paper trail

Chelsea Manning signs book deal; Joanna Scutts on rediscovering forgotten women writers

Chelsea Manning. Photo: Tim Travers Hawkins

Chelsea Manning has signed a book deal with Farrar, Straus and Giroux. The New York Times talks to Manning about the memoir, which will be published in early 2020. “It’s a personal narrative of what was going on in my life surrounding that time and what led to the leaks, what led to prison, and how this whole ordeal has really shaped me and changed me,” she said. “This is more about trying to contextualize my story from my perspective rather than get into the weeds of what is in the record of trial, what is in the documents, what the investigation focused on, because we’re just not able to get into that area.”

Lauren Oyler has sold her debut novel to Catapult. Fake Accounts, which tells the story of “a young woman who discovers her boyfriend is secretly a popular online conspiracy theorist,” will be published in 2021.

The Guardian reports that Benjamin Moser’s upcoming biography of Susan Sontag shows that Sontag “was the true author of her first husband Philip Rieff’s” book Freud: The Mind of the Moralist.

“The revival of lost women writers like Bette Howland and Kathleen Collins, along with Lucia Berlin, Eve Babitz, and others, is more than a private homage or a publishing trend,” writes Joanna Scutts at LitHub. “It’s a revival of an older form of feminist activism, on the part of publishers, editors, and critics, to find women writers and make their work available to a new readership. It’s in the sheer number and variety of these recovered writers that the real transformation lies: not with the return of a single neglected voice, but with a chorus.”

John Williams reports from the third annual Believer Festival in Las Vegas.

At the Columbia Journalism Review, Jon Allsop examines the dangers of Trump’s “fairy tale” nicknames for presidential candidates. “Much of the mainstream press is hyper-vigilant about Trump’s lies and misstatements—we are commonly told that they’re an urgent threat to our democracy and civic discourse,” he writes. “It’s odd then, that so many outlets still treat Trump’s nicknames as an amusing distraction, not the subtle, dangerous manipulation of political discourse they actually represent.”