[…] FEATURED IN THE NEW YORK TIMES SUNDAY BOOK REVIEWS! […]

University professor and author Roxane Gay found that nearly 90% of the New York Times book reviews published in 2011 were of books by white authors. Gay researched the racial background of every author critiqued by the NYT last year, and her study yielded stark results: 31 black authors against 655 white ones. Gay said, "The numbers reflect the overall trend in publishing where the majority of books published are written by white writers."

Every Friday, be the first to see reviews, news and features in The New York Times Book Review.

It’s hard enough to review a book in 800 words. But to address book-size questions about the nature of literature in that space is probably impossible. If the Internet requires a constant stream of takes, on matters of all sizes, the New York Times Book Review does not. And to impose this mentality on the country’s last free-standing book section seems like a particularly cruel trespass. So leave the essay prompts to the high school freshmen, Times Book Review, and let the writers make something new.


Fabulous cover artwork for the New York Times book review, by .

for the new york times book review

It’s hard enough to review a book in 800 words. But to address book-size questions about the nature of literature in that space is probably impossible. If the Internet requires a constant stream of takes, on matters of all sizes, the New York Times Book Review does not. And to impose this mentality on the country’s last free-standing book section seems like a particularly cruel trespass. So leave the essay prompts to the high school freshmen, Times Book Review, and let the writers make something new.