paper trail

Carolyn Reidy to posthumously receive Literarian Award; Janet Malcolm writes about her libel suit and New Yorker style

Janet Malcolm. Photo: © Nina Subin

Oprah Winfrey’s next book club pick is Isabel Wilkerson’s Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, which Winfrey will discuss with the author in an eight-part miniseries on her new Oprah’s Book Club podcast.

The National Book Foundation’s lifetime achievement award will be presented to Carolyn Reidy, the late president and CEO of Simon & Schuster. Her husband, Stephen, who will accept the 2020 Literarian Award on her behalf, said that the distinction, which has never before been given posthumously, “would have surprised and honored her.”

In the New York Review of Books, Janet Malcolm writes about the trial brought against Malcolm, the New Yorker, and Knopf by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, the subject of a Malcolm article that eventually became the book In the Freud Archives. Masson sued for libel and claimed that Malcolm made up quotations. After the first trial ended in a mistrial, Malcolm realized that she would have to change her approach: “When I took the stand . . . I could not have done worse than to present myself in the accustomed New Yorker manner. Reticence, self-deprecation, and wit are the last things a jury wants to see in a witness. Charles Morgan, Masson’s clever and experienced lawyer, could hardly believe his good fortune. He made mincemeat of me.” For more on Malcolm, see Sarah Nicole Prickett’s essay in Bookforum’s Summer 2019 issue.

At Truthout, PM Press has made an essay by anthropologist and anarchist thinker David Graeber on Peter Kropotkin’s Mutual Aid available. Intended as a preface to the work, the essay is likely the last Graeber wrote before his death last week.

n+1 has published a two-part series on their former office space in DUMBO Brooklyn. More than a dozen writers—including A. S. Hamrah, Danya Tortorici, and Kaitlin Phillips—remember their time at 68 Jay Street, which housed the magazine for over a decade.

Tonight, the Center for Fiction (in partnership with Poets House) is hosting “The New Gen! Rising African Poets,” a free, virtual live event for a chapbook box set edited by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani.