The Audacious Round Up

For the week of March 1

The Audacious Book Club discussion with Torrey Peters, is now live on YouTube. And the syllabus for Detransition, Baby is also up.

Our next book is Brandon Hobson’s The Removed. Our discussion begins toward the end of the month (around the 22nd), and our live chat with Brandon will take place on March 24th, at 8 pm EST/5 pm PST. Registration is open.

McClean and Eakins Booksellers has created a dedicated page for the book club if you’re looking for a place to buy your forthcoming books. I am happy to post links to any and all independent bookstores who have similar pages. Thanks to all of you for being so supportive of this amazing book club. (It’s amazing because of all of you and how you engage with the books. I’m not tooting my own horn.)

I made a series of short videos for the BBC and the first, is one about women and power.

Starting next week, some content will be behind the paywall. All the longer essays and book club discussions will still be free for all subscribers but there will be bonus discussions about pop culture and the news of the day, and a few fun little essays that will be available only to paid subscribers. Starting next month, the book club author chats will also only be open to paid subscribers. This allows us to pay for things like the Webinars, the editorial support, and the ASL interpreters. I hope you come on board!


My friend and podcast co-host Tressie McMillan Cottom has a new newsletter called essaying and her first essay, The Dolly Moment, on Dolly Parton, the South, and whiteness, is, well, a tour de force.

I really appreciated this piece on contemporary black women artists and the community that the Studio Museum of Harlem has fostered. (via Crème de la Crème)

Speaking of art—an assessment of Lorraine O’Grady’s legacy. I also appreciated this profile of O’Grady. It has been wonderful getting to know more about her as an artist, and her work.

If you want your mind blown, type doc.new into your Chrome browser (or sheet.new, or presentation.new, or form.new). There are a bunch of other neat .new tricks, too.

I recently watched The Mauritanian about Mohamedou Ould Slahi who has detained and tortured for 14 years at Guantanmo. It’s a horrifying story, and he is but one of many men who endured such treatment, or still are enduring it. Here is an article about him. His spirit is admirable.

I have long been a fan of Ann Patchett’s. Her writing is glorious. If you’re looking for a place to start, might I suggest Bel Canto and Commonwealth and The Dutch House. But really, her entire body of work is worth reading including this essay about divesting herself from some of her possessions.

Seth Rogen is starting a weed company, and there is a lot to say about all the people currently incarcerated for marijuana infractions who should be released immediately, as well as who gets to partake of this new legality BUT it is still nice to see someone get to do something he clearly loves. Also, the name—Houseplant.

Nomadland, another movie I recently saw (I’ve seen pretty much everything because I was a SAG nominating voter for 2020), started with this essay in Harper’s. Chloé Zhao won best director and best film at the Golden Globes and I was thrilled by that win. The film is really interesting—melancholic, a bit bittersweet, a subtle condemnation of capitalism, a love story to the west.

Rebecca Woolf writes about finding companionship as a single mom during a pandemic.

Parul Sehgal, one of my favorite critics, reviews The New York Times Book review.

As an aside, I have all the empathy in the world for Meghan Markle and her husband. I absolutely understand why Prince Harry stepped away from the royal family. It seems like the British tabloids will never stop defaming Meghan. They are seething with rage that a black woman is now part of the royal family and they cannot even hide it. And, frankly, so is the royal family. I was ambivalent about their interview with Oprah but now I am going to be watching that thing with avid interest.

The Boston Review has a new fellowship. Apply if you think you might be a good fit.

And here is a call for emerging filmmakers.


Some tweets: