paper trail

A "Golden Age" in Texas Fiction

LaToya Watkins (photo: Chanel Mitchell)

Texas Monthly has published a package of articles that offer “ten reasons to believe we’re living in the golden age of Texas fiction.” Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, suggests that a “new wave” of writers is confronting the Lone Star State’s bloody history and “Anglo triumphalism.” Other articles highlight the state’s deeply gothic settings, Gabino Iglesias’s new horror novel The Devil Takes You Home, and the fiction of LaToya Watkins, whose debut novel, Perish, will be released next month. 

Civitella Renieri has announced its new writing fellows, who include Hua Hsu, Major Jackson, Ilyal Kaminsky, Raven Leilani, and Megha Majumdar. The writers will have residencies at the organization’s fifteenth-century castle in the upper Tiber valley in Italy. 

The 2022 Orwell Prizes have been awarded to Claire Keegan, for her novel Small Things Like These, and Sally Hayden, for her nonfiction book My Fourth Time, We Drowned: Seeking Refuge on the World’s Deadliest Migration Route.

The Times glances back at the bestseller list in 1972, when Richard Bach’s Jonathan Livingston Seagull was number one. “Jonathan Livingston Seagull almost wasn’t published,” Tina Jordan writes. “In fact, it almost wasn’t completed—Bach, who said the book came to him as ‘a visionesque spooky thing,’ stopped after he wrote 10 pages and didn’t pick it up again for a few years. When he finally did finish it, his agent, Don Gold, tried and failed to interest children’s book publishers.”

Tomorrow (Tuesday), at McNally Jackson’s Seaport branch at 7pm, Elvia Wilk will discuss her new essay collection, Death by Landscape, which explores “what kinds of narratives will help us rethink our human perspective toward Earth,” with Sarah Resnick.