Summary of “Profile: Maira Kalman, Author and Illustrator”

Not all her fans think of Maira Kalman primarily as a writer, but that’s how she described herself to me when we met last month.
My excuse for writing about Kalman is the reissue of several stories for children that she published in the 1990s, starring a dog called Max.
In those texts, her other work for children, and her work for adults, Kalman is the remix artist she describes above, one for whom image and word are intertwined and of equal importance.
In her work for adults, Kalman is almost a diarist, which breeds a certain deceptive sense of familiarity.
The bare bones of her life, gleaned from our conversation and her books: Kalman was born in Israel, in 1949, and her family relocated to the States when she was still a toddler.
In Thomas Jefferson: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Everything, a children’s biography of the statesman, Kalman writes candidly about the man.
The book succeeds because Kalman is so forthright, the rare adult willing to admit to kids that scary things happen.
In My Favorite Things, Kalman writes, “The artist Charlotte Salomon lived in this room in Berlin in the 1930s. She painted and wrote about her family in a book called ‘Opera or Life.’ People were always coming and going and dying. She was killed in the Holocaust. Which brings us inevitably to sorrow.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: ‘This could be the beginning of a revolution'”

The atmosphere at a recent event with Reni Eddo-Lodge, part of the Southbank’s WOW: Women of the World festival in London, was more like a party than a books evening.
The excitement among the audience of largely young women was as striking as the amazing hair and outfits.
“It’s either the beginning of a revolution, or it is going to be a fad. We just don’t know I do see in women a sense that ‘We’re done, this is it … No.’ and it gives me hope.”
Although the “You” in the letter is “Ijeawele”, a Nigerian mother living in a traditional Igbo culture, Adichie is talking to young women the world over: “To get letters from women, saying ‘you make me feel stronger’ that means a lot to me,” she says.
One group who didn’t seem swayed by how much they found Clinton likable was black American women, 90% of whom voted for her in the election.
“There were white women who were therefore able to overlook his very blatant misogyny because he appealed to their whiteness.”
“There are so many women for whom pregnancy is the thing that pushed them down, and we need to account for that. We need to have a clause in every job that a woman who gets pregnant gets her job back in exactly the same way. It’s wrong!” For her, gender is a social construction: “I don’t think I’m more inherently likely to do domestic work, or childcare … It doesn’t come pre-programmed in your vagina, right?”.
She expected a degree of hostility – “Feminist is a bad word, everywhere in the world, let’s not kid ourselves, but particularly where I come from.” But she was not prepared for the furore that followed an interview on Channel 4 last year when she sparked controversy by arguing that the experiences of trans women are distinct from those of women born female, which was interpreted by some as “Creating a hierarchy” and implying that “Trans women were ‘less than’, which I was not … I don’t think that way.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Online dating is so awful that people are paying virtual dating assistants to impersonate them”

Could I work in an “Moral gray area?” Would I be comfortable ranking clients’ photographs? Was I dating anyone currently? Apparently, professional writers make for good online-dating assistants; knowing how to seduce strangers with the written word is the company’s mandate, after all.
From there, after the client has approved the message, a one-liner blitz will rain down on dozens of dating sites, targeting hundreds of women with the word “Travel” in their profiles.
“If there’s a message that the client doesn’t like, we take it out of rotation.” After the Matchmakers have made contact, the Closers then step in to keep up the flirty banter and, hopefully, get their client a date.
What kind of person would pay strangers to score them dates online, and then not even bother to call? Clients who can afford to ignore phone numbers because they receive so many a week are internally referred to as “Cash Cows.” They go on several dates a week for months or sometimes years on end, traveling frequently to new areas and an ever-expanding pool of women.
Once the company obtains the client’s permission to impersonate them online, there are no laws against what Closers do.
Had she blamed my client’s callous response on internet miscommunication? Or was she learning-just as I was-that reaching out for a unique connection online would lead only to awkwardness and rejection? Every time she has an interaction in which her feelings are ignored-whether it’s online or in-person-I worry that she’ll learn not to talk about her emotional needs, or any needs of any kind.
According to him, a Closer should ask the tough questions that female clients aren’t comfortable asking themselves: Does the match want children? Are they looking for something serious? Are they dating anyone else right now?
“So we might realize that a writer’s writing style isn’t a fit for a client or the match that client wants to attract, so we simply shift them to a client that he or she is better equipped to help.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “‘What’s the point of a risk-free life?'”

She came with a whole life and libido of her own.
To speak our life as we feel it is a freedom we mostly choose not to take, but it seemed to me that the words she wanted to say were lively inside her, mysterious to herself as much as anyone else.
This action of dismantling and packing up a long life lived together seemed to flip time into a weird shape; a flashback to leaving South Africa, the country of my birth, when I was nine years old, and a flash forward to an unknown life I was yet to live at 50.
More urgently, I no longer had a study at the most professionally busy time in my life.
What’s the point of that sort of life? As I wheeled my electric bike through the park on the way to my writing shed, my hands had turned blue from the cold.
De Beauvoir knew that a life without love was a waste of time.
She remained committed to Sartre being the essential love of her life for 51 years, despite their other attachments.
All the same, as she had written to the writer Nelson Algren, in the flush of their new love: “I want everything from life, I want to be a woman and to be a man, to have many friends and have loneliness, to work much and write good books and to travel and enjoy myself …”.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Does Having a Day Job Mean Making Better Art?”

