Today the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse prize winner was announced and sadly a Gloucestershire Old Spot pig will not be named Lightning Rods but Zoo Time (congratulations on a second win Howard Jacobson). The competition was tough.
To commiserate, we mean celebrate Helen’s masterpiece in comic fiction, click on the image or here to read John Self’s wonderful review of Helen de Witt’s Lightning Rods and here a few words from the man himself;
“I read Lightning Rods last year but it has stayed with me in a way that few books do. Its comedy is the best kind: simultaneously horrifying and absurdly funny. It is one of the most original and unusual books in recent memory.” John Self Asylum
A really interesting and thoughtful assessment of the widely trending new Dove ad.
When it comes to the diversity of the main participants: all four are Caucasian, three are blonde with blue eyes, all are thin, and all are young (the oldest appears to be 40). The majority of the non-featured participants are thin, young white women as well. Hmm… probably a little limiting, wouldn’t you say? We see in the video that at least three black women were in fact drawn for the project. Two are briefly shown describing themselves in a negative light (one says she has a fat, round face, and one says she’s getting freckles as she ages). Both women are lighter skinned. A black man is shown as one of the people describing someone else, and he comments that she has “pretty blue eyes”. One Asian woman is briefly shown looking at the completed drawings of herself and you see the back of a black woman’s head; neither are shown speaking. Out of 6:36 minutes of footage, people of color are onscreen for less than 10 seconds.
A couple of weeks ago I put out a call to a few publishing friends asking for some books to send to my friend Art and his buddies serving now in Afghanistan. Well these are them and they are shipping out today! So much great fiction: Salter, Djanikian, Fesperman, and amazing non-fiction too. I’m loath to part with them but so happy to be able to send them off and give Art an escape if only temporarily into a book. Thank you, thank you!
Favorite new Tumblr of the week!
This is Mr. Window — a New Orleans local, who has been playing guitar on the streets for many years. I interviewed him on my recent trip to NOLA.