and environmental destruction are there, as are the light of revolution, indigenous survival and black joy.

Ashley Gallagher, Mar Julia

CW: Some comparisons have been made of how many visions of dystopian fiction in pop culture tend to make their “scandalous and horrific futures” basic things that many BIPOCs already relate to: poverty, oppression, the emphasis on survival rather than passion. How do you think this futuristic story written by Latin challenges this vision?

JG: MAÑANA challenges this by ignoring “horrible futures” for the purpose of teaching empathy or warning the reader to “beware of consequences!” Whenever the future is far from perfect, our characters use their ingenuity to survive and thrive together despite everything (sounds familiar to you?), Or the story goes that our characters learn something about life under the circumstances. For example, in “A dream of a thousand stars” by Alberto Rayo and Sebastian Carrillo, the indigenous peoples of the Andes are the ones who master interstellar travel and harness the power of several suns… which leads to very, very big social problems. The story follows two queer Andean women (a scientist and a soldier) on a mission to save all lives. It merges the themes of human potential, pride, cooperation and religious conflict, in a future scenario that would be absolutely frightening.

Alberto Rayo, Sebastian Carrillo

CW: As the publisher of the book, how did you approach your writers by addressing themes that are somehow related to the land and its people (even though it’s a vast land and a great amount of cultures) ? Do you think this is any different from editing a supposedly “pure” book?

JG: Excellent question! I decided early on that I wouldn’t accept story pitches taking place anywhere the creators weren’t originally or had never lived. The rest is not much different from how I would edit anything, fictitious or not. One of my jobs as an editor, in my opinion, is reading and asking questions when elements of a specific culture that I’m not familiar with appear in a script, both to check for accuracy and to get a feel for what is respectful and what is not.

CW: In addition to being an editor, you are also a designer, illustrator and letter writer, having done comics for The Nib, Everyday Feminism and for Power & Magic Releases, and lettering for projects like Archival Quality (which was a 10 / 10 for our reviews) and Mooncakes. How do your experience as a publisher and your experience as a creator intertwine, and what do you like most about these multiple activities?

JG: Comics have fascinated me for a very long time, so I’m truly grateful that I was able to participate in almost every aspect of their creation! I would say this is my greatest strength as a publisher. I understand how every aspect of the process works, why it matters, how it can go wrong, and most importantly, what it feels like to make a comic.

Joamette gil

To follow Electric and magic press To Twitter, to have MAÑANA now in their shop, and follow Joamette to Twitter and Instagram for more! You can also watch our video interview here with designers Alberto Rayo and Desiree Rodriguez on MAÑANA!

Talk about ‘MAÑANA: Latinx Comics From The 25th Century’ with JOAMETTE GIL

read more
Fiction publisher

Peter Papathanasiou’s new book addresses lack of Greek representation in black outback

A son of Greek migrant milk bar owners had yet to feature as the protagonist of an outback noir novel.

Until now.

Peter Papathanasiou’s first detective novel Stoning break that glass ceiling.

He follows Detective Sergeant Georgios Manolis as he attempts to investigate the murder of a teacher in the town of Cobb.

Rather, Manolis uncovers the secrets, traumas and prejudices of a “city gone to hell” in a “dark” and “gritty” but honest way.

Greek migrants played a central role in the development of the Australian hinterland, but Stoning captures a time when it was not part of the public attitude.

Papathanasiou explains to The Greek Herald why it is important to stay true to this historical context, why the Greek representation is important and how it helps us to feel “more human”.

Q&A with Peter Papathanasiou

Q. Tell us about the “late nights, weekends, sacrifices, joys and anguish” that went into writing? Stoning.

Needless to say, it takes a long time to write a book. And you have to find that time … somehow. Since I have a growing family with three energetic little boys and still work full time during the day, the time spent writing is usually pushed to the periphery: late at night and on weekends. end. I’m pretty sure almost all Stoning was written after midnight when the weather was nice and calm; the words checked that the coast was clear of all distraction, then gradually crept onto the page. But I’m improving at multitasking now as there seems to be even less time to write, and my sons are probably now used to seeing me perched behind my laptop in different places around the house.

The sacrifices involved giving up other things that I could have done when I was sitting and writing: going out, socializing, exercising, vacations and also time spent with family when I had to go. focus on a particular chapter. The joy came from seeing each chapter completed, the sense of pride I felt and, of course, when the book finally came together as a whole and found publishers. And the angst was to overcome the writer’s block and also to find the right publisher. But now there’s even more joy in seeing such positive reviews, and also developing a screen adaptation, which is already in the works.

Q. Your second book marks a break with the non-fiction writing we know you for – what brought you to the black outback?

For my Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from Australian National University (ANU) I wrote my thesis in criminal law, so I have always been interested in exploring the darker side of life, the motivations behind people have to commit crimes, the nature of events, investigations and evidence. I also previously worked in criminal intelligence which was perhaps the most interesting job I have had.

Detective writing is also a very popular and marketable genre, both in book form and on screen (TV and movies), so the readership is strong. A crime exposes what is going on in society, it allows a writer to explore many topics and themes through the prism of a bad event.

In Stoning, the major themes that I explore include immigration, culture, race, religion, identity, assimilation, masculinity, sexuality, drug addiction, history, colonization and nationalism. And when you combine my LLB with my Master of Arts (MA) in Creative Writing from City, University of London, you get a detective writer!

I have generally found the outback to be a much more evocative setting for telling a story and creating interesting new characters than an urban setting, and lends itself particularly well to a crime story given how the environment can be. to be dangerous. All of the Australian literature I read growing up seemed to take place in the country, which probably influenced me as well.

Q. “Dark” and “gravitous” were used to define Stoning. How would you define the book?

Dark and grainy are descriptions accurate enough to Stoning. I would also describe the book as disruptive, disturbing, confronting, crude, divisive, human and necessary.

Q. How does the story frame stay true to the historical context of the Australian Outback?

It was difficult to give much more than a glimpse into the history of the outback in my novel; the focus has remained more firmly on crime and current history. During the 1950s, local indigenous communities were loaded onto tractors, taken from their ancestral lands and moved to rural communities; many died as a result of these forced migrations.

Another prominent feature of the Australian country was the tradition of Greek milk bars and cafes that were the centerpiece of many small towns from the 1930s to the 1970s. Businesses gave Greek migrants an economic and social foothold in their new homeland. and the ability to maintain family culture and catering traditions within a shared workplace. More recently, immigration detention centers have been established in remote areas of the hinterland to stimulate struggling rural economies.

Q. How Stoning portray the prejudices and racism experienced by the Greeks in the Australian hinterland? Georgios Manolis, the protagonist of the book, is the son of a Greek migrant in Australia and owner of a milk bar. Is this a deliberately realistic approach to Greek Australian representation? Why is representation important?

The character of Georgios Manolis draws some characteristics from my brothers in Greece, but I wanted to base his story on that of typical Greek immigrants in Australia after WWII. It was not uncommon for them to set up businesses in Australia, with milk bars very popular in the towns of the hinterland. On the one hand, these companies were very profitable and popular. But on the other hand, there is always a level of suspicion and prejudice that accompanies the introduction of an unknown entity; they didn’t even serve Greek food!

The subject of racism in Australia goes far beyond the scope of this interview, but Europeans have faced their fair share of experiences during this time as “New Australians”. These unpleasant experiences have now been largely transferred to other ethnic minorities, which I still find a little funny because the real original Australians were Indigenous Australians; everyone is technically a “foreigner”.

This is also why it was so important for me to have the voice of an Indigenous Australian character in my novel, and why I created Agent Andrew “Sparrow” Smith, who is the main supporting character alongside Manolis. “It doesn’t matter where you come from,” Sparrow said dryly in Stoning. “You are all bloody invaders.” Using both the migrant perspective of Manolis and the indigenous perspective of Sparrow, I knew that I could explore the themes of culture, race and migration more fully and precisely in my book.

Q. Is your work generally aimed at de-stigmatizing or confronting problems, especially in the Greek community? Whether it’s towards topics like adoption, infertility, and even – as you recently wrote in the ABCs – awkwardness?

I had a writing mentor who once told me that he liked me to write about “important things”. It was just said, almost casually, but I think it reflected the fact that they read a lot of stuff that didn’t try to tackle issues they faced, and my writing wasn’t like that. By writing about such topics and sharing our experiences, I think we make more connections, we feel more human and less alone in the world and, hopefully, can even overcome some of the challenges in our life. If there is anything I can do to help this process, and at the same time entertain, that is a very satisfying result for a writer.

Q. What can we expect from The stoning successor? Are you currently working there?

Yes, I’m working on it now! He will see Detective Sergeant Georgios Manolis return for another investigation. Detective novels tend to lend themselves to the series format, which is then easily adaptable to the screen, but I’m also seeing more and more stand-alone detective stories these days.

Q. I know you said before that Small might not hit our screens for a few years, but is there an update you can give us?

With my creative team, I worked hard on the screen adaptation of my first book, a 2019 dissertation on my international adoption titled Small. The project is directed by the famous Greco-Australian filmmaker Peter Andrikidis, who fell in love with the story. We have prepared a detailed breakdown of the project based on scenes and characters, tone and style, audience and themes, and we are now preparing to write the script.

Small showcases the strength of Greek culture and the massive contribution to Australian society. The story of the Greeks arriving in Australia as post-war migrants has never been seen onscreen as a drama. Small is a working class story about the growth of Australia’s workforce fueled by migrants. It’s the story of a family, but it’s also the story of the Greeks in Australia and how they helped build the country.

If the generational community of Greece does not come together to tell our stories, no one else will and the story of Greek immigration will be faded from memory. The history of Greek immigration to Australia has not yet been fully realized; Small is a great opportunity to ensure the record is accurate. The project will increase awareness of the contribution of a diversity of cultures to modern Australia by highlighting the significant contribution of migrants to the growth of our society, and strengthen the strong bond between Greece and Australia. We hope that the Greek community in Australia can support this project and show their support.

READ MORE: Canberra author Peter Papathanasiou announces the publication of a new book in October.

read more
Reading and writing

House Creek students learn what’s in a name | Herald of Copperas Cove

Calling someone by name connects you better with that person. It also increases trust, empathy, and positive communication. Like any word in the dictionary, a person’s name has meaning. Kindergarten students at House Creek Elementary School learned the meaning not only of their names but of their classmates as well, teaching them empathy and understanding of different cultures.

