paper trail

Cord Jefferson’s adaptation of Percival Everett’s novel Erasure; David Treuer on an Indigenous history of the US

David Treuer. Photo: Nisreen Breek

For the New Yorker, David Treuer writes about Pekka Hämäläinen’s new book Indigenous Continent, which “boldly sets out a counternarrative” to the idea that Indigenous history in the United States can be defined by “a litany of abuses . . . that had erased our way of life.” Treuer summarizes Hämäläinen’s position: “In his view, we should speak not of ‘colonial America’ but of ‘an Indigenous America that was only slowly and unevenly becoming colonial,’ and recognize that the central reality of the period was ongoing Indigenous resistance.” 

Bookforum contributor Cord Jefferson’s adaptation of Percival Everett’s novel Erasure recently wrapped production, with Jeffrey Wright starring as Thelonious “Monk” Ellison. Jefferson, who also directed the film, tweeted: “We’re gonna try to put it out before the world ends.” 

At Cultured magazine, Christian Lorentzen talks with filmmaker John Waters about his debut novel, Liarmouth: “When I ask Waters, who has a book collection in the five figures, the dull but obligatory question of his literary influences, he cites Jane Bowles’s Two Serious Ladies as his favorite American novel. He also admits nonsurprise to the comparisons Liarmouth has received to Terry Southern’s practical joker picaresque The Magic Christian, though he said he hadn’t read it since the 1960s. At least somebody writes them like they used to.”

In the Silicon Valley–focused newsletter Platformer, Casey Newton and Zoë Schiffer take a look “Inside the Twitter Meltdown,” detailing some of the chaos that has engulfed the company since Elon Musk’s takeover. In an all-hands meeting with staff yesterday, Musk reportedly said that bankruptcy was not out of the question and, according to Newton and Schiffer, said of his return-to-office policy: “If you can physically make it to an office and you don’t show up, resignation accepted.”

In the new issue of 4Columns, Hermione Hoby writes about Toad, the posthumous novel of Katherine Dunn. The book was written in the 1970s but unpublished during Dunn’s lifetime. Hoby notes a recent trend of “female grossness” in fiction, and places Toad within that lineage: “Perhaps what we’re looking at is a kind of collective dirty protest: in many notable new women-authored novels, rage and disgust come locked in sustaining union—to be enraged is to be disgusted, is to wish to disgust, and so on.”