paper trail

Day four of the Penguin Random House antitrust trial; Lynne Tillman on Jane Bowles and other favorite authors

Lynne Tillman, New York City, 2013.

Writer and editor John H. Maher has been live tweeting the antitrust trial that will determine whether Penguin Random House will be allowed to acquire Simon & Schuster. Today was day four of a trial that two days ago featured Stephen King testifying for the government’s case. The Los Angeles Times rounds up what you need to know about the proposed merger.  

In her New York TimesBy the Book” interview, Lynne Tillman discusses Jane Bowles’s Two Serious Ladies (1943), noting “it was her only novel, and for that she’s not taught. Her stories are brilliant also. I’m glad I don’t know exactly what’s in, or not in, the canon. I’d fume, and there’s way too much to fume about in this country.” 

For the Los Angeles Review of Books, Dan Sinykin ponders his obsession with the hyperprolific romance author Danielle Steel: “It was unexpected. She used to be like Muzak to me, or JonBenét Ramsey: supermarket schlock. I have no memories before she was there, so I assumed she always had been, ageless, outside of time, a brand like little Debbie from Little Debbie is a brand.” Sinykin writes that the more he learned about Steel, the more she seemed to reveal about “the logic of publishing under conglomeration.” 

For The Guardian, Hilary Mantel, Bernardine Evaristo, Colm Tóibín, Sarah Waters, Olivia Laing, and more authors pick the best summer books

John Williams has joined the Washington Post as books editor. Williams was previously at the New York Times as a web producer, writer, and podcast host.  

At the Sydney Review of Books, Melinda Harvey offers a questioning read of Benjamin Moser’s recent biography of Susan Sontag. For more on the book, check out Melissa Anderson’s review in the Fall 2019 issue of Bookforum.