The students read several books, including “Chrysanthemum,” “A-My name is Alice,” and “Your name is a song” as they engaged in onomastics, which is the study of names.

“We had read several books on names and they were able to make connections,” said teacher Vanessa Mondy. “The students loved chanting their names.

The students were each given shrink-wrapped plastic paper on which to write their name either freehand or by tracing it using nameplates on their desks. The young scholars wrote their names in whatever pencil color they wanted, and the plastic papers were then heated and shrunk to create individual key chains.

“The difficult part was getting the students to find their names,” said teacher Courtney Dennis-Irvin. “We have a lot of independent preschoolers, but some students weren’t able to write their names on their own yet. Some students had difficulty determining the directionality of the print. It was difficult for some to understand that when you write your name, you write it from left to right.

The lesson covered essential Texas knowledge and skills requiring students to identify upper and lower case letters and up-to-down and left-to-right reading and writing movements.

“This mission has had many life lessons, including always treating others kindly and taking the time to get to know them,” said teacher Lauren Buckram. “They know how to write their names, which is a skill they will need to know how to do for the rest of their lives.”

Kindergarten child Joules Flores had his own idea of ​​the meaning of his first name.

“My mother loves jewelry. She really loves jewelry, ”said the 5-year-old.

Teacher Sheila Shumaker was inspired to see students excited about something they created.

“The students loved the outcome of the project,” said Shumaker. “They loved how their own work was transformed into a keychain and how they will be able to keep this memory for a long time.”

Teacher Kristin Utsey said the lesson also helped develop students’ fine motor skills.

“It was a great way to teach the uniqueness of names, especially at the start of a school year,” Utsey said. “This lesson showed students that each name is special and that we should cherish how important and unique each is. “

read more
Reading and writing

YA / Children’s Book Author Says It All

Scott McCormick is a bestselling and acclaimed children’s book and YA author. Its diverse production includes graphic novels (the famous Mr. Pants series), fantastic books (The Dragon Squisher and its sequel to come) and several Audible Originals, including the Rivals a series of humorous audiobooks on history and a forthcoming novel titled Mutual detention).

Micah Solomon, Principal Contributor, Forbes: How do you spend a typical day? If there is is a typical day?

Scott McCormick: I write everyday. The times I write change, but basically when I’m not driving my kids or getting everyone ready for the day, I’m writing. And when I’m not writing, I am often thought on writing. It sure doesn’t make me the most exciting person to be around, but it gets the job done.

Solomon: How did you publish your first book?

McCormick: When my illustrator (RH Lazzell) and I finished our first Mr. Pants story, we printed a few copies independently and shared them. The reaction to Mr. Pants was surprising: “Oh my God, this is amazing. Can I have a copy for my niece? So we were pretty confident that we had found something great; I figured we’d find an agent and a publishing deal in no time.

Well, not so much.

Finding an agent is difficult. And the process of asking questions to find one is intimidating, time consuming, and comments usually aren’t very helpful. My luck changed when I attended the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) conference in New York. There I attended a panel hosted by an agent I had never heard of before, but the moment he started talking I realized he would understand. Mr. Pants. I approached him after the end of his panel and we immediately hit it off. From there he helped us polish our IP and when he was convinced it was ready to go in prime time he made a call and sold it practically overnight. on the next day.

So my advice to all aspiring writers: join a writers’ organization and attend their regional or national conferences. It’s a great way to meet other writers and maybe your future agent.

Solomon: Like most of us, I guess you didn’t become a freelance wordpreneur (it’s mine; feel free to use it) all at once. Did you have a day job? Any idea on the transition? Something to watch out for?

McCormick: My first serious job was in public relations, which involved writing a lot of press releases. It wasn’t the kind of writing I aspired to, but it paid the bills. Then I worked for a manufacturing company where I worked my way up the ranks of newsletter writing to eventually become their senior writer. In that role, I wrote all of their catalogs, website, and ads, and basically everything else. This job was a great training because it forced me to find new ways to be creative on the most boring things you can imagine.

This job also gave me great training for writing on a deadline. As a result, I like to write on a deadline and actively hate not having one. I used to tell my coworkers to always give me a tight deadline and lie to me if the project didn’t. Never tell me there is no rush. It just means you will never get it. But if you tell me you need it on Tuesday, you’ll have it on Tuesday, no matter how long it is.

It was when I still had this work that I published Mr. Pants: It’s time to leave, and things finally started to happen for me in terms of reaching my creative goals. But of course, you don’t publish a single book and suddenly quit your daily job. You need to master the nuts and bolts of business like paying your bills, forecasting cash flow, and having a good mix of income sources. So, in order to become a full-time author, I started Storybook Editing, where I offered editing and ghostwriting services for freelance writers. It not only helped me pay my bills, but because I was finally immersed in publishing, I was able to hone my own craft.

As for the transition, I wouldn’t go full time until you had two good years of income, or unless you had a great support system. Editing is a strange business. It takes a long time to get a book from the contract stage to the shelves, which means it can take a year or two before you get paid fully for your work. So unless you have a loved one with a steady paycheck (my wife is a superhero), year-on-year fluctuations can be tough until you get over the bump.

Solomon: Do you believe in “flow”? Do you feel like you have moments when you write?

McCormick: I experience the state of flux, but not as often as I would like. It’s the biggest feeling in the world when the characters start talking about themselves. When I’m in this state, I don’t write as long as I take a dictation. As I mentioned before, deadlines, especially the panic about missing a deadline, will put me in this state without fail. If I don’t have a deadline, it can be difficult to get into this state.

Solomon: What are some of your creative triumphs?

My first Rivals book (Rivals! Enemies who changed the world) was the number one bestseller on Audible for about a month and continues to sell very well. The third volume of the Rivals series, Pirates! The villains who shook the world, is my favorite so far, although I’m very excited to hear the fourth book: spies ! Sneaks, Snoops and Saboteurs who shaped the world, coming out in spring 2022.

i am very proud of The Dragon Squisher, a humorous fantasy novel by YA, especially since I self-published it. The reception given to this was astonishing, even arousing the interest of Hollywood. (If you’re a fan of Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett, The Dragon Squisher will be right in your driveway.)

And even though it came out almost ten years ago, I still get fan mail for my Mr. Pants series, which I co-created with super-talented illustrator RH Lazzell. The kids dressed up as our characters for Halloween and sent me their own Mr. Pants stories. I even hear parents say they found their children reading my books under their covers long after bedtime. This is the kind of fan mail you dream of receiving, so it warms my heart every time.

Solomon: What are you dying to try that you haven’t done yet?

McCormick: I’ve always wanted to sell a screenplay. I put that ambition on the back burner for a few years while pursuing children’s books, but again this year I completed a script that has generated a lot of interest. So let’s keep our fingers crossed.

Solomon: Do you have any tips for overcoming writer’s block?

McCormick: Most professional writers will tell you that they never suffer from writer’s block. Well, that’s fine for them, but as a person in pain I’ve come up with a few tips over the years that generally help me.

First: go for a walk. And make sure it’s the most boring walk in the world, where you can’t mind where you are going and where you won’t be distracted by other people or beautiful views. You have to get up, step away from the computer, get your blood flowing, and let your mind wander. Do not walk your dog. Don’t listen to podcasts or music unless you use it to disconnect from the world. (I like listening to Miles Davis fusion records because they are so energetic and there is an almost total lack of melody to distract me.) Get up and go. Sometimes it only takes a few dozen steps to fix the problem.

If you’re still stuck, try writing a random scene with your characters set in the most unlikely setting possible. Write a space opera? Have your characters go bowling. Write a romance? Play your characters with laser tag. Have your villain and hero go to the supermarket or play Twister. You’ll be amazed at how much this exercise can give you a ton of new ideas about this project, help you understand your characters better, or even give you an idea for a new book. Most importantly, this exercise will allow you to enjoy writing again, which is the most important.

Solomon: Any other advice for other writers?

As trite as it may be, my best advice is to just don’t give up and keep trying and testing new things. I’ve always known I wanted to be a writer, and over the years I’ve tried writing anything but a cookbook. I tried poetry, songs, journalism, comedy sketches. . . you name it. It never occurred to me to try children’s books until I had my own kids, and even after I tried it, it still took me a few years to find my voice. And even after I published my first books, I still had some ups and downs. But I kept going and kept learning and kept trying new approaches to writing, and today I’m a full time writer, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

read more
Book creator


Lugosi: The Rise and Fall of Dracula from Hollywood, cover

Bela Lugosi stands for Dracula. It is synonymous with the character, the myth and the film. It is often a condition associated with becoming an icon or being an icon. In Lugosi’s case, however, the actor’s embodiment of the Gothic creature is so absolute that one could metaphorically assert that it was Dracula who portrayed Lugosi.

In any case, what is certain is that one cannot exist without the other after the universal horror classic. Dracula (1931) theatrically released. It is a particularly strange phenomenon that the creator of the graphic novel Koren shadmi captures in exquisite detail in his new book Lugosi: The Rise and Fall of Hollywood’s Dracula.

published by HumanoidsDrawn life legal notice, Shadmi’s Lugosi is a biography of one of the most titanic and tragic Hollywood figures in the history of the industry. It follows Lugosi’s career on stage, his involvement in a failed Hungarian Communist revolution that took place in 1919, his rise to international recognition thanks to the film. Dracula, and how addiction and loneliness ultimately led to her demise.

The book is phenomenally documented and structured. He embraces the theatrical character of Lugosi and leans on it to present his story as a kind of long-lasting play. This plays out even more once the story hits the exit of Dracula in 1931, which imprints on Lugosi this new capacity to remain perpetually in the role of the vampire, in varying degrees of intensity.

Much like Shaadmi’s previous biography, The Twilight Man: Rod Serling and the birth of television (also published by Humanoids), Lugosi is a comprehensive look at a larger-than-life public figure and the times he lived in, which both helped shape man and then destroy him.


Rhythm corresponded with Shaadmi on his new book, Lugosi’s Theatricality Dracula inside and outside of the movie, and her favorite Lugosi movie. It follows below.

