paper trail

An Amazon bookstore; profiling Mary Gaitskill

Mary Gaitskill

Both ways is the only way they want it: After helping put who knows how many others out of business, Amazon open their own physical bookstore.

For the New York Times magazine, Parul Sehgal profiles Mary Gaitskill, whose new novel, The Mare, is reviewed in the next issue of Bookforum. In person, Sehgal describes her as “wary in the way of habitually truthful people trying to stay out of trouble. . . . She feels misunderstood, which, of course, she is.” No easy feat to interview a writer who specializes in evoking “the hidden life, the life unseen, the life we don’t even know we are living.” Occasionally, you wonder how the profile got written at all (but lucky for us that it did): “At some point in our conversation, I discovered that Gaitskill had figured out how to turn off my recorder, which was lying between us on the table. She’s fond of talking off the record, and she batted at the machine with a quick, sure motion, like a cat. Only then would she talk about her family, say, or go deeper into her past.”

Meanwhile, fans of Gaitskill’s earlier novel Two Girls, Fat and Thin may be interested to know that a veteran producer (after trying and failing in person “while sitting on a small couch in New York” in the 1970s) has finally got the rights to make Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged for television.

On Novara Wire, an essential first-person account of homelessness, policing, and public space in London.

Max Read, formerly of Gawker, introduces New York magazine’s new temporary offshoot about internet culture.

Among the many recent books by musicians are Carrie Brownstein’s memoir Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl and The Hollow of the Hand, P. J. Harvey’s first book of poetry, a collaboration with the photographer Seamus Murphy, with whom she traveled to Kosovo and Afghanistan.

The latest issue of the Lana Turner journal is now available, and includes work by Jorie Graham and Anne Boyer, as well as new translations of César Vallejo.