paper trail

Curtis Sittenfeld announces novel about Hillary Clinton; Paul Berman on blackmail

Curtis Sittenfeld

Bill Clinton and James Patterson are teaming up to write a novel set in the White House. The President is Missing, which will be filled with “details that only a President can know,” is scheduled for a June 2018 release by Alfred A. Knopf and Hachette.

After publishing an article exploring the arguments for “transracialism” last March, Professor Rachel Tuvel “is now bearing the brunt of a massive internet witch-hunt,” writes Jesse Signal in New York. The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf looks at “call-out culture” on college campuses. Friedersdorf talks to undergraduates from colleges across the country, all of whom say that they regularly refrain from expressing opinions that could be seen as controversial in order to avoid being attacked for their ideas. “Today, so many people are declaring so many things problematic on college campuses that the next controversy is almost impossible to predict,” he writes. At Medium, Freddie de Boer remembers his own social media-fueled controversy over his views on the recipients of the New York Time’s David Carr fellowship. De Boer had questioned why a fellowship aimed at unknown writers had been awarded to journalists with numerous bylines in high-profile publications, and critics responded by accusing him of jealousy, or attacking him for calling the fellows unqualified. “This tendency within media — to treat every discussion of structural problems as though it is instead a matter of personalities, to make everything about whose table you sit at during lunch — is part of why journalists are so terrible at correctly identifying what’s happening in their own industry,” he writes.

In his column for Tablet, Paul Berman recounts a New York professor’s attempt to blackmail him. After participating in a panel at the 92nd Street Y, the unnamed academic told Berman that he had acquired an “erotic correspondence” between Berman and another person, and that he would release it to the press if Berman did not “write a self-denunciation in the style of Augustine or Alexander Hamilton.” Berman writes that he still isn’t sure how the professor found these emails, or if they actually exist at all. “I hope that, if he does publish something and attaches my name to it, the correspondence is well-written,” Berman writes. “Some of my erotic correspondence is quite well-written, I like to think.”

Tonight at 192 Books in Manhattan, Albert Mobilio celebrates the release of his new book, Games and Stunts.