Ricardo Serrano: Bela Lugosi is not the first public figure you studied. You have a book on The twilight zoneRod Serling called The Twilight Man which also touches on the birth of television. Lugosi and Serling are two very distinct personalities and it is obvious that you treat them as such because each book definitely carries its own identity. What attracted you about Bela Lugosi’s story after working on Serling’s?

Koren Shadi: Lugosi was on my list of possible book topics for a while, I think about 5-6 years ago I was traveling upstate with my wife and we were listening to a podcast from story there were two episodes on Lugosi, I think she fell asleep, but I was totally mesmerized by her roller coaster of a lifetime. He can easily compete with Count Dracula himself for a dramatic life story. I tried to bring out his unique personality; he was a very romantic, very emotional person but also had many demons that he struggled with. If Rod Serling felt alienated from the world by his war experiences, Lugosi was alienated from the fact that he was a Hungarian immigrant with a heavy accent. They were very different people but there are a lot of similarities, both were adopted by Hollywood and then ultimately rejected.

Serrano: There is a very theatrical quality to Lugosi’s presence throughout the book, especially after he played Dracula on screen and how that influences how he presents himself everywhere. Was it intentional or was that just what his personality really was?

Shadi: It was intentional; he came from a theatrical background, and I didn’t have enough room to show him so much in the book, but he kept coming back throughout his career on stage. There is actually a scene where Tod Browning told Lugosi to tone down his exaggerated physical gestures he had been so used to from the theater. It’s a different language from cinema. The theatrical manners were also apparent in Lugosi’s personal life, it is almost as if he wanted his biography to read like a play.


Serrano: The amount of research that goes into a book like this has to be enormous, not only in terms of the character’s personal history, but also in terms of the time in which he lived. How did you choose the material that would end up in the book and was there anything that didn’t make the cut you would have liked to make?

Shadi: Most of what you do when writing a non-fiction comic book biography, I find, is chopping up information and altering the life story. With Lugosi, as was the case with Serling, a lot of things had to be edited, otherwise I would have had a 500 page graphic novel, and I can’t have it. I chose the things that seemed to me the most crucial, and the most revealing of his character. I think more than anything that I wanted the reader to feel connected to Lugosi – even though he was a little terrible at times, he was human, and I hope you can see the reasons for his flaws and eventual downfall.

Serrano: For a long time, Tim Burton Ed Bois (1994) was one of the few options available to an inquisitive audience seeking to learn more about Lugosi in an accessible way. Has the film influenced or helped you in a big way and do you think it did Lugosi’s story justice?

Shadi: I deliberately did not watch Ed Bois until I’m done writing! I had watched it as a teenager and absolutely loved it, but when I was writing the book I almost forgot about the plot of the movie. I have done a lot of independent research. Fortunately, when I watched it, I saw that there was only one or two parallel scenes from the Ed Wood / Lugosi period. There are a lot of things the movie left out and changed as well. For example, they completely excluded his wife from the picture. I understand this is made for drama, but in my script I tried to stay more true to the story of his life. I hope readers can now see the full extent of Lugosi’s incredible life through my book, and not just his sad final days. Also, what happened to Tim Burton, he really lost his mojo, didn’t he?


Serrano: I think Burton started to rely too much on CGI for his own good. You know, a string of bad movies could force him to take the same path as Lugosi as his career crumbles (although I don’t think it will end as tragically as it did for Lugosi). What is true for both is that there are undeniable classics in their filmographies. With that in mind, what’s your favorite Bela Lugosi movie?

Shadi: My favorite Lugosi movie is The black Cat (1934). This is the ultimate Lugosi /Boris Karloff strong test. It’s very beautiful visually with these amazing art deco outfits and outfits. Lugosi definitely wins this one, he gives his habit on the best performances compared to Karloff. Highly recommended.

Koren shadmi Lugosi: The Rise and Fall of Hollywood’s Dracula will be released on September 28, 2021.

read more
Book creator

My book is about the death of the longing for coexistence in India: Anuradha Roy

My book is about the death of the longing for coexistence in India: Anuradha Roy

1970-01-01T05: 30: 00 + 0530

By Manik Gupta

New Delhi, September 25 (PTI) There may never have been harmony, but the aspiration was coexistence, says author Anuradha Roy who mourns the death of this ideal in her latest book “The Earthspinner “which delves into the heart-wrenching story of a potter and his dream project – a terracotta horse.

Elango the village potter was ready for all the great things in life with this horse for which there were many takers. Then appeared strokes of Urdu calligraphy on it and whispers of her interfaith affair with Zohra, and in the blink of an eye her creation was destroyed and her perfect world turned into a nightmare.

“That was the problem with religion: it could lead to a kind of madness. Muslims and Hindus – it was not so much a question of religion as a vendetta like ‘Romeo and Juliet’,” notes one character in ” The Tourne-terre “.

“Especially for people of my generation and older, I think we miss a country gone where harmony between very diverse people was at least an ideal we aspire to. There has never been harmony. , and there have always been people oppressed, brutalized and excluded, but still the aspiration was coexistence. In that sense, the book is about the death of that ideal, ”Roy told PTI in an interview with E-mail.

Published by Hachette India, “The Earthspinner” is the story of the new ways of “living and loving” in the modern world and the death of the aspiration for coexistence in India.

“I want to write a fiction that responds to my present, to everything I see around me, but that tries to find its connections with the bigger world and with the past. ” The Earthspinner ” in the title of this book refers to the Creator – god, who is portrayed as a potter, across religions, ”said Roy, who dabbled in pottery since his college days.

“The way the Creator created the earth, which is destroyed by human action, the beautiful creation of Elango the potter is also destroyed by human action,” she added.

Set in the 1980s, the 223-page novel chronicles Elango’s passion for creating a terra-cotta horse, destroyed by a community driven by an “incendiary passion of a different kind”, his love for Zohra and his dog Tashi. It is narrated by Sara, who studies English Literature in England and enjoys spending time throwing wheels, something she learned from Elango as a child.

Sara’s personal history, like that of her guardian, is also one of multiple losses – the loss of her father, Elango as a teacher, and the land in which she was born and raised.

Roy, 54, the author of “The Atlas of Impossible Desire,” “The Folded Earth” and “All the Lives We Ever Lived” and “Sleeping on Jupiter,” said his latest book was in preparation for a long time. She said she explored her themes by writing shorter pieces – some of which have been released and others remain as notes.

“Sleeping on Jupiter” was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize (2015) and won the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature (2016). His latest book “All the Lives We Never Lived” won the Tata Literature Live! Book of the Year Award (2018).

The rewards are appreciated because they are “decided by peers” but are also “very hit and miss” with “deserving books” often missed, she argued.

“I think it’s a little unfortunate how obsessed we have become with prices – the result is that books that haven’t made it to them can just fall off the reading card, and that’s What we need is to rediscover the joy of reading a book which may not have won any prize but which draws you into its universe, takes you so deeply into your mind and heart that it changes the way you look a bit and you have a hard time starting another book after this one. ”

When asked if the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdowns that followed resulted in a creative slump, the author who lives in a quiet cantonment town of Ranikhet in Uttarakhand replied in the negative.

“When the pandemic started, I was already well into his writing, and when I write, I lead an even more isolated life than usual. The blockages have therefore not affected anything in this sense. pandemic was escalating, anxiety for friends and relatives made it difficult to concentrate. Yet I was grateful that I had something else to focus on, so I did not give in to a sense of panic helpless, ”she said.

Roy also detailed his writing process.

She emphasizes “sentence music” and “well-structured prose, strained with meaning, poetry, wit, images” and will continue to “revise and revise, every sentence” until ‘she be satisfied with the way she falls. her ears – also why she likes to listen to the book being read aloud several times.

“It’s different for me with every book, and every time I feel like I’m on the edge of a precipice and I feel fear and dizziness as well as fascination. If I’m completely consumed by it. ideas and images that never let go – so I know I’ll be back at work, writing. I’m not the type of person who writes a certain number of words even in a journal, no matter what “, she explained.

“The Earthspinner” was released on September 3. PTI MG



Disclaimer: – This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI

read more
Writer market

Holyoke to cut mayors to two on Tuesday

HOLYOKE – Election season has arrived in Holyoke and voters will select their favorite mayoral candidates on Tuesday in a preliminary seven-a-side race that will decide which two go to the November general election.

Early voting is already underway at City Hall ahead of the September 21 preliminary elections. The race will narrow the field to two candidates, who will compete on Nov. 2 to be sworn in immediately as successor to Alex Morse, who spent nine years as mayor before leaving in March to become general manager of Provincetown.

For many in Holyoke, change is in the air. This is how Carmen Ocasio, president of the South Holyoke Neighborhood Association, feels. She said the election is important to her and everyone in the city.

“We have to have change here at Holyoke and not just have someone there for a title,” Ocasio said. “Someone who’s really going to get the job done and really clean up Holyoke.” You have to start by solving the problems that have been constant for so many years and are getting worse, and try to make them better. “

The seven candidates who made it to the ballot for Tuesday’s preliminary municipal election are: academic and activist Gloria Caballero Roca; Joshua Garcia, City Manager of Blandford; writer William Glidden, who was an assistant to the walrus; businessman Christopher Kosinski; member of the Devin Sheehan school committee; and city councilors in general Rebecca Lisi and Michael Sullivan.

The preliminary election comes less than two months before the general election, when voters will decide not only a new mayor, but at least five new city council members. This is the number of incumbents who refused to stand for municipal elections. And there are contested races for the six general seats of the city council and five of the city’s seven wards.

“This is definitely a time of transformation,” said Matt Szafranski, editor of the Western Massachusetts Politics & Insight blog and a longtime follower of Holyoke politics.

Szafranski said that many Morse opponents over the years have rallied behind Sullivan, but not entirely. Those who have supported Morse over the years seem to be drawn to the other candidates, he said. Some people will choose the municipal or administrative experience of Sullivan, Lisi, Garcia or Sheehan, while others will be drawn to the philosophy of bringing together the people Glidden and Caballero Roca married during the election campaign, he said. .

Candidates on issues

In campaign materials, Glidden said he intends to stand up for the city’s schools, work with the Police Department to build on their ‘exemplary’ community policing, and work with Holyoke Gas & Electric. to keep the city away from fossil fuels. He said he wanted to promote Holyoke’s assets to make the town a prime location for business and provide affordable and market-priced housing in part by rehabilitating the existing housing stock.

