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Women Are Finally Getting Recognized For Writing Really Good Books

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The National Book Award finalists are in

Women excel at a lot of things in life, including but not limited to thriving in a society that views them as being less than. But also writing! We’re really, really, good at writing, and this year’s National Book Award finalists finally reflect that.

Every year, publishers submit the most impressive works from authors to be considered. The submissions (there were more than 1,500 this year) are then whittled down to the top five and divided into four categories: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and young adult literature. For some context, outside of Robin Coste Lewis in 2015 and Jacqueline Woodson in 2014, men have won in each category for the past three years. As Quartz reported last year, since 1950 only one-quarter of the prizes for fiction have gone to women. This year, women have a fighting chance of altering those dismal numbers, as they make up 15 out of the 20 finalists.

The list includes a bunch of our very own must-read books: Lisa Ko’s The Leavers, Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing, and Carmen Maria Machado’s Her Body and Other Parties: Stories. Though of the male species, Danez Smith’s Don’t Call Us Dead: Poems is another favorite that made the cut.

Additionally, The National Book Foundation’s "5 under 35" list was also announced last month and, for the second time in its 12-year history, every single nominee is a woman and three are women of color. We’ve definitely seen an increase in more diverse voices making their way to our shelves. We just hope that they continue to be recognized for the incredible work that they put out in the world and aren’t pawns in the ever-trendy game to appear more “woke.”

The National Book Award winners will be announced on November 15.

Photo by Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images.

It marks her third duet with Nas

Here are some words that I never expected to read or hear again: There is a new song with Amy Winehouse. But here we are in 2019, and Salaam Remi has granted me a wish. On Valentine's Day, the Grammy-nominated producer and frequent Winehouse collaborator (also responsible for hits like Miguel's "Come Through & Chill") released "Find My Love" which features rapper Nas and that powerful and haunting voice that I have come to love and cherish so dearly.

Representatives for Remi said that the Winehouse vocals were from an old jam session the two had. Remi was a producer on both of Winehouse's albums, Frank and Back to Black. "Find My Love" marks the third time Winehouse and Nas have done duets under the direction of Remi. They were previously heard together on "Like Smoke," a single from her 2011 posthumous album Amy Winehouse Lioness: Hidden Treasures, and "Cherry Wine" from Nas' 2012 album Life Is Good. Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning on July 23, 2011, before they could complete production on her third album. My heart is still broken about it as she is by far my favorite artist.

"Find My Love" is set to appear on Remi's Do It for the Culture 2, a collection of songs curated by him. Check it out, below.

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"In the midst of chaos there's opportunity"

Following the travesty that was Fyre Festival, Ja Rule wants to take another stab at creating a music festival. Good luck getting that off the ground.

On Thursday, the rapper spoke to TMZ, where he revealed that he was planning to relaunch Icon, an app used to book entertainers, which is similar to Billy McFarland's Fyre app. He told the outlet that he wanted to create a festival similar to Fyre to support it.

"[Fyre Festival] is heartbreaking to me. It was something that I really, really wanted to be special and amazing, and it just didn't turn out that way, but in the midst of chaos there's opportunity, so I'm working on a lot of new things," he says. He then gets into the fact that he wants to form a music festival. "[Fyre] is the most iconic festival that never was... I have plans to create the iconic music festival, but you didn't hear it from me."

Ja Rule actually doesn't seem to think he is at all responsible for what came from Fyre Fest, claiming in a Twitter post that he was "hustled, scammed, bamboozled, hood winked, led astray." Even if that's his feeling, he should realize that anyone involved with Fyre shouldn't ever try their hand at music festivals again.

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