paper trail

Brandon Taylor on subjectivity, race, and reception; “Publishers Weekly” is hosting a new trade show

Brandon Taylor. Photo: Bill Adams

Brandon Taylor, author of the novel Real Life, writes about fiction, reception, and subjectivity, and the “difference between writing about life as a black writer and writing about black life as a black writer.” Reflecting on how his fiction has changed, and looking back at his own early stories, Taylor writes, “I was substituting white subjectivity for my own particular subjectivity and calling it black subjectivity. I was an object in my own mind.” The goal, for Taylor, is to be read as “one person grappling with the difficulty of trying to express.”

Publishers Weekly is hosting a new trade show, which will be held virtually later this month, called the U.S. Book Show. The show is meant, in part, to step in for BookExpo, which was previously the largest trade show of its kind in the nation, and will not be held this year. The U.S. Book Show will be cheaper to participate in than BookExpo, and will focus on promoting “the books that you should know about,” according to Publishers Weekly editorial director Jim Milliot.

In the latest episode of the Time to Say Goodbye podcast, hosts E. Tammy Kim, Andy B. Liu, and Jay Caspian Kang discuss recent essays by Tobi Haslett and Brendan O’Connor.

“Why does one woman see invasive surgery as impossible when, for another, it’s a dream? Why are some people punks and others squares? Why do some people crave change and others fear it?” For the London Review of Books, Lauren Oyler looks at the provocations of Torrey Peters’s novel Detransition, Baby.

The Yale Review is relaunching their website within “single digit days.”

For Lux magazine, Jennifer Wilson considers Red Moscow perfume and other consumer and luxury goods of the Soviet Union under Stalin’s second Five-Year Plan: “It’s easy today to think of socialism as merely a remedy for the worst predations of capitalism—debt and impoverishment, ecological devastation, and murderous policing. It can be difficult to imagine a new world amid such dire conditions. Red Moscow simply marks an era in which the promise of an equal society did not just stave off the darkness but sparkled briefly in the light.”

Trevor Shikaze has been awarded n+1’s inaugural Anthony Veasna So Fiction Prize, and Christina Nichol has won the n+1 Writers’ Fellowship. Both awards will be presented in a virtual ceremony emceed by Elif Batuman on May 26.