paper trail

Apoorva Tadepalli on the work of writing; Mark Prins and Brandon Taylor in conversation

Mark Prins. Photo: Nina Cochran

For The Point, Apoorva Tadepalli looks at the writing life in a personal essay that also discusses recent criticism in n+1 and Bookforum as well as fiction by Sally Rooney, Christine Smallwood, Lauren Oyler, and more. Reflecting on the idea that resisting “love what you do” rhetoric is politically useful but personally unsatisfying, Tadepalli observes, “There is a contradiction . . . of both scorning a system that’s shallow and rigged, and also feeling bitter about not being able to succeed within such a system.” For more on literary careerism, see Bookforum’s panel “Don’t Stop Until All Your Enemies Are Dead: A conversation on survival and style in American letters.”

On Tuesday, January 4th, The Strand will host Mark Prins and Brandon Taylor in a discussion of Prins’s new novel, The Latinist.

At the New Republic, Kate Aronoff—author of the recent book Overheated: How Capitalism Broke the Planet - and How We Fight Back—wonders how serious Joe Biden is about emissions reduction and climate change.

In the London Review of Books, Christian Lorentzen reflects on the president's family and Ben Schreckinger’s new book, The Bidens: Inside the First Family’s Fifty-Year Rise to Power: “When it comes to unhealthy lifestyles among the president’s family, Hunter Biden is where the action is. Schreckinger’s scoops about Hunter, news he broke in his day job as a reporter for Politico, elicit the usual mix of pity and a wish to look away.”

For n+1, Lisa Borst reviews Dave Eggers’s The Every and Mark McGurl’s Everything and Less, two works that take on Amazon’s outsize influence on culture. Eggers’s book will not be available on Amazon for six weeks after its publication, as Borst notes: “Before subjecting herself to a scattershot polemic about the awfulness of Amazon and also cancel culture, the Eggers customer can absolve herself by buying the book the old-school way, in a randomized colorway from an indie.”