Lisi highlighted her 14 years on city council, as her work to revitalize the city’s urban core by bringing in new businesses, including the cannabis industry. She advocated for a municipal broadband internet network, planning to take back control of the city over its schools from the state, and working to implement “budget-conscious, evidence-based approaches to reduce crime ”while limiting the costs of overtime in the police department and empowering a citizens’ commission to ensure transparency and accountability.

Garcia shed light on his experience in managing municipal finances as an administrator for the City of Blandford. He said his priority would be to improve city hall operations to protect public funds and local assets. He said he would tackle the city’s deficits and increase free cash balances, develop sound financial policies, establish a capital improvement program and increase the city’s stabilization accounts.

Sullivan touted his economic development plans, promising to support industries such as cannabis manufacturing, hydroponics and robotics seeking to move downtown, as well as to rehabilitate buildings and build new ones there. infrastructure. He said he would work to end a moratorium on natural gas in the city, improve hydropower capacity and implement more active monitoring of commercial properties in the city.

In a candidate forum earlier this month, Kosinski spoke about his background in marketing, sales and negotiation. He said he intends to focus on education and tackling crime, which will help attract businesses to the city. He also said he wants to improve the way city departments communicate and work together, and is committed to getting public feedback from city residents.

Caballero Roca often spoke of investing in the people of the city. Its platform includes investments in housing across the city, preserving and expanding green spaces, improving transport, and prioritizing green energy and food sustainability in the context of climate change. As an academic and educator, she vowed to fight for local control of the city’s schools and the expansion of educational opportunities.

Sheehan made his central campaign plots renewing the city’s commitment to city infrastructure, economic development and community building. He said he would fully assess the city’s properties and create an advisory committee on capital improvements, and work with city council and the Office of Planning and Economic Development to streamline ordinances and commercialize the city. city ​​in order to attract new businesses.

Campaign financing

Some mayoral candidates have already raised and spent significant sums as Tuesday approaches.

In August – the most recent month for which data is available for all applicants – Glidden raised by far the most money with $ 11,122. Lisi raised $ 4,335 in August, Sheehan $ 2,725, Caballero Roca $ 1,625 and Sullivan $ 1,115, according to data from the state’s Office of Campaign and Political Finance.

Some candidates, however, have filed more up-to-date campaign finance data with the state, also covering receipts for September. Glidden raised $ 3,213, Lisi $ 2,459 and Caballero Roca $ 275 in September.

Available state campaign finance data shows that Sullivan raised the most money this year: $ 59,317, of which $ 20,000 was transferred from his previous campaign account. Glidden raised $ 49,501, Lisi $ 41,276 including $ 7,916 from a previous account, Sheehan $ 26,664 including $ 8,044 from a previous account, Garcia $ 8,260 and Caballero Roca $ 5,444.

Kosinski did not raise any money and did not launch any official campaign.

Of the $ 196,411 that has been raised in total so far in the race, $ 150,257 has been donated by donors who have identified their profession. Of that $ 150,257, about 40% was donated by retirees, business owners and managers, developers and lawyers.

As the preliminary elections approached, candidates spent substantial amounts of campaign money.

As of August 31, Sullivan had spent $ 40,442 – the highest amount of any candidate. Much of that money was spent on video ads and advertisements, including $ 20,500 spent with the Northampton campaign advertising company Horgan Associates and $ 5,000 on Facebook advertising.

During this period, Lisi spent $ 31,777, including $ 4,505 on billboards, $ 3,600 on political consultation with the firm Almquist and Associates and $ 2,782 on lawn posters and stickers from the union printing company The Blue. Deal.

Glidden’s $ 27,007 expenses included $ 8,750 paid to campaign manager John Dolan of Northampton, $ 3,475 on signage for a Texas-based company, $ 2,754 on direct mail and $ 2,500 on campaign launch video.

Sheehan spent $ 11,562 through August, including $ 2,938 on direct mail, $ 2,300 on advertising and $ 828 on garden signs. Garcia spent $ 9,303, including $ 2,683 at LGR Production, for video advertising and Facebook advertising services. And Caballero Roca spent $ 3,705, including $ 800 for campaign consultant Juan Sanchez, $ 505 on road signs and $ 459 on flyers.

Some candidates have gone public with the approvals they have received and local groups have shown support for their preferred candidates.

The A Better Holyoke for All group – formerly the Keep Holyoke Affordable for All committee, which successfully opposed a 2019 tax exemption vote issue to fund the construction of two new colleges – approved Sullivan. He is part of a list of candidates that the group has supported.

Lisi, meanwhile, has gained approval from a handful of city officials and unions, including the Massachusetts Nurses Association and the Western Mass Area Labor Federation, as well as the only two Latinas who currently sit on city council: Councilor. long-time resident of 1 Gladys Lebrón district. -Martinez and Libby Hernandez from Room 4.

Garcia received the endorsement of State Senator Adam Gomez, D-Springfield, the first Puerto Rican to ever serve in the state Senate.

Dusty Christensen can be contacted at [email protected]

read more
Reading and writing

Liv on the Edge: “A Little Life” broke my little heart

Hello lovers. Welcome (back) to campus and welcome (back) to my “Liv on the Edge” column. It’s a safe space in which I dissect the things I love – like movies, music, books, relationships, and politics – and things I’ve been thinking about recently – like anxiety, ending of the world and aging, among other things.

This summer, I spent the majority of my time at home in Illinois, contemplating my sanity and reading books in the safety of my childhood bedroom. It’s a strange and emotional landscape, the bedroom of childhood – and, in my opinion, the best place to read Hanya Yanagihara’s heartbreaking novel “A Little Life”.

“A Little Life” is about childhood, adulthood, drug addiction, sexual abuse, love and, of course, life itself. The novel chronicles the lives of four adult men in New York City over several decades, bound to each other by their intense platonic love. It is one of the few novels I have ever come across that focuses on male friendship, and one of the few that deals with life and love in such a comprehensive form.

Released in 2015, the book first received critical acclaim and ended up as a finalist for the National Book Award. In the years that followed, however, criticism was raised about Yanagihara’s too strong obsession with difficult themes. That’s a whopping 814 pages, and each page is getting harder and harder to swallow. Recently, one of my creative writing teachers contacted me and asked me what I had read this summer. “A little life,” I told him. “Ah,” she replied. “The novel that breaks friendships. ”

Indeed, one of the reasons I bought “A Little Life” was its mixed reviews which I read online. In The New Yorker, reviewer Jon Michaud argues that these mixed reviews are the product of Yanagihara’s portrayal of graphic violence. One of the main characters, Jude, suffers from extreme depression and harms himself several times throughout the novel. Yanagihara doesn’t mention this as a fact, however – she demonstrates it on stage, and continues to demonstrate it on stage, until the end of the novel. Jude’s self-harm, Michaud writes in his 2015 article “The subversive brilliance of” A Little Life “” “is described with a frankness which might make some readers uncomfortable […] the graphic representations of abuse and physical suffering found in “A Little Life” are rare in mainstream literary fiction. ”

Sexual abuse is another violence featured in Yanagihara’s book. In order to avoid spoiling the slow, quivering character story reveal, I won’t mention which of the characters endures such abuse, but it’s written in such vivid detail that I found myself having to shut down the novel and let it go. for a moment. Not only is the abuse itself difficult to read, but it’s made even more difficult by Yanagihara’s tactic of mercilessly tearing apart a character’s carefully detailed backstory and childhood with one vile act of violence. without mercy. “What makes the treatment of abuse and suffering in this book subversive,” writes Michaud, “is that it offers no possibility of redemption and deliverance beyond these tender moments. This gives us a moral universe in which such spiritual salvation does not exist.

Since such spiritual salvation does not exist, Yanagihara seems to argue, then we can only derive meaning from our lives as we live them – from our friends, from our art and from our lovers. The main four characters are artists, and the book is steeped in otherworldly details of art and beauty. There are prominent homosexual characters as well, and the book is forged with conversations about homosexuality and love. However, these conversations do not take hold of the novel’s foreground. They are just one ingredient in the ultra-emotional soup that is “A Little Life”.

For this reason, some hailed the novel as an “amazing and ambitious chronicle of queer life in America” ​​- as Garth Greenwell did in his 2015 article on the Atlantic. A little life: The great gay novel could be here. Of the four main characters, Greenwell writes, only one “unambiguously embodies an immediately recognizable and unambiguous gay identity.” Yanagihara refuses to explicitly label the other three as one sexuality or another, which Greenwell argues justifies its position as the great gay novel of the century.

Additionally, Yanagihara refuses to define the time period in which the novel takes place – there is no reference to the current president or the political era, thus forever suspending the story and sparing characters, like the writes Greenwell, “the familiar tales of gay fiction,” such as the anxiety encountered in the aftermath of the AIDS epidemic or the lingering uncertainty / frustration in political debates over same-sex marriage and mainstream acceptance. The characters are quite simply – they live, breathe, and exist as realistically and sincerely as you and me.

“A Little Life” is extremely dark and depressing, and although it completely destroyed me, it also completely changed my outlook on life. They are the most vivid and realistic characters that I have read in a work of fiction in a long time, and, despite their little lives being painted in the immense beauty of Yanagihara’s handwriting, they are not. always only that – small lives. As we enter into this new school year, I urge you to pay attention to the aspects of your life that make it meaningful, even if they are very small.

read more
Reading and writing

John Steinbeck: Pulitzer Prize winner John Steinbeck wrote a werewolf novel his agents don’t want you to read

Nine years before John Steinbeck published his historic Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece, “The Grapes of Wrath,” he was working on a light-hearted detective story about a werewolf.

The manuscript, “Murder on the Full Moon”, was completed in 1930 but was never published. A single copy has been found, mostly forgotten, in an archive in Texas since 1969. It includes drawings by Steinbeck himself.

A Stanford University American literature scholar is pushing for the book to be published, but Steinbeck’s estate agents vehemently refused this week, after the effort was featured in The Guardian.

The professor, Gavin Jones, is not discouraged. He extracted “Murder at Full Moon” from the archives of the Harry Ransom Center in Austin while working on a book about Steinbeck. “I would love to see it released,” he said.

His description of the book has illuminated literary Twitter and online book forums. Yes, long before Steinbeck was a

A known winner for the literary classics of the time of the Depression, the writer in financial difficulty had tried to mix the genres more typical of the pulp fiction of the time.

