paper trail

Claudia Rankine working on new book; Susan Chira joins the Marshall Project

Claudia Rankine

Graywolf has acquired a new book by Claudia Rankine. Just Us: An American Conversation will be an essay collection that interrogates “white privilege, well-meaning liberal politics, white male aggression, the implications of blondness,” and many more aspects of white supremacy in American culture. Just Us will be published in September 2020.

Medium deputy editor Katie Drummond is joining Vice as senior vice president of Vice Digital. Drummond was previously the executive editor of the Outline and editor in chief of Gizmodo. At Nieman Lab, Laura Hazard Owen explores Medium’s history and wonders if the company’s most recent search for publishing partners will be effective.

Former New York Times editor Susan Chira has been selected as the new editor in chief of the Marshall Project.

The New York Times talks to Damon Young about economic insecurity, interrogating memory, and his new memoir, What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker. “In order to write a compelling memoir, I had to tell the truth. And the truth is unflattering. The truth is embarrassing. But that truth is also human,” he said. “So whenever I have those critiques about toxic masculinity, I am not absolving myself. I am not saying, you guys need to do better, it’s ‘we.’ I don’t want to position myself as some sort of singular beacon of progress, because I’m not that at all. I am still definitely a work in progress.”

Nathan Englander has a hypothesis for why writers work best at certain times of the day. “I ask writers when they worry and when they write, and it’s usually on opposite ends of the day,” he explains. “The insomniacs, who suffer at night but wake up all cheery (or as cheery as writers get), compose in the morning. And those of us who pass out as soon as our heads hit the pillows, but wake up feeling the weight of the world, we do better being creative in the afternoons.”

Jason Zengerle profiles Matt Latimer and Keith Urbahn, founders of DC literary agency Javelin, which specializes in tell-alls from departing Trump administration officials. Unlike previous presidential employees, Trump officials are now seen as “controversial” hires in the private sector and “have a hard time even getting job interviews.” Instead, departing employees are turning to the tell-all memoir to rebrand. “A juicy memoir not only stands to earn a former Trump official a small fortune, thanks to an unprecedented interest in administration intrigue. It also gives officials an opportunity to reposition and redeem themselves,” Zengerle explains. “A lot of them are trying to figure out: How do I make something out of this for my own well-being?” Latimer says. “But also: How do I distance myself from this guy?”