The Audacious Round Up

For the week of June 28th

I am genuinely surprised and honored to be a short story nominee for this year’s Shirley Jackson awards for my short story “Graceful Burdens.”

In this week’s Work Friend, I answer questions about pronouns and gender bias, grief when a coworker dies by suicide, and offices vs. open floor plan work environments.

Why Design Matters by Debbie Millman is available for pre-order. Yes, this link will be available in this newsletter until it goes on sale on 10/26.

Speaking of… Debbie wrote a beautiful essay about her journey to queerness and coming out at 50. You can read it in the Washington Post magazine.

Our next book selection is The Five Wounds by Kirstin Valdez Quade. Sign up on Literati to join our great discussions about the book of the month.

You can register here for that conversation on July 27th.

Tressie, Debbie Millman and I are hosting a writing workshop retreat in July 2022. You can also register for this if you want to spend a weekend with us.

This week on @heartoslay, Tressie and I talk about making our homes a home, and we speak with the winner of HGTV's Design Star: Next Gen, Carmeon Hamilton about how to curate our spaces and her new show about home design for renters!!! Listen in.

This week’s Emerging Writer Series essay is “The Scream Gap” by Celia Mattison. It is deft film criticism about race, gender, trauma, and much more.

Roxane Gay Books is open for submissions.


Lauren Berlant died this week. They were a force to be reckoned with and were profiled, a couple years ago, in The New Yorker.

Zola, directed by Janicza Bravo and co-written by Bravo and Jeremy O’Harris, is out now. I saw an early screening of this movie and saw it again this week. I love this movie, from its origin story to how the story was realized on the big screen. The movie is stylish, sharp, incredibly funny, and as the story unravels, the humor blends into something darker, but just as resonant. Go see it.

Terrible men are always enabled. Always.

What happens when a writer who writes about law tries to help a man be freed from prison?

Meanwhile, here is a man who actually did a crime, more than sixty in fact, and is being released from prison. Total bullshit.

Jenée Desmond-Harris is not only the new Dear Prudie, she is also writing an advice column on race for The New York Times.

The horrors that have been forced upon indigenous peoples is…. beyond words.

There are many housing crises and of course a tech company would try to “disrupt” the world of temporary housing aka flophouses.

This reconstruction of the events of January 6th is fascinating and chilling and really well done.

This doesn’t… look good.

Black creators want credit and compensation for their creative work and intellectual property.

Three Haitian brothers went to the DR on vacation and have been stuck there for a year. It’s a really sad, frustrating story and of course, the U.S. government is doing very little to help these brothers one of whom is a citizen and two who are permanent residents.

Racist nonsense.

The Dodgers must do something about Trevor Bauer.

Tabitha Brown read Wendy Williams for absolute filth but in the classiest, most vicious way possible. With prayer.

Kimberly Drew, co-editor of Black Futures, talks about how to surround yourself with art at home.

An interview with Colman Domingo.

A profile of Janicza Bravo, director of Zola, which I highly recommend.

And another profile of Bravo. And one more review.

I enjoyed this meditative piece on writing a novel.

Scaachi Koul reviewed Netflix’s Sex Life which sounds dreary as hell but it stars Carmen from The L Word.

I missed this controversy but my goodness, we have got to figure out how to have critical discourse without behaving in batshit ways. And we have to figure out how to consume culture without automatically assuming bad intentions. What happened to Isabel Fall is shameful and inexcusable.

Adam Serwer on why Trumpist politics continue to flourish despite his 2020 election loss.

Deadline is sharing some of the scripts of shows we’ll be talking about during this award season.

A new short story by Amy Silverberg.

LeVar Burton should host Jeopardy.

A lot of resources and effort went into keeping the previous president alive when he got COVID. 🤐

Ilana Glazer stars in a new Hulu film, False Positive, which I recently saw. It’s very strange and disturbing. It was interesting to see her in this type of role.

Too little, too late.

Abolition now, except for Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein and 45.

Hollywood sure does love a fat suit.

Disappointing.