Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Monday, September 21, 2020
To honor the memory of the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, someone in New York City placed a lace collar on the statue of the financial district statue called “The Fearless Girl.”
Fearless Girl is a bronze sculpture by Kristen Visbal, commissioned by State Street Global Advisors, an asset management company in Manhattan. The statue was installed in 2017 for International Women’s Day. The four-foot tall statue is located near the New York Stock Exchange Building.
In 1965, at a critical juncture in the Civil Rights Movement, James Baldwin’s essay “The White Man’s Guilt” unmasked the myths and lies that sustain racial injustice in America.
Sunday, September 20, 2020
2020 Longlist National Book Award for Fiction:
Rumaan Alam, Leave the World Behind Ecco / HarperCollins Publishers
Christopher Beha, The Index of Self-Destructive Acts Tin House Books
Brit Bennett, The Vanishing Half Riverhead Books / Penguin Random House
Randall Kenan, If I Had Two Wings W. W. Norton & Company
Megha Majumdar, A Burning Alfred A. Knopf / Penguin Random House
Lydia Millet, A Children’s Bible W. W. Norton & Company
Deesha Philyaw, Secret Lives of Church Ladies West Virginia University Press
Douglas Stuart, Shuggie Bain Grove Press / Grove Atlantic
Vanessa Veselka, Great Offshore Grounds Alfred A. Knopf / Penguin Random
Charles Yu, Interior Chinatown Pantheon Books / Penguin Random House.
The News. The National Book Foundation today announced the 2020 ten contenders for the National Book Award for Fiction. The Finalists in all five categories will be revealed on October 6. Winners in all categories will be announced live at the virtual National Book Awards Ceremony on November 18.
The 2020 Fiction Longlist counts three debuts among the ten titles. Only one writer, Lydia Millet, has been honored by the National Book Awards before; Millet’s novel Sweet Lamb of Heaven was Longlisted for Fiction in 2016. This year’s Longlist includes two writers who have been previously honored by the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 prize, Brit Bennett and Charles Yu.
The authors on the 2020 National Book Award for Fiction Longlist have earned recognition from numerous prizes, including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize. In addition, their writing has appeared in a variety of publications, including the New York Times, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Elle, New York Magazine, The Paris Review, New York Review of Books, GQ, The Atlantic, McSweeney’s, and more. Three titles on this year’s Longlist are set in the American South.
---Brit Bennett’s The Vanishing Half is a multi-generational family saga in which the characters contemplate the consequences of their lineage. Twins Stella and Desiree escaped rural Louisiana as teenagers, but years later Desiree returns with her daughter in this work of crisp social commentary that addresses colorism, gender identity, and more.
--The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw draws us into the multifaceted lives of Black women across several generations as they engage in self-discovery and seduction. In Philyaw’s first work of fiction, her characters push the boundaries of thought around morality, Christianity, and their community’s expectations.
--Returning to the fictional territory of Tims Creek, North Carolina in which two of his previous works also take place, the short story collection If I Had Two Wings by Randall Kenan explores appetites of all kinds, as well as characters yearning for both metaphorical and literal flight.
Two Longlisted titles mine the complexity and poignancy of apocalyptic events. --In Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam, Brooklyn couple Amanda and Clay head out on a family vacation to Long Island, but their trip turns uneasy when the homeowners seek refuge following blackouts in New York City. As the world outside moves towards greater unrest, the group faces their perceptions about each other and the very concept of safety.
--Civilization’s future is at stake in A Children’s Bible by Lydia Millet, who holds a master’s degree in environmental policy. The cast of young characters in Millet’s novel easily fend for themselves as their parents remain indifferent to the devastation of the world around them in allegorical tale that defies rationalizations about climate change. Two debut novels set overseas consider the impact of a lack of support, whether from society or family, in very different settings and time periods.
--In Megha Majumdar’s debut A Burning, a Facebook post results in protagonist Jivan being accused of collaborating with a terrorist on social media. With this act at its center, Majumdar lambasts the promise of social mobility through technology in India, capturing the despair felt by all of those betrayed by the promise of digital democracy and failed by their nation’s justice systems.
--Set in Glasgow in the 1980s, Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart is an epic portrayal of a working-class family haunted by alcoholism. Each of their experiences are portrayed with great care through the eyes of lonely Hugh “Shuggie” Bain, who finds himself at the margins of his own family.
Two novels interrogate interpersonal relationships and self-concept.
--The reveal of a family secret propels The Great Offshore Grounds by Vanessa Veselka. Originally seeking an inheritance, sisters Livy and Cheyenne join forces with their adopted younger brother Essex to find their other mother, Ann, who agreed to let Kirsten raise both daughters, provided Kirsten not reveal the details of who belonged to which mother. Their quest takes them across the country as each character works to define their own freedom.
--In The Index of Self-Destructive Acts by Christopher Beha, statistics whiz Sam Waxworth arrives in New York City to write a monthly column for a venerable magazine and soon finds himself entangled in a crumbling family empire. Beha’s novel meticulously explores the relationship between the old guard and new meritocracy as Waxworth unpacks his complicated relationship to his analytics career.
