paper trail

Director Michael Mann goes into publishing

Zadie Smith

The writer-director Michael Mann is launching a publishing imprint, Michael Mann Books, in order to work with a stable of authors (who’ll sometimes share the cover credit with him) on fiction and nonfiction books that he’ll also develop for film and television.

The New Yorker is previewing its new podcast, The Author’s Voice, in which, as of next week, you’ll be able to hear writers reading their own stories from the magazine. They’re pulling out all the stops for this first sample episode, which boasts Zadie Smith doing an American accent (or several) as she reads “Escape from New York,” her 9/11 fantasia featuring Michael Jackson, Liz Taylor, and Marlon Brando, as well as an author with an even more instantly recognizable voice, Tom Hanks.

James Bennet, who after ten years recently agreed to leave his post as editor in chief of The Atlantic and return to the New York Times to run its editorial page, is now thought to be in the running as a successor to Dean Baquet, the Times’s executive editor.

If anyone hasn’t yet had their fill of Elena Ferrante, her children’s book, The Beach at Night (a spin-off from her novel The Lost Daughter, which, Ferrante has noted, was the original kernel of her Neapolitan series), will appear in English later this year.

Tonight at the New School, the National Book Critics Circle Awards will be presented: You can read appreciations by board members of the thirty finalists at the Critical Mass blog, including today’s entry, by Karen Long, on Paul Beatty’s novel The Sellout.