Welcome back to Vox’s Saturday book link roundup, a curated collection of the week’s best writing on books and related subjects. Here is the best the internet has to offer for the week of March 26, 2017.
“Her infidelity was taking other authors’ books into bed with her,” says Pamela. “And then to read them in bed. And he would get very agitated about certain of her authors and become very competitive.” Indeed, it’s hard not to detect a tinge of irritation when Gay speaks about her devotion to her writers. “In our marital bed for more than a half a century there’s never a night in bed where there are not manuscript pages all over the sheets,” he says. “If you roll your foot around, there are manuscript pages under your feet. And all over the floor.”
The index is, in any nonfiction book, more useful than almost anything else in the apparatus. It is a map of the text; a cunningly devised series of magical shortcuts that can in the good case save a scholar many hours of work, and in the bad one save a bookshop-browsing cabinet minister from having to buy a former colleague’s memoirs.
Any retelling of a tale from times long past must be an interpretation, a translation into language and concepts that the present audience understands. The original myth may have been told as uninterpreted fact, but later re-tellers are and must be conscious of who their audience is and the purpose of the telling. To what extent does this consciousness shape the choice of what’s told and the language that it’s told in? Interpretation may clarify, betray, reveal, deform.
- The Cooperative Children’s Book Center’s data on books for kids by and about people of color is out, and the numbers are not great:
While the number of diverse books has increased substantially, the number of books written by people of color has not kept pace. In fact, in 2016, Black, Latinx, and Native authors combined wrote just 6% of new children’s books published. In other words, while the number of books with diverse content increases, the majority of those books are still written by white authors. We wrote about this phenomenon back in 2015, and the numbers haven’t changed much since then.