“I expected a fragmented, bizarre and incomplete job,” Jones said.

Instead, he found a cohesive and comprehensive 233-page manuscript. “It’s a pot, but it’s also the pot of central themes that we see throughout Steinbeck’s later work,” he said. For this reason, he thinks it is worth sharing with the public.


John Steinbeck wrote ‘Murder at Full Moon’ under the pseudonym Peter Pym. But if he didn’t get it published, he didn’t throw out the manuscript either, which he did with other unpublished work. (Image: iStock &

His campaign prompted a firm email statement from Steinbeck agents this week.

“Steinbeck wrote ‘Murder at Full Moon’ under a pseudonym, and once becoming an established author, he did not choose to request the publication of this work,” wrote a representative for the New York-based agency, McIntosh & Otis. “There are several other works written by Steinbeck that were published posthumously, with his instructions and careful consideration of the estate. As long-time agents of Steinbeck and the Estate, we do not exploit works that the author did not wish to publish.

The pseudonym chosen by Steinbeck was Peter Pym. Jones said the use of the name didn’t mean Steinbeck didn’t want the book to see the light of day. The author did not get rid of the manuscript, which he had done with other unpublished work, the professor noted.

“He didn’t destroy ‘Full Moon Murder’,” he said.

Steinbeck wrote history in nine days, according to William Souder, who wrote the biography “Mad at the World: A Life of John Steinbeck”.

The writer was 28 in 1930, living in a cottage in Pacific Grove, near Monterey, Calif., Hoping for his best luck. The year before he had published his first book, “Cup of Gold”, a swashbuckling pirate adventure set in the Caribbean in the 1600s. Although it received better reviews than expected, it was already sold out, said Souder.

Steinbeck had written more serious books but had had no luck selling them. He told a friend that he only needed a dozen more refusals to be convinced he should give up writing.

He was broke too, so he decided, “I’m just going to write something terrible for public consumption and try to make a few bucks,” Souder said.

Steinbeck’s writing process typically involved scribbling pages by hand in what Souder called his “microscopic” handwriting. His wife, Carol Henning Steinbeck, a superb editor, would type it up next, sometimes making adjustments as we went along. It took him a few weeks to type “Full Moon Murder,” Souder said.

Jones, who is one of the few people who has ever read the book, described the plot (spoilers ahead): He is soon dragged into the orbit of a local hunting club. When a member’s dog is killed on a full moon night, the reporter and an eccentric sheriff candidate decide to investigate. Other murders of more horrific people follow, still under a full moon. Steinbeck’s illustrations include a murder scene.

In order to find the killer – who they begin to suspect to be a superhuman monster that has arisen from the swamp – investigators apply a crime detection theory based on reading bad murder mysteries. This element gives the novel a “postmodern, ironic feel,” Jones said.

John Steinbeck_iStockiStock

John Steinbeck received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962 “for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do a sympathetic humor and a keen social perception”.

It’s a lost piece of black California, he said. “I think he was making something up here.”

Steinbeck, who dropped out of Stanford, might be surprised that a Stanford professor would ever praise the book. His use of a pen name may seem odd to a modern audience that has become accustomed to literary fiction writers dabbling in horror and other genres. But when Steinbeck sent the manuscript to a friend at college, he told the friend, “I don’t want anyone to know that I have something to do with this,” Souder said.

It’s not clear whether the publishers formally rejected the book or whether Steinbeck ever properly purchased it, Souder said.

Shortly after finishing the novel, Steinbeck found himself with an agent, who sold a more ambitious book, “Pastures of Heaven,”Opening a new stage in the author’s career. When “Grapes of Wrath” was published in 1939, with its moving story of farm workers forced to migrate from the dust bowl of the Oklahoma depression, it became an overnight sensation. Other works, like “Cannery Row” and “Of Mice and Men”, have also become classics of the class. Steinbeck died in 1968 at the age of 66.

Solder, who has yet to read “Full Moon Murder,” isn’t as enthusiastic as Jones, but he agrees it’s worth publishing.

He suggested a compromise: the book should be published “with a scholarly introduction or foreword that frames it properly as a book that Steinbeck wrote only in the hope of making some quick money, and not as a book that belongs to the main channel of his development as a writer. ”

read more
Writer market

Why Carnival Stock Rose today

What happened

Actions of Carnival (NYSE: CCL)(NYSE: CUK) closed the week 2.3% higher on Friday after an analyst raised his cruise line price target due to improving industry fundamentals.

So what

Citigroup Analyst James Ainley raised his price target on Carnival from $ 30 to $ 34, saying the decline in cruise stock offered investors an “excellent entry point.”

Image source: Getty Images.

Ainley highlighted the results report released by Royal Caribbean (NYSE: RCL) Wednesday, indicating that he viewed it as a strong commentary on the company. The market agreed, as it pushed stocks up 7% yesterday, although today the stock has practically leveled off.

Carnival’s stock is down 26% from recent highs reached in early June over fears the delta variant of COVID-19 could dampen the recovery of the travel and tourism industry, which had only just begun.

Now what

Carnival’s Princess Cruises brand recently completed its first Alaska route and announced its Alaska schedule for the 2023 boating season yesterday.

The company also rebounded from earnings from Royal Caribbean and continued to grow today, perhaps because it is the largest in the industry. Just as it takes a long time to turn a large ship around, once it has formed it is not easy to stop. And it might be best to get on board to avoid its wake.

This article represents the opinion of the author, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a premium Motley Fool consulting service. We are heterogeneous! Questioning an investment thesis – even one of our own – helps us all to think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

read more
Reading and writing

Was Algonquin Roundtable author Alexander Woolcott the original influencer?

Before the influencers, there was Alexander Woollcott.

Nor does anyone who reads or discusses Woollcott. But in many ways, the reviewer’s network of projects and outlets looks like a model for today’s powerful social media brokers. Long before Instagram or TikTok, Woollcott engaged his famous friends in a career that encompassed everything from travel writing to a national radio show to touring the country playing himself in The man who came to dinner. His theater critics briefly banned it from some producers, and his book reviews were the forerunner of Oprah’s Book Club when it came to propelling unknown authors to bestseller lists. Yet today Woollcott is best remembered for having lunched at the Algonquin Roundtable with Dorothy Parker.

Woollcott’s genius lay in the combination of a gushing fanboy and a sharp critic. He not only proselytized for the work of his famous friends, he often worked closely with them to improve it. Many, including its creator, James Hilton, credit Woollcott with the transformation Goodbye, Mr. Chips from manuscript to a bestseller that won an Oscar-winning film adaptation. And her genuine pleasure in sharing her preferences in print or on the radio looks like a prototype for Pinterest boards and Instagram grids. As we all scour the internet for things that bring us joy instead of more anxiety or rage, Woollcott’s gleeful enthusiasm strikes us as modern as it is worthy of ridicule for his contemporaries.

Alexander Woollcott pictured on a trip to London.

AP / ShutterstockShutterstock

The general attitude among the intelligentsia after Woollcott’s death is best summed up by his brief mention in All about Eve, a film set in his beloved Broadway milieu. “I’m available again to dance the streets and shout from the rooftops,” Margo Channing quotes dryly in Addison DeWitt’s column, before sniping: “I thought we were dating Woollcott.”

Parker was also one of those mildly contemptuous contemporaries, although Woollcott himself helped re-brand the Parker brand in “Our Mrs. Parker”. In it, he is as perceptive of its enduring appeal as any 21st century scholar. “It will be noted, I’m afraid, that Ms. Parker specializes in what’s called dirty crack,” he wrote. “If that seems to be the case, maybe it’s because the bashing is easier to remember, and the fault, if there is fault, lies with those of us who – and who don’t.” ? – repeat his words. “

Part of the problem with Woollcott lies in this phrase from Henry Jamesian. He was a chronicler of books, films, theater, real crimes and people, sometimes an artist, radio show host, sought-after speaker, etc. his extravagance. Today we recognize this artificially elaborate prose as high camp, but to a contemporary of Hemingway, it seemed hopelessly old-fashioned, even though it obscured the stylus he often wielded.

all about Eve
In his day, Woollcott was so well known that he was referenced in great films, such as All about Eve.

Hulton ArchivesGetty Images

The inevitable irony is that Parker’s derogatory lines are now stuck on Etsy products while Woollcott’s vast output of sharp and insightful scriptures has been called “gushing” and fell out of favor almost immediately after his death.

This reputation was already beginning to haunt him, even at the height of his fame and popularity; an irate reader from the Midwest complained that his book recommendations amounted to force-feeding Americans marshmallows. The man who stood up for Ernest Hemingway and Evelyn Waugh and included Willa Cather as essential reading was not amused.

But as Woollcott himself wrote, the bashing is easier to remember. Thus, his own pioneering efforts continue to languish undisturbed. Long before My favorite murder made crime podcasting a cottage industry, Woollcott tapped the pages of Police diary for what he called “human blood,” turning murder and chaos into radio shows and articles for high profile publications like Collier’s and The New Yorker.

Dorothée Parker, American writer
Legendary writer and mind Dorothy Parker, a friend of Woollcott’s whose legacy has largely eclipsed hers.

BettmannGetty Images

An early fascination with Lizzie Borden led her to cover up criminals ranging from housewife Myrtle Bennett, who shot her husband to death in the Bridge murder case, and convicted murderer David Lamson. After thoroughly researching the case until he was convinced of Lamson’s innocence, Woollcott used his immense powers of influence to bring national attention to the case, and Lamson was acquitted after his new trial.

Woollcott generally had no patience for injustice, even though he greeted his close friends with slurs such as “repulsive hello”. Once banned from criticizing the shows produced by the Shuberts, he took his case to the New York State Supreme Court (and lost). And its first radio show ended in 1935 when sponsor Cream of Wheat demanded that Woollcott stop making “caustic references to people like Hitler and Mussolini.” Woolcott responded by giving up his $ 80,000-a-year contract.

His own contradictions may have helped accelerate the fall in his reputation. Parker, F. Scott Fitzgerald and other contemporaries have a more cohesive brand: Woolcott is a man whose adoption of his own eclectic tastes has earned him the lightweight label. But while he succumbed to nostalgia as much as he championed modernity (did another major critic in the 1930s demand more attention from Booth Tarkington’s novels?), He could be just as annoying. than any of the most cited members of the Algonquin Round Tableau.

