paper trail

Douglas Stuart wins the Booker Prize for Shuggie Bain; Audrey Wollen on Annie Ernaux’s memoirs

Douglas Stuart. Photo: Martyn Pickersgill

Douglas Stuart, one of four debut novelists shortlisted for this year’s Booker Prize, has won the award for Shuggie Bain, which was rejected by thirty editors before finding a publisher. Stuart thanked his mother—“I’ve been clear without her I wouldn’t be here, my work wouldn’t be here”—and “joked that his winnings would be spent on settling his bet with his husband that he wouldn’t win.”

For The Nation, Audrey Wollen discusses “afterwardness” and collective, political memory in Annie Ernaux’s memoirs: “Ernaux has done repeatedly what many believe to be impossible in memoir writing: articulate the subterranean or starry machinations of economies, histories, and nations without ever sacrificing the acute truths of having a body in the world.”

A. O. Scott profiles Joy Williams: “Her inventiveness is both linguistic and narrative. Her people don’t behave in the expected ways, and neither do her words. Reality itself can seem to bend in her grasp, in subtle and also in florid ways.” For more Joy, visit her Bookforum author archives, with writing on Lucia Berlin, Hemingway, Robert Stone, and more.

The Times has announced its “100 Notable Books” of the year. Among the noted are Wagnerism, The Selected Letters of Ralph Ellison, The Mirror and the Light, and Just Us.

The Los Angeles Times offers eight books you should read instead of Hillbilly Elegy.

Tonight at 7 PM EST, Haymarket Books is hosting an online teach-in: “Fighting State Murder: Racism, the Police, and the Death Penalty.”