paper trail

Emily Books stops publishing; Miranda Popkey on truth in fiction

Miranda Popkey. Photo: Elena Seibert

Emily Gould and Ruth Curry are shutting down their publishing imprint, Emily Books. “When we launched the first Emily Books website, in 2011, all we knew was that we wanted to make a certain kind of book more widely available. . . . We wanted to celebrate narratives that took place outside of convention, outside of heterosexuality, outside of a world that men controlled,” they wrote in their announcement. “While we’re thrilled that the voices and stories we’ve been championing for years have lately become more ‘marketable,’ it’s made it harder for us to compete with publishers whose resources outstrip ours by many orders of magnitude. . . . We’re in awe of independent publishers who make it work long-term, and we look forward to continuing to cheer them on from the sidelines.” Coffee House Press will continue to print and promote books from the imprint.

Longtime Simon & Schuster editorial director and vice president Alice Mayhew has died at age 87.

At Longreads, Zan Romanoff talks to Miranda Popkey about the limits of narratives, truth in fiction, and her new book, Topics of Conversation. “None of the things in the book happened, at least not in the way that they are described. But every feeling in the book is a feeling that I have had,” she said. “Which, in a way, is much more revealing, and grosser.”

Dahlia Lithwick and Moira Donegan discuss Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation, justice, and how institutions need to do more to combat violence against women.

The Hollywood Reporter’s Gary Baum wonders why Dylan Howard, the former editor of the National Enquirer, is reinventing himself as a Hollywood producer—and why it’s working.

The Guardian reports on a meeting between members of the #DignidadLiteraria movement and the publishers of American Dirt. For The Cut, Ingrid Rojas Contreras reflects on trauma, thrillers, and why books like American Dirt are more attractive to publishers than novels by Latinx writers. “Most books about migration are heavy because the experiences are heavy. They are not thrillers, because how could we, after actually living through the pain and fear, find any thrill in it?” she writes. “If we include violence, it is there because we have weighed the risk of spectacle against the importance of not looking away.” At Longreads, Sarah Menkedick concludes that American Dirt is not actually about Mexico. “It’s a book about Americans: about how Americans see the rest of the world, about how they would like the U.S. to be, about being the right kind of American,” she writes. “It generates empathy only for a specific kind of migrant, a figment of the American imagination: the perfect victim, worthy of admiration and charity, foreign in the most familiar of ways.”