Mandatory Credit Photo By Uncreditedapshutterstock 6655860b Alexander Woollcott Alexander Woollcott, Writer, Critic And Commentator For New Yorker Magazine And The New York Times, Is Pictured As He Arrives In New York Aboard Bremen After A Trip To Russia Alexander Woollcott, New York, USA
Alexander Woollcott pictured arriving in New York aboard the Bremen after a trip to Russia.

AP / ShutterstockShutterstock

Woollcott, after all, was the one who described Los Angeles as “seven suburbs in search of a city” and wrote a play that resulted in the hero’s confession that he had been neutered: “In the first act , she becomes a lady. In the second act, he becomes a lady. That sort of breezy layoff is now the default, but back then, Woollcott’s flippancy was maddening to producers. A similar tone earned Parker an anthology of his theatrical reviews; Woollcott’s remains are turning yellow in the archives.

But what calls for an anthology are its Shouts & Murmurs columns for The New Yorker. Created by Woollcott (and named after a credit he spied on for background noise in a London theater program), the weekly page is a prototype of Twitter. Woollcott has put together anecdotes about his famous friends, half-forgotten icons, and hot shots of the day’s events in his unmistakable style. Editor-in-chief Wolcott Gibbs once described him as “one of the most horrible writers who ever existed”, but it didn’t stop While Rome burns, his collection of previously published articles, to become a bestseller.

Like all of Woollcott’s work, the book is long out of print, meaning that the most enduring take on him remains that of his friends George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart in The man who came to dinner. The 1939 classic comedy about an irascible critic who is forced to stay with his dinner hosts was written for Woollcott, who was forced to turn down the original Broadway production due to previous engagements, but continued to play the role several times before. his death in 1943.

the man who came to dinner, lobbycard, jimmy durante, ann sheridan, bette davis, monty woolley, 1942 photo by lmpc via getty images
The title role in the play (and later the 1939 comedy)The man who came to dinner was written for Woollcott, who would appear in productions numerous times throughout his life.

LMPCGetty Images

Perhaps unsurprisingly for a workaholic, Woollcott died of a heart attack hours after appearing as a guest on the radio The popular platform. Long time ago, a collection of his writings he was working on at the time of his death, was published posthumously a few months later. A collection of his letters was published in 1944, followed the following year by The portable Woolcott. And after that, the man who defended so many remained unpublished. Attempts were made to reassess his contributions to the arts by biographer Edwin P. Hoyt in the 1968s Alexander Woollcott: The Man Who Came to Dinner and by Wayne Chatterton a decade later in a Boise State University monograph, but it remains almost stubbornly unrecoverable.

Then again, Woollcott himself may have seen the writing on the wall long before he had achieved any minimal success. When asked as a child to share his greatest ambition, Woollcott claimed to have written “to be a fabulous monster.”

This may explain why he forever remains on the outskirts of the era he helped define – and it’s as good a reason as any to rediscover it now.

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and uploaded to this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and other similar content on

read more
Book creator

What I learned from a decade of book blogging

When I started Lesbrary in 2010, the book Internet was a very different place. Book Riot hadn’t even started yet! I was just starting to prioritize bi and lesbian books in my reading, and although I followed dozens of book blogs, all of the “LGBT” I could find were really 90-95% romance. and M / M eroticism. So I started mine! Here is what I learned from over ten years of maintaining a book blog.

1) Don’t overthink it: go for it.

I spent a lot of time considering starting Lesbrary before I did. I questioned myself and planned the content. I thought I had to figure everything out before I started, but of course you can only learn by actually doing. I had a lot of great ideas for what the blog would look like in its early days, but quickly some things fell apart and others became regular features. No one is forcing you to stick to a consistent schedule or format when you first start out, so it makes sense to just dive in and start experimenting.

2) Consistency is more valuable than content.

I don’t have the most exciting format, I admit. The Lesbrary is mostly reviews, with regular link raids and other occasional articles. There are a million other book creators who create original and entertaining content – and some of them are spreading it with amazing speed. At first I was really embarrassed about it. Kissing By Venus had better messages than I did. SFFic was doing such interesting things. The good lesbian books have supplanted the need for the Lesbrary. Except that all of those sites are gone now. I’ve seen great gay book blogs go up and down in the decade I ran the Lesbrary – which is roughly a century in Internet times. I realized that while I don’t have the most cutting edge content, it’s my consistency over those many years that has garnered support.

So if you start a book blog (or a TikTok or YouTube channel or an Instagram account) and have a ton of ideas for what you want to do, try to slow down and pace yourself. Can you continue indefinitely? Otherwise, instead of updating once a day for a month and never posting again, try planning ahead to give yourself a stamp. Don’t burn yourself out!

3) Book review changes the reading experience.

I’ve reviewed almost every Sapphic book I’ve read in the past 11 years, and that’s about 50-80% of the books I’ve read, depending on the month. It forces me to be careful while reading and take notes of what works for me and what doesn’t. I remember things much better when I review them. On the other hand, sometimes I pick up a book that isn’t Sapphic just so I don’t have to reread it. Sometimes I want to get lost in a story without having to follow it so closely. There is value in both!

4) Recruiting a team of reviewers is helpful.

Because my blog is based on reviews, in the early years of blogging I only updated when I finished a book – and I wasn’t reading that fast. I was afraid of not putting enough content. Who would follow a blog that only updates once a week – or sometimes less? (Obviously, there’s nothing wrong with that, but I felt embarrassed.) I decided to see if anyone wanted to review a book once a month on Lesbrary, expecting no one not be interested. Now I have a team that ranges from a dozen to 30 reviewers – enough to sometimes have a review every day of the month! It’s mutually beneficial: I get more content and they have access to free Sapphic eBooks to review (plus their reviews are seen by a wider audience). I now feel a lot less pressure to read more just to produce content.

5) You don’t have to review every ARC you get.

When I first started I read and reviewed every ebook I received. It is incomprehensible to me now: I get a lot more than I can read, and a lot of them are not my personal style. I was so excited that the authors and publishers wanted me to talk about their books! They had heard of my site! I received free books! As I began to realize how many books there are about gay women, I fell off reading each and every one that I received.

Having a team of reviewers really helped with that too! I now have a standard response to eARCs that says I’ll pass this on to my review team and hopefully one of them will pick it up soon. This self-developed text helped a lot not to feel guilty about it.

photo by Lum3n of Pexels

6) Don’t feel like you have to do something you don’t get paid for.

This is the most important thing I learned while blogging: if you don’t get paid for it, you don’t have to. It’s supposed to be a hobby. If you don’t want to read a book sent to you, don’t. Book bloggers often provide publishers with free work and advertising – and if you want to do it because you’re so excited about the book, great! But that’s not your job, and you shouldn’t let anyone beat you up for not revising on time or matching the tour format of their book blog or whatever.

In addition to that standard “I’ll pass it on to my reviewers” ​​response, I also say, “If you want guaranteed coverage on the Lesbrary, check out our advertising opportunities (linked). Sometimes people place ads but even more valuable to me it reminds me that if publishers / authors want me to advertise their book I should get paid for it. Otherwise, I should just pick up the books that interest me.

7) Appreciate the niche you have.

Speaking of advertising, I haven’t had any ads on Lesbrary for many years as everything I’ve seen online says I don’t have enough views to make it worth it. Eventually, however, I realized that while the Lesbrary doesn’t get 100,000 views per month, it does have a special audience. Everyone who reads the Lesbrary reads Sapphic books, which makes it a much better place to advertise than a place with a larger but less specialized audience.

I also undervalued these ads early on because of this – one advertiser even let me know that I priced them too low. I adjusted my prices up and down a few times before realizing that I had to stop trying to make this decision mathematically and instead think about what my time is worth. Between emails, planning, and troubleshooting, it wasn’t worth it for me to have ads that cost just $ 5-10.

8) Accept the support and dream big.

Speaking of underestimating myself, I considered making a Patreon for a long time, but couldn’t imagine anyone would support me. I’m not really a creator, right? It’s not like I’m writing stories or doing art. I just revise books and collect links. Who wants to pay someone to write book reviews? Eventually I gave it a try and was shocked at the support I got, including at levels I never thought I’d sell. People were grateful for the work I was doing and wanted to help. I’ve learned to include levels that I didn’t think anyone would actually take because people can surprise you.

9) Leave room for growth.

Another reason I didn’t place any ads to begin with is that you can’t do that on a site. I started the Lesbrary in the most basic format possible – which worked for a while, but when I started experimenting with the layout and ad options there were some difficulties growing . It was difficult to transfer everything. While I know I couldn’t have predicted how well it would grow over the years, I wish I had started on a platform that more easily accommodated that growth. (I also wish I had hired someone for the more difficult parts of this process)

10) Start scoring early.

That might be a disappointing note to finish, but in the spirit of thinking about future growth early on, I wish I had consistently tagged my posts to begin with. It’s a big job trying to go back and mark a decade of posts, but it’s a huge help. I want to be able to find all the Sapphic 1920s book reviews, or all the 5 star reviews, or the fantasy novels! I’m tagging everything I can think of now, but wish I had done it from day one.

And that’s what I learned from a decade of book blogging! I could never have guessed in those early years that I would become a professional blogger, paid both through Patreon and for Book Riot posts! Now I am working full time in the bookish internet world which is a dream come true.

For anyone considering starting a book blog, I refer you to lesson # 1. And no, there aren’t too many people here. We are just getting started.

read more
Reading and writing

How to use memory systems to deepen learning

The role of working memory

Working memory is an area where thoughts are temporarily held while you are using them. Oakley visualizes him as an octopus sitting in your prefrontal cortex, juggling a game of balls. Working memory can hold about four “balls” at a time before they start to fall. That’s why we can remember a couple of items that we need to pick up from the store, but if the list is much longer than that, we’ll have to write it down.

This is also why many students find it difficult to follow multi-step instructions. It’s not a lack of focus. Their working memory just does not have the capacity to “keep in mind” something like a five-step process – unless they have practiced those steps so many times that it has become a routine that they do. does not require active thinking. This is why qualified teachers spend so much time at the start of the year establishing classroom procedures and thinking routines. These practiced routines can free up working memory space for students to learn new materials.

