paper trail

Chloe Aridjis wins PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction; Frank B. Wilderson III on writing Afropessimism

Chloe Aridjis.

This month, The Atlantic has set a new traffic record for their website, with eighty-seven million unique pageviews, which is more than double than their previous high mark. The magazine also had thirty-six thousand new subscribers over the past four weeks.

The 2020 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction has been given to Chloe Aridjis for her novel Sea Monsters. The other finalists were: Yiyun Li’s Where Reasons End, Peter Rock’s The Night Swimmers, Maurice Carlos Ruffin’s We Cast a Shadow, and Ocean Vuong’s On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. The authors will be honored in a video that will be released on May 4th.

Frank B. Wilderson III talks to the New York Times about his new work of memoir and theory, Afropessimism: “What does it mean to be a slave and the subject of narrative? One of [my wife’s] mantras is: ‘Make the problem your subject.’ So rather than try to fix what could not be reconciled, I allowed that sore to fester on the page—as beautifully as I could.”

Merve Emre writes about why Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is a good book for the present moment: “It is very hard right now to concentrate on, say, an eighteenth-century plague journal, or a 21st-century novel about quarantine, and to keep up the delusion that the art we consume ought to bear some similarity to the lives we are living.”

At Poynter, Roy J. Harris Jr. offers a preview of the Pulitzers, which, as of now, are set to be announced on April 20th.