3 min read

Behind the Year (Against the Law)

This is Friday Letters, an AGAINST THE LAW edition.

Before the year’s-end I thought I’d share…

  • I’m going offline (mostly) until 2023! I’m writing a book and it’s called A Woman Is Against the Law and it’ll be out from Little, Brown in 2024. Which means I need to turn it in sooner than you think.
  • I did start setting up over on Mastodon—the movetodon tool was a fun walk down been-following-these-people-since-2006 memory lane— and you can find me at @journa.host/melissagira.
  • Also in the business of getting off Twitter, I’m just starting to move some of the people and publications I read daily over to NewsBlur (thanks, Kendra) which (from the “Try Out NewsBlur” feed especially) feels especially Old Internet, maybe in a promising way?
  • But, always, always, you can find me at melissagiragrant.com, my corner of the web since… 2004? At least? I’ve had a personal website one way or another since 1997. It’s still a solid move, given everything especially. (The current one is itself going on nine years old, and once my book is done and off to the printer, I’ll start thinking about a redesign.)

And: starting in 2023…

this newsletter will be on Ghost!

Get a sneak preview here, it’s still coming together on the back-end.

To the new paid subscribers who helped make this move happen, thank you! I feel so fortunate to get to get back on platforms I can take indie if/when I want.


I’m leaving this part pretty speculative for now, because since about March 2020, planning much solid for the future has been more like an exercise in not-knowing.

I’m playing around with the idea of creating some kind of narrative to the newsletter. As much as a this-week roundup seems simple, it doesn’t create its own momentum. I know some writers especially are trying to port their reflections over to the newsletter form, with the loss of Twitter, but it just doesn’t translate—for me. Twitter is/was its own form. You need to be in the flow of other posts to make sense of things (a kind of time-imposed thought encryption! I barely understand my own posts from a year ago) and I don’t think that very particular experience of writing publicly will survive Twitter, not until something else comes along to expand and/or redefine it.

The new book (AGAINST THE LAW) might impose another kind of narrative. Sometime next year, the manuscript will be done and I’ll know what made it in and what didn’t. I’ll know what I can share here, in other words. I’ll know what to plan to save for something else, too. (I’ve said this more than once, I know, but AGAINST really started when I saw everything that PLAYING THE WHORE could not contain.)

The surer thing to do right now, then, is lay out what I was reading (external to the book) as the year wound down, knowing that’s going to take me to the next thing:

  • Re-reading The Invisibles
  • A raft of Beatles-related books (The Beatles: All These YearsVolume 1 Tune In; Revolution in the Head: The Beatles' Records and the Sixties; Beatles ‘66: The Revolutionary Year; John Lennon: The Life)
  • A similar raft of books on fascism and variations thereof (Last Call at the Hotel Imperial, Cohen; The Anatomy of Fascism, Paxton; The Second Coming of the KKK, Gordon; A Brief History of Fascist Lies, Finchelstein; Defying Hitler, Haffner; They Thought They Were Free, Mayer; Surviving Autocracy, Gessen; On Tyranny, Snyder; Christopher and His Kind, Isherwood)

Of all these, some of the fascism books, despairingly, are most likely to end up influencing the new book.

Rare Scrivener “binder” screenshot


As of this writing, the book’s playlist is five years old and clocks in at 7 hr 46 min. This is the Beatles Revolver-era b-side “Rain.”


This is Friday Letters, by Melissa Gira Grant (me).

Thanks for reading. More TK.