"Random House will publish writer and critic Maud Newton’s first book, an examination of her obsession with genealogy and her own colorful family history, along with the science and superstition of ancestry in the culture at large. Newton’s essay, ‘America’s Ancestry Craze,’ is the cover story for the current issue of Harper’s magazine. This interdisciplinary study will draw on memoir, reporting, cultural criticism, scientific and anthropological research to understand the fear and fascination behind genealogy, and why it has become the second most popular hobby in the United States. Newton began blogging about books and culture in 2002; within a few years her site was one of the most widely [...]
Congratulations to Awl pal Jessica Grose, who has sold her debut novel to William Morrow. (That link is subscription-only, so know this: Sad Desk Salad is "told from the voice of a popular blogger who chronicles the rise and fall of her big scoop, where she must reconcile her values with the growing (ruthless) demands of a gossip- and reality-obsessed culture," but Jess assures us it is not a Devil Wears Prada kind of thing.)
In this weekend's New York Times Magazine, Awl pal Jay Caspian Kang profiles a 21-year-old online poker millionaire. Also in this weekend's New York Time Magazine, Awl pal Heather Havrilesky reflects: "Conversations between middle-aged people and teenagers tend to be a little awkward, probably because we have so much in common." What we're saying is you should read this week's New York Times Magazine. They've got some good writers in there.
"My girlfriend wants to move to another country where there are more job opportunities but a much higher crime rate. I’m terrified of going, as I don’t think I’d ever fit in and feel safe walking the streets (which I love to do), but there’s no future where we live now, and I don’t think I’d ever make enough money to even move out of my parents’ house. What should I do?" —Awl pal Julie Klausner's advice column is pretty much what you'd expect, which is to say hysterical.
You there! Go listen to "How Was Your Week?", a new podcast from Awl pal Julie Klausner. The first episode "features an interview with authoress/ provacateur[/Awl pal] Natasha Vargas-Cooper, a rundown of the Best Picture nominees from Julie's parents, an unfavorable review of The King's Speech, and the debut of a new title for something that we will use, one day: Oscar Madison Won't Let You Pack Your Bags." It's here, or here if you want it from iTunes.