Everyone embodies a role in Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu and protagonist Willis Wu strives to land the best one available to an Asian-American man: Kung Fu Guy. Yu’s novel takes the concept of allegory and uses the familiar landscape of Hollywood tropes to create a nuanced, heartfelt, and stylistically unique portrait of Asian-American identity.
Publishers submitted a total of 388 books for the 2020 National Book Award for Fiction. The judges for Fiction are Roxane Gay (Chair), Cristina Henríquez, Laird Hunt, Rebecca Makkai, and Keaton Patterson. Judge’s decisions are made independently of the National Book Foundation staff and Board of Directors and deliberations are strictly confidential. Winners in all categories will be announced live at the virtual National Book Awards Ceremony on November 18.
Saturday, September 19, 2020
|Thank you, mucho Tom and Chuck!|
|Editor’s note: Of course, in a pandemic office health standards apply. Be careful. And, if you’re lucky to office from home there are other perks to perc-ing coffee a la maison, n’est-ce-pas?|
|WEEKLY COFFEE QUIZ--Where in the world is this coffee establishment? Answer next Saturday in PillartoPost.org Coffee Beans & Beings post.|
Friday, September 18, 2020
Thursday, September 17, 2020
Located on a Town-owned, infill lot in the heart of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, this 13,500 square foot greenhouse utilizes a 1/10 acre site to grow an annual amount of produce equivalent to 10 acres of traditional farming.
Vertical Harvest enables the community to grow produce 365 days a year despite the difficulties posed by the harsh climate.
|Located in urban areas, these multi-story greenhouses produce incredibly fresh local food year around, and provide meaningful employment to underserved populations. Vertical Harvest employee picks and prunes hundreds of indoor tomato plants.|
Wednesday, September 16, 2020
Fotografiska New York is located in Church Missions House, a Renaissance revival landmark built-in 1894. It was renovated recently by architecture firm CetraRuddy.
First opened in December 2019, Fotografiska New York, a center for the exhibition of the visual arts has reopened after being closed by the Covid-19 pandemic for most of 2020. Fotografiska is the internationally renowned destination for photography, founded in Stockholm in 2010 and expanding globally – first to Tallinn, Estonia, and now to New York City.
The Romanesque Church Mission House was designed by architect Robert Gibson and church interior specialist Edward Stent in the style of medieval guildhalls of Holland’s Amsterdam and Haarlem.
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
|Who are these masked banditas? Andrew Warren assumes the soon to be Smithsonian-ized “selfie pose to capture bfs (left to right): Brooke Korine; Julia Moshy; Ethan D’Spain; Avery Singer and Ally Shapiro.|
|Photos here by Manny Ingoa of Guest of a Guest, include partygoer Alexa Greenfield submitting to pandemic protocols of the day: temperature check and host provided Masks by Jill and Ally. Temperatures by Actress Renee Willet.|
|Party host and fashion designer Andrew Warren is snapping away this time exposing guest Actor Nora Gjieli amid the outdoor tablescape by Coterie Party. You guessed it, the candlelit hibachi dinner was catered by Ace Catering.|
Clever dessert arrived in the form of ice cream and candle-ized boozy influenced donuts from Sundae Donuts Montauk Sweets Shop.
|Sunset off of Sunset Boulevard, Malibu|
|Downtown San Francisco, 500 block of Jones Street photographed in front of Red Chill Cafe|
|As if Portland Oregon didn't have enough troubles already, here's noon over the city.|
|By 7 am the sun should be shining on Sonoma County (CA) wineries|
|Afternoon sun is a disk but overall San Diego didn't have it as bad as other areas to the North.|
|Haze from Northwest fires casts a pall over T-Mobile Park in Seattle as the Mariners battled the Oakland A's|
Monday, September 14, 2020
Sunday, September 13, 2020
ICON AUTHORS REFLECT ON THE VAGARIES.
It was early 20th century American Author Theodore Dreiser's
belief, throughout his writing career, that one could do little to
significantly alter his future existence. Burdened by his biological and environmental heritage, one could only struggle blindly against the larger manipulator of action and events— chance.
Author Amy Tan wrote “Chance is the first step you take, luck is what comes afterward.”
Author Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist, Eleven Minutes) insists nothing in this world happens by chance.
Louis Pasteur is on record as saying “chance favors the prepared mind.”
NAME OF GAME
“Baseball gives every boy a chance to excel, not just to be good as someone else but to be better than someone else. This is the nature of man and the name of the game.” Ted Williams, American baseball player.
JUST DO IT
The three C’s of life: Choices, Chances and Changes. You must make a choice to take a chance or you will never change. –Zig Zigler, American motivational speaker
WAIT YOUR TURN
Abraham Lincoln said “I will study and get ready and someday my chance will come.”
American author Toni Morrison said “your life is already a miracle of chance waiting for you to shape its destiny.”