paper trail

Emily Ruskovich on her debut novel; Incorporating facts into fiction

Emily Ruskovich

Moderators for the first Democratic presidential primary debate have been announced. Besides Savannah Guthrie, Lester Holt, Chuck Todd, and José Díaz-Balart, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow will also moderate, a choice the New York Times calls “a wild card of sorts.” “Opinion journalists are rarely chosen to interrogate candidates in the formal setting of a debate stage,” the Times notes. “And network partisanship has proved a thorny issue early in the campaign, after Democratic leaders barred Fox News from hosting any of the party’s debates.”

The Guardian talks to Idaho author Emily Ruskovich, who recently won the International Dublin literary award for her debut novel.

At Literary Hub, Jake Wolff considers the relationship between research and fiction writing.

Liz Pelly examines how Spotify profits from the data it collects from mood-based playlists. “Over the years, streaming services have pushed a narrative about these mood playlists, suggesting, through aggressive marketing, that the rise of listening by way of moods and activities was a service to listeners and artists alike—a way to help users navigate infinite choice, to find their way through a vast library of forty million songs,” she writes. “Today, Spotify’s enormous access to mood-based data is a pillar of its value to brands and advertisers, allowing them to target ads on Spotify by moods and emotions.”

Michael Pollan, Adelle Waldman, and T. C. Boyle get together and discuss the unregulated shaman market, microdosing, and their recent books about psychedelics. “Do you guys think Trump has something to do with it?” Pollan asked the group about increased interest in hallucinogen use. “I couldn’t get through Trump without something,” said Waldman.