paper trail

Don DeLillo’s latest end-of-the-world novel; Free Press staff envision what media reparations might look like

Don DeLillo. Photo: © Joyce Ravid

At the New York Times Book Review, Dwight Garner considers Don DeLillo’s new novel, The Silence. Garner remains “as attracted as anyone else to stories of doomed airplane flights and intimations of the end of the world, and DeLillo mostly held me rapt,” but admits that the 117-page story “reads like the first two chapters of a disaster novel.” In the paper’s magazine, David Marchese asked the interview-shy author why a mention of COVID-19 in an early copy of the novel was later removed. DeLillo replied: “I didn’t put Covid-19 in there. Somebody else had. Somebody else could have decided that it made it more contemporary. But I said, ‘There’s no reason for that.’”

For Literary Hub’s new podcast, Lit Century: 100 Years, 100 Books, hosts Sandra Newman and Catherine Nichols discuss how Djuna Barnes’s modernist novel Nightwood treats questions of queerness and eugenics. “There’s so much despair in the book,” Newman notes. “But this mirrored despair between the heterosexual who is creating children, who he intends to be some sort of eugenic project, and yet the child is born to him, in fact, has some kind of indeterminate disability and is sort of half-saint, half-idiot. And then the gay people who are childless and bleak and living in eternal night.”

The real-estate site Curbed is now a vertical at New York magazine.

A collective of Black staff members at the Free Press have cowritten Media 2070, a series of essays asking what media reparations might look like. “Can newsrooms reconcile and repair the harms they have caused? And can we count on the same profit-driven, white-owned corporate media institutions to fully integrate their newsrooms and allow Black journalistic brilliance to rise half a century after failing to heed the Kerner Commission’s recommendations to do so?”

Tonight at 7:30 PM EST, Haymarket Books and Jacobin host Astra Taylor in conversation with Angela Davis about “Their Democracy and Ours.”