Petunia turns 7 (7!!!) on Sunday, and party preparation and the like has eaten into my online time this week. This is also why I didn't answer the email I got from the reader who couldn't comment on my last post. I didn't get a chance to log in to that email account to answer. I read it, though, and thank you!
Despite my temporary but fairly consuming obsession with birthday party planning and birthday gift procurement and wrapping, I have some links for you, so let's get to them.
First, if you missed Michiko Kakutani's amazing review of a new biography of Hitler, rectify that.
If that book review made your blood run cold, warm your heart with this story of a letter Hillary Clinton sent to a little girl.
The guy who created Pepe the Frog isn't a white nationalist. And he's voting for Hillary.
Graphing opiate deaths in the US vs. time, broken down by region and then state. I stared at those graphs for a long time. Trying to understand the differences between seemingly similar states (e.g., Vermont and New Hampshire) would probably help us come up with better strategies to deal with this problem. And West Virginia's line just breaks my heart.
Michael Chabon's article about taking his son to the Paris Fashion Week was all over my timeline this week, and I finally read it and figured out why. It is really very good.
I came across two really good discussions about writing characters from other cultures and backgrounds. Kaitlyn Greenidge at the NY Times and Mollie Copley Eisenberg at her own blog both explore the idea that you can write outside your own experience, but you have to be able to do it well. You have to have something believable and true to tell the reader. It comes back to the idea that I've seen advance by others (maybe Daniel José Older? I can't find the post I'm thinking about) that a failure to portray diversity well is a failure in the craft of writing.
Rose Eveleth's essay about the damaging myth of effortless is very good.
Some promo news: Academaze was excerpted at Chronicle Vitae this week. They published an essay about colalborations on the tenure track.
And the happy thing at the end: Bhangra dance in the Maritime Provinces. Here's the full video that went viral:
Happy Weekend, everyone! We can't all be turning 7 this weekend, but hopefully we can all have a good weekend, anyway.