Race car students often have “a very large working memory” which is more efficient at keeping material and moving it to long-term storage, Oakley explains. Student hikers may need more repetition and practice to keep the same material.

“I’ve been through the hiker experience,” says Oakley, a decorated engineering professor who tells her students about her struggles to learn math and science. “I don’t have a very good working memory, so in college I had to take notes like a stenographer and then stay up late to try to understand. And I would come to understand it so deeply that all the racing car learners would come and ask me “can you explain this?” It took me a long time to get something, but when I got it, oh, I got it on a very deep level.

Because many students don’t understand their working memory, they study inefficiently, she says. They reread their notes or look at a list of vocabulary words and think “I got it”. And they have it in their brains – while they have their notes in front of them. But working memory is short term. Student backpackers, in particular, need concrete strategies for moving material into long-term storage.

And that’s where the next two memory systems come in. As Oakley puts it, “Our brains learn through two main pathways: the declarative and the procedural. And if you throw one in, it’s like saying, ‘Okay, I want you to be a faster sprinter. Now jump on one leg.

Understand declarative and procedural memory systems

Declarative memory refers to facts and information that we can consciously recall “or state” – that we can remove from long-term storage when necessary to solve a problem, accomplish a task, or initiate a discussion. On the other hand, procedural memory implies knowing how to do something “by heart”. For example, once we master typing, lacing a shoe, preparing a favorite recipe, or commuting to work, it takes no more conscious thinking to engage in these activities. In fact, if powerful typists think about the placement of letters on the keyboard, it will slow down their typing.

Oakley notes that the declarative system is the “quick way to learn” and often the first way older students and adults acquire information. The procedural system comes more slowly and is engaged by practice, practice and practice again.

The two systems work hand in hand to achieve expertise. For example, declarative memory can help a pianist learn an unfamiliar piece of music by relying on his knowledge of notes, chords, tempo, and dynamics. But once they have practiced a song so much that they can play it without looking at the music, the song resides in procedural memory.

Young children learn largely through the procedural system, explains Oakley, which is why approaches such as Montessori proved so effective in the early years. Adult brains assimilate much of their new learning through the declarative system. The best kindergarten to grade 12 teachers rely on both systems to support student learning.

Putting it all together to support student learning

“I really advocate a balanced approach,” says Oakley. Whether a teacher leans more towards formal instruction or practical group activities, the key to success is “active learning” which activates both declarative and procedural learning pathways. Even small changes in instruction can make a big difference for students as they “learn to learn”.

Active learning is when “the student himself is grappling with the material,” says Oakley. “It really builds our procedural connections in long-term memory. While you can actively learn while watching the teacher, you can’t do it for very long.

Simple strategies for incorporating more active learning into a classroom period include:

  • Offer brain breaks: Pauses are crucial for the formation of long-term memory. When students mentally relax, even for a minute or two, it gives their brains time to consolidate new learning. Think of it as interval training for the brain, says Oakley.
  • Use the point recall technique: Take a break from teaching and help students see if they have moved material from work to long-term memory. Take a minute and have them write down important ideas from the class, a sketch to visually represent their learning, or key ideas from previous classes that relate to the topic under study. This recovery practice is especially important for students with working memory problems.
  • Teach students how to engage in active recall: Do you remember the student who looks at the vocabulary list and thinks they have memorized it? Teach students to regularly put away their notes or close their books and see what they remember. Have them teach a classmate a science technique, tell a pet story of photosynthesis, or create a study guide without looking at their notes, then go back to fill in the gaps. .
  • Get involved in Think-Pair-Share: Activities such as think-pair-share require students to engage individually, with a partner, and then with the class. This is because they interact with information three times in a row, helping to strengthen their neural pathways.
  • Practice interlacing: Interlacing involves mixing up practical problems instead of working on almost identical activities over and over again. This relies on active recall practice and cognitive flexibility, as students must consciously decide what information or procedure to apply to a given problem. And practice builds procedural memory.

Celebrate “desirable hardships”

Learning something new is often a struggle as the brain is still developing pathways to store concepts. This is why students are more likely to drop out in the early stages of a new business. But what if we encouraged them to make things a little harder – on purpose! – as a way to start their own learning?

“The best way to progress quickly is to make your life difficult,” says Oakley, building on the concept of “Desirable difficulties“Invented by cognitive psychologist Robert Bjork. “Don’t just read a book or read a section of a book, see if you can pick up those key ideas from what you’ve just read. It’s harder.

read more
Book credit

Pregnant dog saves people from fire at Russian health center, suffers severe burns in the process

A pregnant dog in Russia is praised for her acute vigilance after helping to save four elderly patients from a fire that broke out at a private hospice in Russia. The dog suffered serious burns in the incident, however. Now, the people of the city have come together to raise funds to help with the dog’s medical treatment.

Earlier this month, a fire broke out at a private hospice in the Leningrad region, near St. Petersburg, Russia. The female dog Mathilde barked loudly to alert the four residents, who were evacuated just in time from the burning wooden building by firefighters and taken by ambulance.

Although people were saved thanks to Mathilde’s quick response, the firefighters mistakenly forgot the dog, which was left inside the burning structure and on a leash. “During the commotion, everyone forgot about the dog named Mathilde, who was on a leash. Motya, as she is affectionately known, could not escape the blaze, she was badly burned,” reported Russian media SPB.

The caregivers are working hard to treat her severe burns while taking care of her puppies. (Source: spbvasilek /

Hours later, when a TV reporter show showed the severely injured dog, flinching in pain, pet rights activists and Petersburg volunteers Alexander Tsinkevich and Elena Kalinina rushed to the site and the have saved.

They brought the injured female dog to the Sotnikov clinic and shelter, where, after examination, they found out that the female dog was pregnant. A statement from the shelter said: “Mathilde’s face, neck and abdomen were badly burned. His muzzle remained completely naked, only the burnt skin is visible. Her abdomen, which the children are in, also looks creepy.

“She was examined by a fertility specialist who watched her for a very long time and carefully studied the puppies. They are all alive and developing well ”, Star of the day reported.

dog saves people burning down hospice, dog burns down hospice, russian hospice dog saves patients, pregnant female dog burns down hospice, viral news, indian express The female dog is expected to give birth next week. (Source: spbvasilek /

With the help of people’s input, the shelter posts regular updates on the female dog’s progress, indicating that she is ready to give birth anytime next week. However, Matilda might not be able to feed her babies right away as her abdomen and nipples are badly burned.

After the fire, the hospice owner was unable to take care of the dog due to an injury, local reports added. However, back at the clinic, the vets and volunteers help the dog to recover quickly.

read more
Book credit

Marc Pugh: I was scraping the barrel before heading to Bournemouth

Marc Pugh’s nine years at Bournemouth have transformed both his career and the club, catapulting them to the Premier League.

It was a remarkable race which resulted in the Cherries more than holding their own against elite opposition to finish in the top half of the table.

In 2010, when Pugh joined a small, old-fashioned club that had just been promoted from League Two, few could have imagined the steep rise that would ensue. For the delicate midfielder, who had previously rebounded in the lower divisions, it was a dream come true.

“It was absolutely amazing. It was amazing for the fans, for the club, for the players. Everyone really participated. The gaffer, Eddie Howe and Jason Tindall, along with the coaching staff, did an absolutely phenomenal job, ”Pugh said.

“They’ve worked tirelessly, day in and day out, to be the best they can be, and they’ve instilled that into the club, from top to bottom. It was an amazing trip and a pleasure to be a part of it. It all came through hard work, determination and the will to succeed.

After rising through the ranks at Burnley, Pugh was released without making a single first-team appearance. He gained experience with Bury and Shrewsbury Town before an excellent season at Hereford United brought him to the club’s attention where he would achieve legendary status.

“I scored three goals against them – two in the home game at Edgar Street and another when we faced them away towards the end of the season,” Pugh said. “When I moved to Bournemouth the scout said he had been watching me for a while.

“I played two very good games at the right time. Sometimes it’s a question of timing in football. They made me shine and the rest is history.

Along with having two of his best performances against Bournemouth, Pugh has scored 13 goals in 40 appearances for a struggling Hereford side. Eddie Howe took note, signing him to a three-year contract, not knowing where it would end up taking him.

“I scratched the barrel, going from club to club, until I was 23 years old. When you sign for Bournemouth in League One, it is only in your wildest dreams that you can find yourself in the Premier League. Sometimes you just have to pinch yourself.

Pugh was among a core of players – Steve Cook, Harry Arter, Simon Francis, Charlie Daniels and Matt Ritchie – who helped the Cherries secure two more promotions. Their solidarity on and off the pitch has been a major factor in the club’s success.

“It was amazing. We had a great relationship and we were very close. We all lived close to each other and we went out for coffee. We had a really good team unity. No character has. tried to disrupt the mood around the place, and it was really lovely.

“Everything was right there. Because most of us were from lower leagues, we wanted this success for ourselves and for our families. To create a better life. Everyone wants to play in the Premier League and compete against the best players in the world. This is what we were striving for.

• • • •

READ: Harry Arter: Thought I was as good as foreign PL players, but I was wrong

• • • •

Aside from a brief gap at Burnley, Eddie Howe was the manager throughout Bournemouth’s ascent to the top. Pugh enjoyed working with him, appreciating his honesty, work ethic and attention to detail.

“He wants what is best for each individual. I always try to surround myself with positive people and I think he does too.

“He did a lot of work behind the scenes on the training ground. He wanted us to stay on the training ground to improve and develop as players. It was a big deal for me. He made me the player I am today and I have to thank him a lot.

“One of his greatest strengths is his character. He’s very emotional which is a good thing because he knows what every player needs, whether it’s an arm around him or to give him a little boost. He was really good with it.

They have formed a close bond and continue to stay in touch.

“We have had an incredible relationship, not just on a professional level, but also on a personal level. I knew if there was something wrong I could go to his office and talk to him.

“I could have an honest conversation with him. If I was out of the squad I felt very happy to come in and ask what I needed to improve.

“We are very close and we are still talking now. What he has done for club soccer simply cannot be underestimated. He was the first at the door every day and the last to go out. The success the club has enjoyed is not down to luck or chance, it is out of sheer determination and hard work.

In Pugh’s third season with Bournemouth, they won promotion to the Championship and would have secured the title without a late turn on a dramatic final day.

