Paper Trail

Chloé Cooper Jones discusses her book on beauty; forthcoming Library of America editions for Ursula K. Le Guin, Charles Portis, and more

Chloé Cooper Jones. Photo: Andrew-Grossardt

The US Department of Justice is going to court in an attempt to block Penguin Random House’s attempt to acquire its rival publisher Simon & Schuster, calling the consolidation a violation of antitrust laws. Oral arguments will begin on August 1.

Penguin Random House has purchased Michelle Obama’s The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times, which will be published by the Crown imprint on November 15. According to the publisher, the book, which will have a first printing of 2.75 million copies, is “a series of fresh stories and insightful reflections on change, challenge, and power,” in which the former first lady considers “the habits and principles she has developed to successfully adapt to change and overcome various obstacles.”

The Library of America has announced its Spring 2023 list, which will include volumes of work by John Updike (novels, 1996-2000), Ursula K. Le Guin (collected poems), Bernard Malamud (novels and stories), and Charles Portis (complete novels). 

At Air Mail, Johanna Berkman writes about the rise and fall of Jumi Bello, whose debut novel, The Leaving, was dropped by Riverhead after the author published an essay in which she confessed to plagiarism. The essay, which appeared in LitHub, was then taken down, because it, too, contained plagiarized passages. “Two things that are opposite can be true,” Bello, who has schizoaffective disorder, tells Berkman. “Someone can be a monster and also be the victim. I feel like someone who has made mistakes, who has hurt people terribly. . . . But I’m someone who suffered under a lot of pressures, and I combusted.”

On Wednesday at 6:30pm Eastern time, Chloé Cooper Jones will discuss her new memoir Easy Beauty with Christine Smallwood (author of the novel The Life of the Mind). Jones’s new book investigates the cultural myths that inform our notions about bodies and beauty. You can register for this online event, which is hosted by the New York Public Library, here