paper trail

Emily St. John Mandel sells new novel; Hilton Als pays homage to Renata Adler

Emily St. John Mandel. Photo: Sarah Shatz

Hilton Als considers the sui generis style and voice of Renata Adler’s novel Speedboat. “I don’t know of any journalist who’s had the pleasure of reading Renata Adler’s Speedboat and not dreamt of writing a book ‘just’ like it,” Als writes. “And that’s because the author’s brilliant stop and start 1976 novel about a female reporter living in an unnamed city glistens with authenticity, not only when it comes to her protagonist Jen Fain’s career as a journalist, but all the existential stuff that fucks your head up as you go about the business of trying to report, including how to navigate the uneasy marriage of language and truth and back again.”

At The Guardian, Jeanette Winterson discusses her new essay collection 12 Bytes, which considers two hundred years of women scientists and visionaries—and looks at how women might lead us to a livable future. “The male push is to actually just discard the planet: all the boys are going off into space,” Winterson says. “But you know, love is also about cleaning up your mess, staying where you are, working through the issues; it’s not simply romantic love at all.”

Emily St. John Mandel—author of the best-seller Station Eleven—has sold a new novel to Knopf. According to the publisher, Sea of Tranquility is “a story of time travel that probes many aspects of reality.” The novel “moves from British Columbia in 1912 to an outpost on the moon in 2401” and considers themes including “art, love, wilderness, and what makes the world real.” The book will be published in 2022.

Michael Lewis names the books that influenced him, the books he wishes he’d written, and the books that he’s reading now. On Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: “I read it right before my final department exams (art history) in my senior year in college and was so smitten that I attempted to imitate its style on my exam answers, with predictable results. This book might be the reason I’m not an art historian.”

The 2021 World Fantasy Awards finalists have been announced.