It’s embarrassing. Especially for someone like me. I’m supposed to be an author – words are kind of my job. Without reading, I’m not sure who I am. So, it’s been unnerving to realize: I have forgotten how to read – really read – and I’ve been refusing to talk about it out of pride.
“Compared to two decades ago, when CDs were at peak popularity, of course 2017’s sales statistics look anemic. But the compact disc is still the most popular format for people purchasing records. The second-most-popular format, with 66.2 million units sold? Another one pundits love to say is dying, digital albums. And it’s certainly not correct to say that all consumers are eschewing CDs.”
“The Bossy collective are behind a 15,000-member Facebook group set up in 2016 as a supportive space for women in the creative industries. Now, in the wake of the #MeToo movement and continuing allegations of sexual misconduct in the creative and other industries, the group, has founded a campaign to buy the Theatre Royal Haymarket.”
“For this project, the music streaming service Spotify gave me data on how frequently every song is listened to by men and women of each particular age. The patterns were clear. Even though there is a recognized canon of rock music, there are big differences by birth year in how popular a song is.”
As Ensler was helping build a sanctuary for rape survivors in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, she discovered that she had stage 3/4 uterine cancer. After she turned that experience into a memoir, she, and director Diane Paulus, made it into a one-woman play. “Ensler says there’s something very ‘meta’ about re-enacting her own physical pain and spiritual journey for 300 people, eight performances a week.”
Mary J. Blige, who plays Florence, says: “My mom used to send us down to Georgia every summer. So I knew what it felt like to have my hands in the dirt and to pick beans, and to pick whatever was in the field and to watch my grandmother, who was a sharecropper — and a sharecropper’s wife. They had a farm; they had chickens. And whatever they killed, we had to eat, and whatever they pulled out of the field, we had to shell beans, we had to pick peas, we had to cut greens. We had to do all that stuff. So I guess it was already in my DNA and embedded in me.”
Author Kit de Waal says that when she grew up, “The only writers I knew were dead. And apart from Enid Blyton, they were dead men. And white. And posh. Even when I began to read widely in my 20s, it was still a case of: if you can’t see it, you can’t be it. No one from my background – poor, black and Irish – wrote books. It just wasn’t an option.” And things haven’t changed much, she says.
Daniel Kaluuya is nominated for an Academy Award, as is the movie, and now he’s in Black Panther as well. He’s glad to have his mom around to help him stay humble: “His mother finds acting too erratic a profession. ‘She calls me every time and says, ‘Have you got a job yet?’ And I haven’t. I can’t say to her, ‘You gotta wait – the nos mean something.’ I tell her I’m writing a script. She says, ‘Just type full stop.’’ [And] after the hype around Get Out, Kaluuya is more grateful than ever for his mother’s unhistrionic attitude. He calls this right-sizing.”