paper trail

Barbara Kingsolver on the end times; How the "New York Times Book Review" stays neutral

Barbara Kingsolver. Photo: Annie Griffiths

At The Guardian, Lidija Haas talks to Barbara Kingsolver about conflict, the end times, and her new book, Unsheltered. “What do people do when it feels like they’re living through the end of the world as we know it? Because that’s what it seems like we’re doing right now, and almost nobody disagrees,” Kingsolver said. “And maybe people said that 10 years ago, but now they’re really saying ‘WTF?’”

Alexandra Alter explores why women are channeling their anger and anxiety over the current political moment into writing dystopian fiction. “I felt like I didn’t need to invent a disaster, because there was already a disaster happening,” said The Water Cure author Sophie Mackintosh, whose Man Booker-nominated novel imagines “if masculinity were literally toxic.”

Former White House communications director Hope Hicks will join New Fox as head of corporate communications after 21st Century Fox finalizes its sale to Disney next year.

“At a certain point, when certain kinds of stories in our current moment, one has to ask oneself whether the access is helpful to the story or hurts the story,” Vanity Fair editor Radhika Jones told Recode. “Does having access to Donald Trump get you closer to the truth about Donald Trump? Or is the write-around really the way to get at the truth about him?”

New York Times Book Review editors Pamela Paul, Gregory Cowles, and Barry Gewen explain how the section minimizes conflicts of interest in its reviews. “The hardest reviewers to find are those who are intellectually honest and independent,” Paul said. “In the current polarized environment, it’s particularly difficult to find people who are willing to let go of their agenda and assess a book on its merits. That’s what makes it a book review, not an Op-Ed.”