paper trail

Amitava Kumar’s collection of pithy writing advice from admired authors; Eugene Lim sells new novel to Coffee House Press

Eugene Lim. Photo: Ning Li

Yale University Press has released the stunning, birds-in-flight cover design for Susan Bernofsky’s forthcoming, much anticipated biography of Robert Walser, Clairvoyant of the Small.

Ben Affleck will direct the screen adaptation of Sam Wasson’s book The Big Goodbye: Chinatown and the Last Years of Hollywood.

Amitava Kumar has been asking authors he admires for distilled, pithy writing advice. Now, at the New York Times, he has published some of the responses. Lydia Davis: “Read the masters and, at least occasionally, read them closely!” Zadie Smith: “Don’t confuse honors with achievement.”

Eugene Lim, the author of Dear Cyborgs, has sold his novel Search History to Coffee House Press, which will also reissue two of Lim’s earlier novels, Fog & Car and The Strangers. Search History, which will appear in 2021, is about “grief, mortality, and Asian-American identity, and encountering clowns, comedians, and artificially intelligent novelists.” An excerpt of the novel appears in the new literary journal Breaking and Entering.

In her new diary, Molly Jong-Fast asks her mother: “Didn’t you ruin Martha Stewart’s marriage?”

Historian Bernard Bailey, the author of The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution and the winner of two Pulitzers and a National Book Award, has died at ninety-seven.