paper trail

A Promised Land is the best-seller of 2020; Pauline Harmange’s I Hate Men

Pauline Harmange Photo: Magali Delporte

Ved Mehta, a writer for the New Yorker for thirty years, has died. Mehta’s books include Walking the Indian Streets, Mahatma Gandhi and His Apostles, and twelve volumes of memoir collectively titled Continents of Exile. “Ved Mehta has established himself as one of the magazine’s most imposing figures,” New Yorker editor William Shawn told the New York Times in 1982.

In August, Pauline Harmange’s debut book I Hate Men was published in a run of four hundred copies by the nonprofit French press Monstrograph. An employee of France’s ministry for gender equality, Ralph Zurmély, emailed the publisher immediately, stating: “I ask that you immediately withdraw this book from your catalog, subject to legal prosecution.” The book became a cause célèbre, found a major publisher, and has now sold more than 20,000 copies. HarperCollins will publish the book in the US on January 19.

A Promised Land, the first volume of Barack Obama’s memoirs, was 2020’s best-selling book.

HarperVia has paid six figures for Claire Kohda’s debut novel Woman, Eating, a vampire novel that has been described as “Ottessa Moshfegh meets My Sister, the Serial Killer meets Twilight.”

Tomorrow (Tuesday) at 7:30 PM EST, George Saunders will present his new book, A Swim in a Pond in the Rain, with Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, author of Friday Black. The book is a master class of sorts, which uses stories by Russian writers such as Chekhov, Gogol, Tolstoy to explore “how fiction works, and why it’s more relevant than ever in these turbulent times.” Tickets are available here.