Monday News: Marley Dias, literary agent files suit, polyamory, and reading more books
Marley Dias, the 12-Year-Old Founder of #1000BlackGirlBooks, Is Writing a Book of Her Own – In a world where it sometimes seems like everyone is writing a book, I’m glad one of those people is Marley Dias, whose #1000BlackGirlBooks campaign was both brilliant and ballsy, and clearly this girl has some things to say. And best of all it’s a nonfiction book, to be published by Scholastic next spring (2018):
[Marley’s book] shows kids how to make their own dreams come true. In this accessible “keep-it-real” guide, Marley tells how she’s turned her passion into a literacy crusade that has captured the attention of the media, policymakers, and young people throughout the world.
he book will also offer tips on “paying it forward” and “activism, social justice, volunteerism, equity and inclusion” . . . – The Cut
Agent stiffed in deal to bring Marie Kondo’s best-selling book to US: suit – New York literary agent Neil Gudovitz secured Marie Kondo a deal with Ten Speed Press for U.S. publication of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up on behalf of California literary agency Waterside Productions. The book, of course, became a mega-hit, and has made lots and lots of money for Random House (or PRH as it is now known). It seems, though, that the agency was expecting Gudovitz to negotiate a deal for Simon and Schuster to publish Kondo’s sequels, while Kondo preferred to remain with Ten Speed. So Gudovitz is claiming that Waterside owes him more money for the Ten Speed deal, and Waterside claims that there is no enforceable contract, and that Gudovitz should be held liable for the Kondo rejecting S&S’s deal. This is going to be interesting.
But Waterside allegedly failed to pay Gudovitz “a single cent” of the $225,000 he said he was promised from the book’s success, according to a Brooklyn Supreme Court lawsuit he filed against the company.
Waterside fired Gudovitz after Kondo stuck with Ten Speed Press for her sequels, rejecting a lucrative deal from Simon & Schuster in the process, claims Gudovitz, who wants an additional $900,000 in damages. – New York Post
How a hackneyed romantic ideal is used to stigmatize polyamory – If you’ve given any thought to the way in which genre Romance has historically relied on the idealization of monogamy, this essay by Carrie Jenkins will not surprise you. Still, it articulates a number of important myths that inform the way we tend to think about women and monogamy, and the way that genre Romance struggles with polyamory as a “romantic” relationship ideal. And if you regard genre Romance as advocacy for romantic love as a freedom and a right, you could argue that Romance is precisely the place to explore different types of happy endings in romantic relationships.
This monogamous ideal is supposed to appeal to women especially. According to the stereotypes, single women are desperate to ‘lock down’ a man, while men are desperate to avoid commitment. There’s nothing new here: monogamy has historically been gendered. Even in situations where marrying more than one woman has been illegal, it has often been normal for men to have mistresses, but different rules have applied to women. This is unsurprising: in a patriarchal society with property inheritance passing along the male line, paternity is key, and enforced female monogamy is an effective way to control it.
Women’s sexuality can also be policed by developing a feminine model that includes a ‘natural’ desire for monogamy, plus social benefits for conforming to that model (and penalties for non-conformity). This model can then be internalised by women as a ‘romantic’ ideal inculcated via fairytales. In a similar vein, rather than allowing only men to have more than one partner, we can instil a subtler cultural belief that men’s infidelity is ‘natural’ and therefore excusable, while women’s infidelity is not. . . .
We must get beyond this. We need to question the limits we have placed on what counts as a ‘romantic’ relationship. Freedom to love – the right to choose one’s own relationships without fear, shame or secrecy – is critical, not just for individuals but for us all collectively. Non-conformity is the mechanism that reshapes the social construct to better represent who we are, and who we want to be. Instead of forcing our relationships to conform to what society thinks love is, we could force the image of love to conform to the realities of our relationships. – Aeon
8 Ways to Read (a Lot) More Books This Year – Although this type of article can be simplistic and redundant, I think there are a couple of decent suggestions here, outside of focusing on physical books (yawn). But thinking of your personal library/bookshelves as a dynamic space, making a public commitment to reading more books, and placing books where you will see, touch, and be tempted to read them are potentially helpful. As is ‘taking a news fast’ (and right now that may have many benefits!). Reading more, like physically exercising more, is basically a new habit, and to some degree you have to recondition yourself and your environment to accommodate any new habit. And there’s this, too:
Change your mindset about quitting. It’s one thing to quit reading a book and feel bad about it. It’s another to quit a book and feel proud of it. All you have to do is change your mindset. Just say, “Phew! Now I’ve finally ditched this brick to make room for that gem I’m about to read next.” An article that can help enable this mindset is “The Tail End,” by Tim Urban, which paints a striking picture of how many books you have left to read in your lifetime. Once you fully digest that number, you’ll want to hack the vines away to reveal the oases ahead.
I quit three or four books for every book I read to the end. I do the “first five pages test” before I buy any book (checking for tone, pace, and language) and then let myself off the hook if I need to stop halfway through. – Harvard Business Review