paper trail

Book publishing’s reckoning with race; Remembering Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Photo: Elsa Dorfman

Lila Shapiro talks with nine top publishing executives hired amid the industry’s reckoning with its longstanding whiteness about their hopes and expectations for their new roles. Lisa Lucas, formerly of the National Book Foundation, would like to rethink how entry-level staff are compensated at Pantheon and Schocken Books. Jamia Wilson, formerly of Feminist Press, will focus on equity and inclusion on Random House’s list in part by “having people who represent the fullness and diversity of who we are, at all different levels of decision-making.”

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Beat poet and cofounder of San Francisco’s City Lights Books, died yesterday at age 101. Friends, readers, and admirers offer remembrances. Through the bookstore’s publishing arm, Ferlinghetti published iconic works by Jack Kerouac, Norman Mailer, Charles Bukowski, and Allen Ginsberg. In 1998, he was named San Francisco’s Poet Laureate.

At the New Republic, Alex Pareene parses what happened when “fans of Andrew Cuomo the television character [were] introduced to Andrew Cuomo the newspaper character.”

At LitHub, Dan Sheehan crunches the numbers behind the 8 percent increase in book sales in 2020, and highlights a study that found that Black and Latinx millennials “engaged with books at a higher rate than Boomer and Gen X counterparts.”

The winners of the George Polk Awards were announced yesterday: the Washington Post picked up four prizes for reporting on George Floyd, a Georgia voter and politician profile, the pandemic, and racism at the Virginia Military Institute. The New York Times won for a story on Trump’s finances, while Helen Branswell was honored for her coverage of COVID-19 for the health and medical-news site Stat.

Tomorrow night, Powell’s Books in Portland will host Naomi Klein, Miko Vergun, and Isaac Vergun to discuss Klein’s book How to Change Everything, a young reader’s guide to climate change. Miko Vergun and Isaac Vergun are cofounders of the climate group Youth Acting for our Earth.