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Book News: Roxane Gay's Got A Brand-New Bag — The Butter

Roxane Gay has said that she'll be making a "concerted effort" to publish people of color and queer writers.
Jay Grabiec
Roxane Gay has said that she'll be making a "concerted effort" to publish people of color and queer writers.

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

Come Oct. 15, author Roxane Gay will be adding a bit of flavor to The Toast. The website, co-founded by Nicole Cliffe and Mallory Ortberg, announced Tuesday that it has brought Gay on board to head up a sister site called, naturally, The Butter.

"The Butter will focus on cultural criticism and personal essays that make readers think and feel," Gay told Capital New York.

Gay — who's had something of a world-conquering 2014, with her novel Untamed State out earlier this year and her essay collection Bad Feminist now on the best-seller list — will run the new site under the umbrella of Manderley LLC, the same company that owns The Toast. But she'll still have full editorial control.

In other words, as Ortberg happily explains on The Toast: "What will this particular vertical be like? WHATEVER ROXANE WANTS IT TO BE."

Miller Gets Forward: Awards season rolls on, this time into the realm of line breaks and stanzas. The annual Forward Poetry Prize has picked its winner: Jamaican poet Kei Miller's The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way To Zion. The book, constructed as a conversation between an order-obsessed mapmaker and an irreverent "Rasta-man" with a Ph.D., is "a beautifully voiced collection which struck us all with its boldness and wit," said historian Jeremy Paxman, one of the judges.

In a recent profile in The Guardian, Miller attributes his prolific output — eight books in eight years — partly to his recently diagnosed ADHD. "Part of my productivity is linked to what could be called a disability," he says. "It's easy for me to start writing a poetry collection and get bored after two lines, then to start a short essay and get bored after two sentences and then switch to a short story and get bored after two pages."

A Moment Longer In The U.K.: Lionel Shriver beat out Zadie Smith and Rose Tremain, among others, to win the BBC's National Short Story Award in the U.K. Shriver's "Kilifi Creek," a tale of near-death in Kenya, is available in its entirety in The New Yorker – or, for those whose eyes tire easily, can be listened to instead at the BBC, along with the rest of the stories shortlisted for the prize.

Dunham Shells Out: After a bit of controversy stirred by Gawker, Lena Dunham has announced on Twitter that she's decided to pay the opening acts — "these remarkable, special weirdos who I found on the Internet," she explains to The New York Times — on her newly begun book tour.

Tudor Court On A Broadway Stage: Erik Piepenburg reports that Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall will be headed to Broadway next spring, as the Royal Shakespeare Company plans to leapfrog the Atlantic with its popular adaptations of Mantel's Booker Prize-winning historical novels: Wolf Wall and its sequel, Bring Up the Bodies.

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Colin Dwyer covers breaking news for NPR. He reports on a wide array of subjects — from politics in Latin America and the Middle East, to the latest developments in sports and scientific research.
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