paper trail

Donna Tartt’s The Secret History at thirty; books to read this fall

Donna Tartt. Photo: Beowulf Sheehan/Little, Brown

For the New Statesman, Nick Burns reconsiders Donna Tartt’s novel The Secret History on its thirtieth anniversary. Reflecting on its continuing appeal, Burns notes that “Tartt’s characters take the world of Waugh’s Brideshead as a model for their tastes, attire, manner of speaking, and The Secret History offers an invitation into a select society devoted to this kind of re-enactment.”   

The Root rounds up a list of books by Black authors to look forward to this month. Lit Hub suggests twenty-two novels to read this fall

Community Bookstore is hosting a virtual event with Merve Emre and Gwendoline Riley on Tuesday, September 13th. Riley’s novels First Love and My Phantoms will be published in the US this month by New York Review Books. For more on the novels, check out Jane Hu’s review in the new Bookforum

Hu will be moderating a conversation, “On Melancholy,” for the Parapraxis Conversations series hosted by The Psychosocial Foundation and Parapraxis Magazine. The online event will be on September 17th and feature professors Anne Cheng, Ranjana Khanna, and David Eng.

For Artforum’s sixtieth anniversary issue, the magazine’s executive editor, Elizabeth Schambelan, writes about the “Strange Webs” of art criticism. In a wide-ranging essay that covers the magazine’s eclectic commissioning approach and folds in ideas from Adorno, Helen Molesworth, Walter Pater, and more, Schambelan offers a working definition and de facto defense of the art of the critique: “Criticism in the broadest sense is a key tactic for maintaining a nonrigid, noncomplacent orientation toward the world. You’re always stepping back and looking at everything afresh, never taking anything for granted, never turning a blind eye to your own complicities and flaws.” To see Schambelan’s principles in action, peruse her author archives at Bookforum