paper trail

Astra magazine announces that it will close

Nadja Spiegelman

Astra, the international literary biannual magazine edited by Nadja Spiegelman, has announced that it will close by the end of 2022. “Our parent company, APH, has decided to shut down Astra Magazine,” Astra staff members write in a statement. “This means we will not put out the third issue we were in the midst of preparing, the website will stop publishing new work, and the staff will be let go.” The announcement continues: “We’re extremely proud of the work we published in print and online in such a short time. The magazine succeeded by every measure we set for it, including selling out our first print run, finding international distribution, building a strong subscriber base, introducing new authors to US publishers, and winning awards.” Since the magazine launched last April, it has published authors including Ada Limón, Brontez Purnell, Catherine Lacey, Chinelo Okparanta, Don Mee Choi, Dorthe Nors, Elif Batuman, Fernanda Melchor, Kate Zambreno, Katharina Volckmer, Kim Hyesoon, Leslie Jamison, Maggie Millner, Mariana Enriquez, Mieko Kawakami, Ottessa Moshfegh, Rachel Mannheimer, Raven Leilani, Samuel R. Delany, Sheila Heti, Solmaz Sharif, Terrance Hayes, Wayne Koestenbaum, Shuang Xuetao, and Yiyun Li.

Isaac Fitzgerald, author of the bestselling book Dirtbag, Massachusetts, has sold a new book, American Dionysus, to Knopf. For the book, the author traces the path of Johnny Appleseed, interacts with people along the way, and meditates on faith, American myths, and community.

Bob Dylan has issued an apology for using autopen to sign special editions of his new book, The Philosophy of Modern Song. Dylan’s publisher had promised that the signatures in the approximately 900 special editions, which were priced at $600, were authentic. But the musician admitted in a statement on Facebook that he used an autopen, explaining that he had vertigo, and was not able to sign all the copies by hand. “Using a machine was an error in judgment and I want to rectify it immediately,” he writes. “I’m working with Simon & Schuster and my gallery partners to do just that.”

If you make a donation to n+1 this month, they will send you a “bookmatch quiz” and then, based on your answers, will recommend ten books for you. The pool of recommended books has been curated by writers and editors including Alexander Chee, Ken Chen, Jonathan Franzen, A. S. Hamrah, Malcolm Harris, Hua Hsu, Lawrence Jackson, Hari Kunzru, Rachel Kushner, Sophie Pinkham, Max Read, Charlotte Shane, Bela Shayevich, Vladimir Sorokin, Doreen St. Félix, Jia Tolentino, Jennifer Wilson, Gabriel Winant, Su Wu, Molly Young, and Hannah Zeavin.

Charles McNulty pays tribute to Michael Feingold, who was a longtime theater critic for the Village Voice. “Feingold’s greatness rested in the agility of his focus. He had the ability to take an aerial view of the work under consideration. But then, with breathtaking swiftness, he would zoom in for a closeup, discussing the production with meticulous visual detail and sensitivity to the choices of the actors and director.”