Or, Solidarity Forever
This is another “How did I read?” week so you know what’s coming. I watched The Office, Succession , and catching up on The Real Housewives of Nairobi when I wasn’t engaged in wage work or hosting and what little reading I did didn’t get me to more than one book finished. I knew it would be a low book count read when I found myself reading 2 or 3 pages to maintain my Kindle streak haha but we move.
This has truly been the week of literary discourse with not one, but two, books winning the Pulitzer Prize and a thread about the difference between agents and writers (one is a job, one a passion etc) that seems like the apt precursor for the dropping of authors by New Leaf Literary on Friday evening. For the first, it’s been refreshing to see conversations that have spoken to the validity of both titles (in contrast, say, to the conversation when Bernadine Evaristo and Margaret Atwood shared the Booker Prize) and it’s been curious to see the agent/writer discourse play out because it reminds one, again, of the business of writing.
From what I can tell, an agent was fired from New Leaf and her list of authors dropped. Meanwhile, neither the authors nor the agent saw it coming so it’s been quite jolting all round. This, in the same month as the WGA strike, serves as a reminder of the fact that writing is a job as much as we try to elide this fact, and the number of writers speaking up not just about the issues at hand but also about all the other less than stellar occurrences in the world of writing makes it impossible to forget that writers are workers.
This week, for instance, Elnathan John shared his 2022 publishing earnings and they left folks quite surprised. As he said, no one quit your day job but then we run the risk (if we’re not there already) of the arts being the exclusive province of those who come from wealth. We walk this fine line, then, of wanting to keep enjoying art and grappling with what it means to access it in an ethical way that compensates its makers fairly.
I have spoken recently about my desire to make all my videos accessible but I haven’t really told the whole story so here we are:
Even then, I didn’t put out a video this weekend because of my commitments but I hope to put at least 2 (a wrap up and a Maktaba Manenos) out each week and aim for brevity during recordings. The schedule I’m aiming for is Tuesdays and Fridays so I’m sharing it here for the record.
Quick news/ things that may be of interest:
Dracula Daily, which I mentioned in a past entry, continues apace. Jump on if you’re keen
If writing postcards is something you enjoy, check out this website I found out about via Rachel Syme. I send my first postcard this week and I’m really excited. Related: you can send me books, postcards, letters, and assorted gifts via PO Box 102439, Jamia Posta 00101, Nairobi, Kenya
I have finished one book since I last wrote - a hybrid read of Very Cold People by Sarah Manguso (narrated by Rebecca Lowman) - review forthcoming. I haven’t put out a video since the Labour Day one (you can watch it here) and this week’s toughness has meant I haven’t made much subtitling progress so there’s just the one. To catch the ones I’m working on when they’re done, subscribe to the channel if you haven’t yet!
As ever, please write back to me and tell me what books you’re reading or looking forward to reading — it’s always a great time talking about books.
Enjoy the rest of the week and have a lovely time reading. Talk to you soon!
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