November 10, 2016
Melville House authors respond to the 2016 election
by Chad Felix
There will be no shortage of commentary in the coming days about what just happened. It will be an inundating, heartbreaking deluge of information to contend with, to parse, to question. One filled with intelligent and fearful voices. Voices uncertain of their place in Donald Trump’s America. Voices we should listen to, for support and practical advice. For help lines and hope. For friendship.
Among these voices are those of our authors, remarkable for their intelligence, empathy, and sense of humor. These are things we’ll need as the implications of what we’ve done become more and more clear, and so we’re amplifying them here. For our own reference at the very least.
Unsurprisingly, David Cay Johnston, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Making of Donald Trump, was quick to pen his analysis. The short version: bleak is an understatement.
A scene from “The American President,” the 1995 Aaron Sorkin film about a widower in the White House running against a right-wing demagogue is instructive. Michael J. Fox played an aide who told the president, played by Michael Douglas, that “in the absence of genuine leadership” the people will “listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone. They want leadership. They’re so thirsty for it they’ll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there’s no water, they’ll drink the sand.”
Before long yesterday’s voters will realize that they just drank sand.
This morning, The Baffler sent out a message to its email list. Penned by the magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, and Melville House author of The Money Cult, Chris Lehmann, the publication’s message was plain: This is not a drill. As for moving forward, Lehmann concludes: “[M]y first tentative prescription for survival in the Trump age: screw the meritocracy; we need a movement.”
Here’s Networks of New York author Ingrid Burrington:
And I am going to made damn sure history never forgives you because I’m going to write it, motherfucker
— Ingrid Burrington (@lifewinning) November 9, 2016
Origins of Totalitarianism wasn’t supposed to be a fucking playbook, America — Ingrid Burrington (@lifewinning) November 9, 2016
Keep taking care of yourselves and each other. Despite everything. — Ingrid Burrington (@lifewinning) November 15, 2015
And here’s Jessa Crispin, author of Why I Am Not a Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto:
I love all of you. Whether Hillary wins or loses we have so much work to do to make sure people live with dignity. — Jessa Crispin (@thebookslut) November 9, 2016
Here’s Catie Disabato, author of The Ghost Network:
I really believe that reading improves empathy and we need much more of that too rn ok ok ok — catie disabato (@CatieAlert) November 9, 2016
And here’s Sady Doyle, author of Trainwreck:
Bad men come and go. The fight to make the world kinder to women is always there. The fight is what matters. That, and each other. — Sady Doyle (@sadydoyle) November 9, 2016
Chad Felix is the Director of Library and Academic Marketing at Melville House, and a former bookseller.