Paper Trail

Cory Leadbeater’s life with Joan Didion; the new issue of Parapraxis is now available for preorder

Literary Hub has published an excerpt from The Uptown Local, Cory Leadbeater’s memoir about the nine years he spent as Joan Didion’s assistant and friend. Leadbeater writes about learning to avoid small talk around Didion and recalls her matter-of-fact way of dealing with problems and giving advice: “We’ve got to get to the bottom of this.” Leadbeater also writes about Didion’s hospitalizations, and how during one stay she changed her mind about Virginia Woolf’s writing when Leadbeater started reading Mrs Dalloway out loud. “Alone with her assistant in a hospital room at the age of eighty, it was as good a time as any to reconsider Virginia Woolf.”

The fourth issue of Parapraxis magazine is now available for preorder. The “Security” issue features essays by Akshi Singh, Thomas Ogden, Tiffany Lethabo King, Hussein Omar, Samuel Catlin, and more. In “Cracking Up to Crackdown,” the editors introduce the theme: “The psychic life of security exists at every scale. In a different discursive frame, freedom of movement is precisely what security limits. The fantasy of a secure ‘inside’—the home, the people, the nation, the border—is protected from breach by the enforcement of limits that corroborate the existence of threat.”

Tonight at 7 pm ET at Unnameable Books in Brooklyn, Jennifer Kabat will discuss her new book The Eighth Moon: A Memoir of Belonging and Rebellion with Niela Orr and Elvia Wilk. The sound artist G Lucas Crane will perform.

In The Nation, Chris Lehmann writes about Donald Trump’s recent verbal rambles and why these apparent gaffes don’t matter to his supporters: “Trump’s parable of the boat and the shark may fall well short of the Beatitudes or the parable of the prodigal son, but it fills the same structural slot in the MAGA catechism of power: Here is your savior, doing heroic battle with the forces of darkness on your own behalf.” For more on what’s going on at Trump rallies, Lehmann recommends Jeff Sharlet’s report on a Vegas rally in his new newsletter, “Scenes from a Slow Civil War.”