paper trail

A mysterious new novel satirizes the tech-startup scene

Wednesday Martin

Alexis Madrigal writes about a new book titled Iterating Grace, a satire of tech startup culture that has been circulating around San Francisco. The question is: who wrote it? “No one knows who wrote the story or created the book,” Madrigal writes. “No one knows what the person who did it all wants. Most people I know who’ve received the book, who are all either journalists or authors, think it is some sort of dark-arts marketing scheme. They think Microsoft or Google or some startup is behind this whole production, and that the commercial purpose of this thing will soon be revealed to us.” One thing that Madrigal is sure of: the book “is brilliant.”

On Wednesday of this week, novelist Rachel Kushner will discuss her work with Paris Review editor Lorin Stein at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

On May 12, Facebook launched its “instant articles” feature, which is designed to help media outlets post articles directly on the social-networking site’s iOS app, which means that readers could access the articles on Facebook without actually going to the publishers’ sites. According to an article at Business Insider, “The media industry threw a tizzy around the launch. Much of the conversation focused on whether it came as a blessing or curse to online news.” On the plus side, Facebook—which launched “instant articles” in a partnership with publishers including BuzzFeed, The Atlantic, the New York Times, and National Geographic—is providing publishers with ad revenue generated by the stories. Critics, however, worried that the feature would diminish visitors at the media outlets’ sites. Business Insider writes that “for all the initial panic and industry buzz, the actual launch has been much slower and less dramatic than anyone expected.” (No articles have been posted as “instant articles” since May 13.) The Wall Street Journal reports that “publishers expect more Facebook Instant Articles later this month.”

At its WWDC event yesterday, Apple announced its new iOS news app called, simply, “news.”

The New York Post reports that The Primates of Park Avenue, Wednesday Martin’s just-published expose of the ruthless lives of rich moms on the Upper East Side, is “full of lies,” and that a “review of the best seller found holes big enough to drive an Escalade through.” According to the article, Simon and Schuster, Martin’s publisher, announced on Sunday that they will now add a disclaimer to the book.