Tony Tulathimutte in the Paris Review on who gets to name a novel.
The history of writers fighting for their book titles is extensive and bloody; so powerful is the publisher’s veto that not even Toni Morrison, fresh off her Nobel win, got to keep her preferred title for Paradise, which was War. (For her most recent book, God Help the Child, she favored The Wrath of Children.) Who knows why George Orwell’s editor thought Nineteen Eighty-Four was more commercially viable than The Last Man in Europe, or why the industry’s gerund fetish turned Helen Simpson’s Hey Yeah Right Get a Life into the insipid Getting a Life? Commercial interests even beyond the publishing house can get involved, as in the famous case of DeLillo’s White Noise, which was to be Panasonic until the corporation’s lawyers intervened.
Bert Clere takes a look at Arnold Lobel, and his beloved books of the two friends who are so very different. We have spent a lot of time with Frog and Toad in our house.
Lobel’s Frog and Toad series, published in four volumes containing five stories each during the 1970s, remains his most popular and enduring work. Frog and Toad, two very different characters, make something of an odd couple. Their friendship demonstrates the many ups and downs of human attachment, touching on deep truths about life, philosophy, and human nature in the process. But it isn’t all about relationships with others: In the series, and in his lesser-known 1975 book Owl at Home, Lobel offers a conception of the self that still resonates decades later. Throughout his books, he reminds readers that they are individuals, and that they shouldn’t be afraid of being themselves.
Kelsey Sutton and Peter Sterne with a long piece looking into what's happening with the overtly sensational and more-liberal-than-thou Salon.com at the moment (it ain't good).
Over the last several months, POLITICO has interviewed more than two dozen current and former Salon employees and reviewed years of Salon’s SEC filings. On Monday, after POLITICO had made several unsuccessful attempts to interview Salon CEO Cindy Jeffers, the company dropped a bombshell: Jeffers was leaving the company effective immediately in what was described as an “abrupt departure.”
Jessica Contrera spent some time with a 13 year-old to see what the modern life of a brand new teenager is like, phone in hand, reactions poised, hearts and likes accumulating.
She slides into the car, and even before she buckles her seat belt, her phone is alight in her hands. A 13-year-old girl after a day of eighth grade.
She says hello. Her au pair asks, “Ready to go?”
She doesn’t respond, her thumb on Instagram. A Barbara Walters meme is on the screen. She scrolls, and another meme appears. Then another meme, and she closes the app. She opens BuzzFeed. There’s a story about Florida Gov. Rick Scott, which she scrolls past to get to a story about Janet Jackson, then “28 Things You’ll Understand If You’re Both British and American.” She closes it. She opens Instagram. She opens the NBA app. She shuts the screen off. She turns it back on. She opens Spotify. Opens Fitbit. She has 7,427 steps. Opens Instagram again. Opens Snapchat. She watches a sparkly rainbow flow from her friend’s mouth. She watches a YouTube star make pouty faces at the camera. She watches a tutorial on nail art. She feels the bump of the driveway and looks up. They’re home. Twelve minutes have passed.