paper trail

Book publishing's Trump problem; Has Ian McEwan read science fiction?

Ian McEwan

At the New Republic, Alex Shephard writes about publishers’ “Trump problem.” Since books like Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury and Bob Woodward’s Fear became blockbusters, publishers have been churning out quick takes on the president, often padded volumes that quickly feel outdated. As Shephard observes, “The result . . . is an industry addicted to the quick Trump fix—and an industry that is rapidly moving away from one of its seminal strengths. The point of nonfiction books is to offer something that you can’t get on television—or the internet.”

At Slate, Laura Miller argues that Ian McEwan would have benefited from reading some science fiction before writing his new novel about A.I., Machines Like Me

Amélie Wen Zhao, who cancelled her debut novel after intense online criticism, has decided to publish the book after all. Blood Heir, a YA novel about a group of people with magical powers and a fugitive princess, was called racially insensitive for the way it depicted slavery. Zhao and her publisher have revised the book after extensive input from “scholars and sensitivity readers,” but, as the New York Times points out, “it’s unclear whether such efforts will mollify Zhao’s critics, or if the release of ‘Blood Heir’ this fall will ignite another cycle of outrage — a backlash to the backlash to the backlash.” 

The Columbia Journalism Review runs down the more than 1,500 words that have been recently added to dictionaries

Tonight at the New York Public Library on 42nd Street, Erin Lee Carr will discuss her memoir about her father, journalist David Carr, with Ta-Nehisi Coates. At apex art, Albert Mobilio will host the latest edition of his “Double Take” reading series, featuring authors and artists talking about the theme of “promise.” At McNally Jackson Books, Michele Filgate, Leslie Jamison, Melissa Febos, and Dani Shapiro will talk about the new anthology, What My Mother and I Don’t Talk About.