“You must factor that in to how difficult it is to manage work and writing.” But for all the stress of brainstorming ideas during her commute and transcribing interviews in the M.T.A. break room, Gidla would never quit her day job.
Some cultivate their art because it sustains their work, or because it fulfills a sense of civic responsibility.
Do politics abet the artist? Unlike Williams, Rama does not borrow directly from his waking life for subject matter; he aims to explore automated and preconscious processes.
At first, Islam imagined the two endeavors – the company and the writing – as “Sisters,” more similar than different.
As Hi Wildflower developed into the author’s main source of income, morphing from an alternate expression of the energies that drove her fiction into “a way of keeping afloat in a society that doesn’t pay artists to do their work,” its meaning mutated.
Business is where Islam works; writing is where she dreams and roams.
In “A Room of One’s Own”, her famous, passionate argument about the material conditions necessary for writing, Virginia Woolf compared fiction to a “Spider’s web, attached ever so lightly perhaps, but still attached to life at all four corners.” It is a lovely vision of art hanging from the beams of reality, only people are not spiders – they don’t generate just one thing.
Artists: They’re just like us, unless they can afford not to be, in which case they still are, but doing a better job of concealing it.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How To Turn Your Biggest Goals Into Monthly, Weekly, And Daily To-Dos”

In other words, you need to plan tomorrow’s to-do list backwards-by thinking about your yearlong goals first.
Switching careers, starting your own business, getting six-pack fit, learning a new language: Your yearlong goals can fall in any category, but they need to be big.
Then you can set your sights on landing your first writing assignments for publications, building out your site, and pitching clients-all monthly goals in their own right.
Week 3: Editing the six posts you wrote over the first two weeks and drafting the next three.
As you move from week to week, month to month, you’ll get a feel for what’s overly ambitious vs. realistic.
Spend a few minutes drafting up your top goals for the day ahead. Let’s say it’s Friday of Week 3 above, and you’re still polishing up a few items from the week before.
It’s easy to see how your work today is connected to your weekly goals, which are connected to your monthly goals, which are connected to your yearly goals.
The reason, as I see it, is because funneling your big-picture goals into daily action steps simply feels good.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Costume Immigrants Wear”

I write about the lives of undocumented immigrants-always in the first person-and often interwoven with my own experience.
I’ve found that for many immigrants clothing is a costume; it’s a deliberate choice.
The only time I remember James Baldwin writing about clothes is when he remembered that, before his assassination, Medgar Evers had told him “How the tatters of clothes from a lynched body hung.”
Although immigrants are said to live in shadows, I think of us differently-a lively species of wild bird that lives on the highest branches of the tallest trees deep in the jungle.
I write down my lawyer’s phone number in fine-point Sharpie on my hand.
Because I cannot return to my parents their youths or health or joy, because I cannot save any of the immigrants I write about, I have been contacting animal shelters so I can foster small senior dogs who are just a few months away from death, so I can love them and nurse them until they die.
I am who I am-the child of immigrants, an immigrant myself, someone who runs but cannot hide from the migraines that overtake me when I think about the immigrants I write about and the long nights that await them after long days under this administration.
Karla Cornejo Villavicencio is a writer, covering immigration and culture.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to Teach Your Kid to Hold a Pencil”

No. 2 surprised people-the pencil grip isn’t something a lot of adults think about.
It means the child is not using his or her hand muscles efficiently, and therefore may tire out quickly, complain about arm or hand pain, or turn in illegible work.
Very early on, kids should be building their fine motor skills-digging their fingers in sand, molding sculptures out of Play-Doh, tearing scraps of paper and zipping zippers-so that they have the muscles they need for pencil-gripping success.
Have your kid place their writing hand in the sock, slipping their pointer finger through one hole and their thumb through the other.
Here’s a video from Sara McClure of the blog Happy Brown House.
Have your child pinch the sharpened end of the pencil and flip it around until it rests in proper writing position.
Place a crumpled tissue between your child’s palm and last two fingers, and have them hold it there.
It helps keep those extra fingers out of the way as they write.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Running Novelist”

Running the club had required constant physical labor, but once I was sitting at a desk writing all day I started putting on the pounds.
As long as you have a pair of running shoes and a good road you can run to your heart’s content.
The main thing was not the speed or the distance so much as running every day, without fail.
Like eating, sleeping, housework, and writing, running was incorporated into my daily routine.
If someone has an interest in long-distance running, he’ll start running on his own.
Marathon running is not a sport for everyone, just as being a novelist isn’t a job for everyone.
No matter how much long-distance running might suit me, of course there are days when I feel lethargic and don’t want to do it.
Don’t you realize how fortunate you are? Compared with that, running an hour around the neighborhood is nothing, right? Then I lace up my running shoes and set off without hesitating.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Ta-Nehisi Coates: Why I’m Writing ‘Captain America'”

The best thing about the story of Captain America is the implicit irony.
Captain America begins as Steve Rogers-a man with the heart of a god and the body of a wimp.
Dubbed Captain America, Rogers becomes the personification of his country’s egalitarian ideals-an anatomical Horatio Alger who through sheer grit and the wonders of science rises to become a national hero.
Rogers’s transformation into Captain America is underwritten by the military.
Conspirators against him rank all the way up to the White House, causing Rogers to, at one point, reject the very title of Captain America.
At the end of World War II, Captain America is frozen in ice and awakens in our time-and this, too, distances him from his country and its ideals.
Captain America, the embodiment of a kind of Lincolnesque optimism, poses a direct question for me: Why would anyone believe in The Dream? What is exciting here is not some didactic act of putting my words in Captain America’s head, but attempting to put Captain America’s words in my head. What is exciting is the possibility of exploration, of avoiding the repetition of a voice I’ve tired of.
I’ve been lucky in my editors-Sana Amanat, who brought me on; Wil Moss, who edits Black Panther; Tom Brevoort, who’s editing Captain America; C.B. Cebulski, who just helped me refashion the script to the first issue; and Axel Alonso, who first broached the idea of me writing Cap.

The orginal article.