paper trail

Bad Sex in Fiction; love letters to Martin Amis

Erica Jong

It seems to make sense to give Don DeLillo a medal, so tonight at Cipriani, the National Book Foundation plans to go ahead and do that.

The shortlist for the UK’s annual Bad Sex in Fiction award has been announced: Several American writers made it, including Erica Jong, Lauren Groff, and Joshua Cohen, as well as, for the first time, an author published by Penguin Classics (though, admittedly, that author is Morrissey, for his first novel). Call Me Dave, the biography of David Cameron that spawned the #piggate scandal, lost out for what the judges called “insufficient literary brio” (fans of Jonathan Coe’s What A Carve Up! will recall the fateful printing error by which its protagonist derided a nemesis’s book for lacking “the necessary biro”).

Pity Germaine Greer. What’s more embarrassing than having one of your (very long) old love letters found and published without your consent? Answer: When the letter is to Martin Amis.

This really does seem to be the end of Gawker as we know it: it’s abandoning New York media gossip to cover politics. Oh, and quite a few people have been fired (in more or less the professional equivalent of breaking up with someone via text).

Presumably on the theory that a spoonful of sugar makes the wonkish medicine go down, legal scholar and former White House official Cass Sunstein is writing a book about Star Wars, due sometime around May 4th.

You can still just about catch the “mobile opera” Hopscotch, taking place along different routes around LA this month. It’s named after the episodic Julio Cortázar novel, and was to be based on it, except that the author’s estate refused permission.