Roxane Gay Signs Deal for Comic About Black Women Master Thieves: Critical Linking, December 20

We’re giving away a stack of our 20 favorite books of the year. Click here to enter, or just click the image below.

This is going to be epic.

This ambiguity was central to Pushkin’s identity. Sometimes he used his African heritage to position himself as a Byronic outsider hero, as when speaking of “my Africa”, in Onegin, as if he’d been there. He called American slaves “my brothers” while owning Russian slaves of his own and insisting – as Nabokov’s translation of his 1830 poem My Genealogy has it – Gannibal was: “The emperor’s bosom friend, not a slave.” At other times, he reproduced stereotypes of the day, as when he pictures Ibrahim with “jealously [beginning] to seethe in his African blood” – a trope that society gossips applied to Pushkin himself after his tragic duel.

An interesting piece on Pushkin’s African heritage.

Twenty years ago, Amazon’s Audible released the first portable audio player designed specifically for listening to audiobooks. It cost $200 and could only hold about two hours of audio. Today, readers can listen to hundreds of hours on their smartphones and choose from more than 35,000 books published each year on dozens of applications and devices. More than 67 million Americans now listen to audiobooks annually, according to the Audio Publisher’s Association.

A short history of the audiobook.

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