paper trail

An Oral History of 'The Wire'

Dana Spiotta

Former Grantland writer Jonathan Abrams—whose books include Boys Among Men: How the Prep-to-Pro Generation Redefined the NBA and Sparked a Basketball Revolution—has announced that he is at work on an oral history of the TV show The Wire.

Don DeLillo, whose Zero K was published last week, granted a rare interview to Los Angeles Times writer Carolyn Kellogg. “I’m not sure how a sentence or a paragraph extends itself,” he says of his writing. “I can’t say it’s automatic, but it all seems to happen in a kind of intuitive way.” If you’re in New York, you can see him live tonight: He will be making a rare appearance at the 92nd Street Y in New York, along with Innocents and Others author Dana Spiotta.

Writers are celebrating the life and work of critic-memoirist-novelist Jenny Diski, who died last week. Kate Kellaway says that Diski “was a writer for whom no subject was taboo.” Laura Marsh points out: “Jenny Diski understood things about the world I grew up in that no one else seemed able to begin to explain: like Princess Diana…”

In an interview with re/code, Jenna Wortham discusses her job as a technology and culture writer for the New York Times Magazine and explains why she thinks that Amazon Prime “is the devil.”

Zachary Turpin, a doctoral student at the University of Houston, has found “a lost book, and a most unusual one, by Walt Whitman himself.” Published under the pseudonym Mose Velsor, he book is a thirteen-part guide to “manly training,” which teaches “the science of a sound and beautiful body,” and points out, among many other things, that a beard is “a great sanitary protection for the throat.” The guide is almost 50,000 words in its entirety, and you can read it all here.

On the occasion of Saturday Night’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Critic Gene Seymour has written an appreciation of President Obama’s humor. “Take a picture,” he urges, “because we won't be seeing this kind of high-quality presidential comedy again anytime soon."