A missed penalty from Brentford allowed Doncaster Rovers to score a game-winning goal in the 94th minute at the break, sending them over the Cherries, who were unable to draw a 0-0 draw with Tranmere Rovers. But even that couldn’t dampen their enthusiasm to reach second tier for the first time in 23 years.

Pugh continued to improve under Howe. Never blessed with speed, he became sharper and more decisive in his movements. Loving to chop in one direction then in the other, he had always supported himself to beat a man and had taken the plunge.

“With the sessions Eddie organized, I got a lot smarter in my game,” he says. “The higher you go, the smarter you have to be on the football field.

“I had to be smarter than the opponent because they were so fast and athletic. I tried to improve my finish and creativity in training, just to be the best version of myself.

After an encouraging season of acclimatization, Bournemouth were at their best on the way to the league title, collecting 90 points and scoring 98 goals.

Pugh contributed with nine, including a hat-trick in an 8-0 loss to Birmingham City, but the most important came against Bolton Wanderers in the penultimate game.

Matt Ritchie’s deep cross hit Pugh, who dropped the ball and pretended to shoot with his right foot before moving it to his left and shooting from the far post. The crowd erupted, setting the tone for a 3-0 victory and the joyous scenes that followed.

“For all the hard work we put in this season, it got us promoted. The celebrations were some of the best of my footballing career, that’s for sure. Everyone came out and had an amazing night because we knew we were going to enter the Premier League. “

Howe added a few players that summer, including Josh King, Glenn Murray and Tyrone Mings, but the Bournemouth side remained weak on the Premier League experience. Of the team that started the opener, a narrow loss to Aston Villa, only four had played at this level before.

Weeks later, Bournemouth claimed their first victory, beating West Ham 4-3 in an epic match at Upton Park. Callum Wilson won a hat-trick, with Pugh also on the scoresheet. At 28, that was the time he had worked his whole life.

“It was an incredible game. We went up 2-0, they brought it down to 2-2. I remember scoring to make it 3-2 and it was my first Premier League goal. Everything else was a bit of a blur because it’s going so fast, and you just have to enjoy it while you’re doing it.

Although Pugh was always convinced he could face the demands of the Premier League, there were still a few test matches against high-quality opponents. One side-back in particular stands out as the toughest he has faced.

“Antonio Valencia, when I played against him at Old Trafford,” Pugh said. “They had 70% possession and he was playing just like a winger. He was staying so high and it was really hard to mark him. He was fast, he was strong, he was good with the ball. He had everything you need in a full back.

In 2018, as Bournemouth started to feel established in the Premier League, the squad were evolving. Money had been spent to get stronger.

Off wide, Ryan Fraser and newcomer David Brooks fared well, leaving Pugh in the shadows. It was difficult to leave Dean Court, but he had to for the sake of his career.

“I had a really honest conversation with Eddie right before I left. It was around November, December and I hadn’t presented much.

“I told him, ‘I need to go out and play some games.’ It was then that I left on loan to go to Hull City. I spent an incredible four or five months there.

“It was really tough leaving Bournemouth but I knew I wasn’t going to play a lot of football and that I wasn’t going to get a new contract. I had an amazing farewell in front of all the fans. one of the best days and it will be remembered for a long time.

Pugh made 312 appearances in total for Bournemouth, scoring 56 goals and contributing to the most successful period in the club’s history. They had never played in the Premier League before, let alone with such fearlessness and attacking intent.

After this period of productive loan at Hull, Pugh joined the Queen’s Park Rangers. Still living on the south coast, there was a lot more travel and the old certainties of football were quickly shattered by the coronavirus pandemic.

Pugh’s contract was not extended due to the financial impact of games played behind closed doors, and he is now clubless after a short stint at Shrewsbury.

Whatever the future, the 33-year-old is already preparing for life after retirement, investing time in his passion for food and fitness.

“I couldn’t boil an egg eight years ago. When we were promoted to the championship I tried to look for ways to improve my performance. I took a nutrition course and learned a lot. He showed me foods that feed you, foods that help recovery, superfoods, that sort of thing.

“I started to cook and loved it. I developed a real passion there. I read endless books and listen to podcasts. I’m crazy about the nutrition and fitness side of things. I consider myself a bit of a health freak now, ”he laughs.

This focus on self-improvement served Pugh well during his rise in the Divisions. Even when playing at the highest level seemed like such a distant prospect, he never wavered in his belief that one day he would. His persistence paid off.

“I had a lot of skeptics. I’ve had a lot of people say I’m not good enough, especially from a young age when I was released by Burnley and Shrewsbury.

“But I always continued to believe. I always imagined that I would play in the Premier League and test myself against the best, and I’m proud that I did.

By Sean Cole

More from Planet Football

Harry Arter: I thought I was as good as foreign PL players, but I was wrong

Fires, threats and friendship: in the worst season in Football League history

Matt Holland leaves West Ham, refuses Villa, takes early retirement

Can you name all the teams that will win promotion to the Premier League?

read more
Book credit

With football and fall sports canceled, Utah and Pac-12 now face damage

On July 31, the Pac-12 released an aggressive, albeit optimistic announcement 10-game conference football schedule only, which was scheduled to begin on September 26.

That moment two weeks ago may have looked like a fresh start in the face of COVID-19, but looking back, the pandemic was already causing there to be no football on the West Coast this fall.

About two weeks ago, a board of Pac-12 medical advisers, which includes University of Utah team doctor Dr. David Petron, began expressing greater concerns about the number of viruses in Pac-12 markets. The spread of the virus has remained widespread and new studies are emerging on how COVID-19 could affect the heart.

Pac-12 medical advisers sent a letter to League Commissioner Larry Scott on Monday, making a recommendation “to stop contacts and competitive activities for now”.

On Tuesday afternoon, just before 2 p.m., before the news broke nationally, Utes athletic director Mark Harlan jumped on a Zoom call led by Kyle Whittingham as football coach of Utah was advising its players that there would be no football this fall.

“Communicating this news, by our coaches, by myself and by others to our student-athletes, is one of the most difficult things I have ever been involved in as athletic director,” said Harlan. later, less than 24 hours after the Pac-12 postponement. “This continued effect of this virus on our student-athletes in regards to their competitive dreams is underway. “

Tuesday’s Pac-12 announcement offered some finality after five months of contingencies, hypotheses and semi-educated guesses. Harlan marked what is sure to be the start of a long and frustrating fall in Salt Lake City. There will be no football at Rice-Eccles Stadium, no women’s football, no women’s volleyball, no cross country.

Fall will give way to winter, and there will be no basketball, at least not right away. The status of Utah’s 10-game non-conference schedule, which includes five games at the Huntsman Center, is officially TBD.

All Pac-12 sports are closed until at least January 1, so it’s safe to assume that playing some semblance of a conference-only basketball season will take priority over trying to make a few games of the game. ‘purchase. As for playing college basketball in a bubble, an idea that circulates at the highest level of university athletics, Scott, Harlan and Colorado AD Rick George are all on the record as not being thrilled with the idea.

The football played in the spring looks like wishful thinking for now, and questions abound about basketball, but what seems clear is that the prospect of no longer playing football places Utah – and its colleagues Pac-12 schools – in what appears to be a dire situation.

Harlan revealed on Wednesday that the financial blow to his non-football sports department is now projected to be between $ 50 million and $ 60 million. He added this Thursday afternoon in an interview at 700 am, saying the shortfall is based on zero football and “limited basketball.” What “limited” means in regards to basketball is unknown, but if games are played, the Utes will likely have less than the previously prescribed 15 regular season home games (five non-conference, 10 Pac-12). . No matter what home games are played, COVID-19 protocols are unlikely to allow large crowds at the Huntsman Center, which will affect the bottom line when it comes to ticket sales.

How Utah handles the financial situation will be a primary question for a long time. Harlan hesitated on Wednesday when asked about potential reductions in staff, whether coaches or internally within the sports department.

For what it’s worth, in fiscal 2019, which included the 2018-19 school year, Utah athletics spent $ 35.6 million on salaries and benefits, nearly half of which from football and men’s basketball combined. Harlan, Whittingham and Larry Krystkowiak were among the top earners who had already agreed to pay cuts earlier in the pandemic.

According to a report last week from Jon Wilner of The Mercury News, a Pac-12 loan program in the works would provide a maximum of $ 83 million for each university at a rate of 3.75% over 10 years. It’s unclear if Harlan would seek to use the loan program, let alone ask the Pac-12 for the full $ 83 million.

“I’m not going to comment on staff cuts or anything like that,” Harlan said. “It’s a job we have to do, and we definitely want to communicate with our own staff before we talk about anything in public. “

Utah and the Pac-12 have touted that all student-athletes, whether they are retiring from a season due to COVID-19 or now due to a postponement, will have their scholarships protected. Otherwise, NCAA Division I board and board of governors swiftly pass legislation provide an extension of the eligibility period of five years and an additional competitive season if an athlete participates in 50% or less of the maximum number of competitions allowed.

The Utah Football, Women’s Cross Country, Women’s Football, and Women’s Volleyball teams have 30 eligible student-athletes for seniors. Whether or not these sports are practiced in the spring will be a matter of several months. If they are not played in the spring and carried over to fall 2021, the number of those 30 athletes who choose to return will be another point of fascination.

After the NCAA issued a general waiver for spring sports athletes whose season ended in March when COVID-19 took over, about a dozen of Utah’s 32 seniors in spring sports have chosen to return in 2021.

In terms of eligibility, granting of scholarships and general recruiting, the football program has a lot of questions.

With extended eligibility clocks and additional competitive seasons on the table, Harlan believes the NCAA will temporarily increase the FBS scholarship limit by 85 to help alleviate any bottlenecks that may arise between current rosters and classes. inbound recruiting.

The Utes had 17 players on their spring roster with senior eligibility. According to 247sports, at this still early stage in the current recruiting cycle, Whittingham has eight verbal commitments from the Class of 2021, including Mission Viejo (Calif.) Four-star quarterback Peter Costelli.

Costelli has been in the news since the Pac-12 announcement. After the CIF Southern Chapter announced last month that it would delay its football season until January, Costelli planned to graduate from Mission Viejo earlier and enroll in Utah.

According to multiple reports from Southern California, Costelli will reverse course and instead play his senior season this winter, delaying his entry in Utah until next summer.

read more