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Notable NYC: 4/18–4/24

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Saturday 4/18: Paul Beatty discusses The Sellout, Brooklyn Public Library, 4 p.m., free (RSVP recommended).

Sara Fetherolf, John Reid Currie, Zakia Henderson-Brown, and Carrie Meyers join the Oh, Bernice! reading series. Astoria Bookshop, 7 p.m., free.

Leslie Allison, Filip Marinovich, and Lewis Warsh celebrate the launch of their books from Ugly Duckling Presse.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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Just when you thought you had a full biblio of Shakespeare’s plays, up pops another. Tom Jacobs wrote earlier this week for Pacific Standard on Double Falsehood, a play found nearly a century after Shakespeare’s death and now believed to be at least partially written by the Bard.

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UK Publishing is Racist, Too

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The Writing the Future report . . . found that the “best chance of publication” for a black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) writer was to write literary fiction conforming to a stereotypical view of their communities, addressing topics such as “racism, colonialism or post-colonialism as if these were the primary concerns of all BAME people.”

On the heels of the depressing statistics of the first-ever Women of Color VIDA Count, the UK’s Writing the Future report reveals that things aren’t any better for writers of color across the pond.

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Song of the Day: “Try Me”

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The resilient R&B singer Esther Mae Jones adopted the stage name of Little Esther Philips at the age of 14, allegedly taking it from a gas station sign in Los Angeles. She had a rough-and-tumble career, a tumultuous relationship with the billboard charts, and ongoing addiction problems that endowed her voice with a worldly authenticity reminiscent of Nina Simone.

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Buying Online Is Like Shoplifting

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British novelist David Nicholls believes that book buyers who browse their local shops and then buy books online are basically shoplifters, he tells the Guardian. The author of Us and other novels, Nicholls is a former bookseller himself. He delivered the keynote speech at the London Book Fair’s Digital Minds conference where he lamented that, “a town without a bookshop is missing something.”

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Nightwalking with Dickens

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Long walks are among the most common creative practices, we’re told, for writers from a certain era: Wordsworth, Thoreau, and Blake come quickly to mind. Matthew Beaumont’s new Nightwalking: A Nocturnal History of London from Verso is a treasure trove of stories about these ambulating authors, and Flavorwire has a piece about how walking after dark influenced the writing of Charles Dickens in particular.

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