Lit-Link Round-up


The Weeklings is on fire:

Zoe Zolbrod, with one of the most nuanced and psychologically complex analysises I’ve seen of those horrifying VIDA stats about women and publishing.

Katie Arnoldi and Greg Olear with a five-part series on pot, human trafficking, border patrol and immigration, that is simply a must-read.

And Point/Counterpoint, which really always rocks, welcomes the inimitable Josh Mohr.

The Nervous Breakdown has gone 5.0. Sexy new design, Mr. Listi!

The New Yorker rejects itself…er, one of its own previously published stories. People, you’ve got to love this. It’s really brilliant. Because the thing is, this is being kind of portrayed in the media as scandalous or “bad,” but really there’s no “right” answer here. Or rather, there are a lot of wrong answers, but no Right one. There are stories that you could send to the New Yorker 8,000 times, and that would be rejected every single time. It’s easy, among people who share some basic common educational and ideological similarities, to identify what isn’t competent. Whereas there is no one story that could be sent to the New Yorker, say, 20 times and accepted every time. Maybe not 10 times. Maybe not 5. The New Yorker is just a metaphor here. Many people can agree on what doesn’t work, but far fewer people can agree on what moves them and makes their heart pound. Beauty is a subjective thing. Nobody believes the poets on this matter, so people keep doing scientific research and pulling pranks on the New Yorker to prove the point. Would anyone want to live in a world where beauty wasn’t subjective? What would be the point of being a writer in such a world anyway?

The blogger who “complicated” the Stuebenville rape case speaks out about the wrath she faced for getting involved. This is a truly depressing story, while also being a story of inspiration, moral imperative and personal action that took on larger meaning and got results. There are so many ways to read this. It’s more than a cautionary tale, but if you don’t read it as a cautionary tale, too, you’re missing something vital. Even with the astoundingly high stats on sexual assualt, most of our sons won’t grow up to be rapists; most men don’t rape. But what about all the kids (and adults) in this case who didn’t do anything technically “criminal,” but passively took part in the mockery or the cover-up? How many people my age, in our 40s, who use social media but who remember a day when our private lives were not conducted online, assume that our children–tweens and teens–“know” how to erect rational boundaries between their personal and public lives? Most parents don’t want to have a talk with their kids about what to do if someone at the party is being raped, but here’s a start: instead of posting photos and jokes on Twitter, maybe parents should be telling their kids to call them for help if peers are sexually assaulting someone in the next room, or parading a passed out naked girl around. Your kid doesn’t have to be a rapist to need to have that talk.

Anna March in Salon, on age, consent, and the difference between rape and bad sex.

The Good Men Project gives age-appropriate guidelines to talking to kids about consent.

This documentary about thirteen-year-old Riot Girls who didn’t shower is insanely fascinating.

The first review of Rob Roberge’s The Cost of Living is out, on Three Guys, One Book. The Cost of Living is my last title as the executive editor of Other Voices Books; we’re undergoing some staff transitions that will allow me to remain on as a consultant, but with others running the day-to-day show. I’ve wanted to do a book of Rob’s since the late 90s, so this is a truly resonant and exciting note to go out on. The Cost of Living is a TNB Book Club pick too. You should read it. I wouldn’t have spent two years of my life on this thing if it wasn’t powerful enough to knock you on your ass. I am a very, very busy girl.

The 10 Best Millennial authors you probably haven’t read. Well, according to Flavorwire…if you’re reading the Sunday Rumpus, chances are some of these fine people are familiar to you. (I’m talking to you, Matt Bell!)

The National Book Award applications can now be made online.

Next Sunday is Easter, but that’s not why I’m taking the week off. I’ll be driving back to Chicago after a road trip to Florida and New Orleans with 3 kids in tow. By that point, I may be begging my husband to strap me to the roof of the car just for some peace and quiet. We wouldn’t want my laptop to get blown away and end up splattered on the highway.

Gina Frangello is the author of four books of fiction and a forthcoming memoir, Blow Your House Down. Her novel A Life in Men (Algonquin 2014) is currently under development by Netflix as a series produced by Charlize Theron’s production company, Denver & Delilah. Her most recent novel, Every Kind of Wanting (Counterpoint 2016) was included on several “best of” lists for 2016, including Chicago Magazine’s and The Chicago Review of Books’. She has nearly 20 years of experience as an editor, having founded both the independent press Other Voices Books, and the fiction section of the popular online literary community The Nervous Breakdown. She has also served as the Sunday editor for The Rumpus, and as the faculty editor for both TriQuarterly Online and The Coachella Review. Her short fiction, essays, book reviews, and journalism have been published in such venues as Salon, the LA Times, Ploughshares, the Boston Globe, BuzzFeed, the Chicago Tribune, the Huffington Post, Psychology Today, and in many other magazines and anthologies. After two decades of teaching at many universities, including UIC, Northwestern’s School of Continuing Studies, UCLA Extension, the University of California Riverside Palm Desert, Roosevelt University, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Columbia College Chicago, Gina is excited to be a student again at the University of Illinois-Chicago’s Program for Writers, where she has returned to complete the PhD she left unfinished twenty years ago. More from this author →