paper trail

Amelia Gray sends a reader a word and a check; Rebecca Solnit slams the tech boom's golden boys

Amelia Gray

When a reader wrote to Amelia Gray to complain that nothing happened in her novel Threats, she wrote back with spy-worthy instructions, a story, and a check.

The category winners of the Costa Book Awards have been announced, and the winners include Kate Atkinson (for Life After Life), Nathan Filer (for The Shock of the Fall), and Lucy Hughes-Hallet (for her biography of Gabriele D'Annunizo). All of these authors are now in the running for the grand prize, which will be announced on January 28.

“The things that the tech boom’s golden boys said last year,” writes Rebecca Solnit in response to a takedown on Grist, “are examples of privilege at its most reprehensible.”

Of all the controversies that have clung to the Jaipur Literature Festival, the lack of participating writers from the surrounding state of Rajasthan is an issue that organizers and critics tend to agree on. Perhaps for that reason, this year’s event, running January 17-21, includes numerous panels on Rajasthani writing, music, and folklore. “The festival is rooted in the vibrant local culture of the state, its rich oral traditions, its joyous music, its poetic and balladic traditions," says festival co-director Namita Gokhale in the Times of India. Among the many writers lined up to speak this year are Amartya Sen, Geoff Dyer, Jonathan Franzen, Rivka Galchen, Jhumpa Lahiri, and more.

A trove of historical documents from the Civil War and the Reconstruction era have been destroyed in North Carolina. Here’s a theory as to why.

Say hello to the new Ms. Marvel, a 16-year-old Muslim superhero from New Jersey, illustrated by Adrian Alphona and scripted by G. Willow Wilson, author of Alif the Unseen.