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On the Books: 'Bad Feminist' author launches The Toast sister site

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Roxane Gay
Jay Grabiec

Bestselling Bad Feminist author Roxane Gay is spearheading The Butter, a sister site for The Toast.”The Butter will focus on cultural criticism and personal essays that make readers think and feel,” Gay told Capital New York. The Toast publishes an array of pieces covering topics surrounding women’s issues and feminism, from pop culture to literature—often with a personal, humorous take. Mallory Ortberg, who cofounded The Toast with Nicole Cliffe, wrote that the The Butter will be “WHATEVER ROXANE WANTS IT TO BE.” Gay’s site, launching Oct. 15, is part of The Toast’s plan to become a larger network of websites geared toward women. Along with Bad Feminist, a collection of essays, Gay also published the critically acclaimed thriller Untamed State in May. [NPR]

Philip Weinstein is writing a biography on bestselling author Jonathan Franzen, to be published by Bloomsbury in Fall 2015. Jonathan Franzen: The Comedy of Rage is not intended to be a definitive biography on Franzen because his writing career is still in full swing, Weinstein said. “Someone later, a generation from now, will do that biography,” he told The New York Times. Rather,”[i]t’s a report on who he is.” Franzen is best known for 2001’s The Corrections, his award-winning and bestselling novel about a complex, contemporary Midwestern family. Weinstein is a scholar at Franzen’s alma mater, Swarthmore College, best known for his work on literary legends including Franza Kafka and Marcel Proust. [GalleyCat]

Dannie Abse, the prolific Welsh poet, died at age 91 on Sunday. An obituary in The Guardian says of his poems: “[T]hey display a sense of mystery and wonder in confronting the magic that may be uncovered by the patient and acutely observant contemplation of the ordinary events and experiences of urban existence.”

The History Press will publish the diaries and sketchbooks of Everest mountaineer Edward “Teddy” Norton in October. Norton was on the tragic British expedition that killed fellow climbers George Mallory and Andrew Irvine in 1924. 90 years later, Norton’s grandson has decided to share the firsthand account of the hardships his team faced. [The Guardian]

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