Best of the Web 10/09/17
Thrice a month, we feature our favorite literary links. As ever, we promise: You’ll ruminate. You'll ponder. You won’t get any writing done.
From The Awl, Bryan Washington discusses the "autofiction" assumption authors of color face in "Based on a True Story."
"It doesn’t matter where we’re coming from. It doesn’t matter what we’re writing about. What matters is that this audience, which is to say the audience inclined towards reading supposedly literary fiction, and the editors and the agents and the critics and the educators upon whom the genre’s laurels mostly rest, at least on paper, is predominantly white. But once every third blue moon, they’ll come across an author who is not; and her contributions to the canon are treated as anthropological excavations, and as crossovers for mass (white) audiences, rather than intentionally crafted art."
Entertainment Weekly, covers Grub instructor Whitney Scharer's recent book sale in "The Age of Light: How a debut historical novel created an intense bidding war."
"But even given the industry’s continual, aggressive search for breakout writers and voices, The Age of Light’s journey to high-profile release was a remarkably fast one. Julie Barer, Scharer’s agent, told EW that she sent the book to publishers on Wednesday morning, and before even completing the day’s submission calls, she was already fielding expressions of interest. She ended up receiving a startling 13 bids on the book."
From Longreads, Tara Wanda Merrigan's essay, "A Short Distance from Southie, but a World Away."
"Upward mobility is more about leaving something behind than it is about achieving something new. It is a willingly assumed alienation. It means that even after you’re able to pass as that to which you aspire, you will never fully belong to any one world again. The American Dream, that foremost example of the desire to move on up, is an ungratefulness: that to which you were born is simply not good enough. In my family, the upwardly mobile mentality has been passed down from generation to generation like some kind of genetic disease."
From the Sundress Blog, a call for outstanding non-featured AWP 2018 panels for their roundtable series.
"Sundress Publications is excited to continue the tradition of celebrating non-featured AWP panels on our blog in 2018. We know that there are dozens of worthy and important panel proposals that weren’t accepted for AWP in Florida next spring, so let us be your platform instead!”
From The New Yorker, Tiana Clark's poem "Nashville."
they built the interstate. I-40 bisected the black community
like a tourniquet of concrete. There were no highway exits.
120 businesses closed. Ambulance siren driving over
the house that called 911, diminishing howl in the distance,
black bodies going straight to the morgue. At the downtown
library, a continuous loop flashes sncc videos with black
and white kids training for spit and circular cigarette burns
as the video toggles from coaching to counters covered
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