paper trail

Center for Fiction First Novel Prize shortlist announced; Reactions to the "New York Times" anonymous op-ed

Lisa Halliday. Photo: Vittore Buzzi

New York Times op-ed editor James Dao talks to CNN about his decision to publish an essay by an anonymous Trump administration official. “We felt it was a very strong piece written by someone who had something important to say and who's speaking from a place of their own sense of personal ethics and conscience,” he said. “That was our main focus." Axios has collected responses to the essay from Trump’s supporters and detractors. “What the author has just done is throw the government of the United States into even more dangerous turmoil,” David Frum writes at The Atlantic. “He or she has enflamed the paranoia of the president and empowered the president’s willfulness.”

The Center for Fiction has released the shortlist for this year’s First Novel Prize. Nominees include Lisa Halliday’s Asymmetry, Akwaeke Emezi’s Freshwater, and Tommy Orange’s There There. The winner will be announced later this year.

Rolling Stone’s Ilana Kaplan profiles Cherry author Nico Walker, who is currently serving an eleven-year sentence in federal prison for bank robbery.

In response to recent layoffs at The Outline, members of the Study Hall collective have written an open letter stating that they will not write for the website. Journalists and writers who belong to the group say that although they’ve written for the publication before and appreciate its unique voice, they “cannot allow Josh Topolsky and his investors to rely on our loyalty to The Outline’s vision when they choose to devalue writers’ work and treat our ability to survive as externalities.”

“In a fight for survival, the average mainstream magazine is undergoing an identity crisis,” writes The Ringer’s Alyssa Bereznak on Vogue, Beyoncé, and the changing purpose of magazine covers, which “now function as advertisements for something far beyond a single magazine issue: merchandise, collector’s items, spinoff publications, books, recommended products, behind-the-scenes YouTube videos, television shows, and in-person events or conferences.”

“If I was alive I would arrange to have them killed and if I were dead I would come back and haunt them,” saysTranscription author Kate Atkinson of the prospect of someone writing her life story. “I can’t think of anything more horrible.”

Tonight at Greenlight Books in Brooklyn, Catherine Lacey talks to Alexander Chee about her new story collection, Certain American States.