paper trail

Günter Grass's warning; Graywolf's rise

Günter Grass

As the death toll rises for people seeking refuge in Europe, Steidl has published the last book by Günter Grass, who died in April: The book contains an exhortation to his fellow Germans to display greater compassion towards refugees.

“Why change a winning team?” asked Eula Biss’s literary agent, after they turned down a six-figure offer from a commercial house to take the paperback of On Immunity away from Graywolf Press. Boris Kachka (who notes that Graywolf authors have collected “four NBCC awards, a National Book Award, two Pulitzers, and a Nobel Prize” in the last six years) spoke to Fiona McCrae, publisher of the small press that’s helped make the lyric essay form a big, unlikely popular hit: “I think of success as being able to say yes to something that doesn’t necessarily look like a commercial winner,” she says. “Knowing something is good and having to say no, that seems to me the bigger failure.”

In a fascinating essay in n+1’s Fall issue, Emily Bass writes about what has happened to HIV/AIDs activism in the years when the mainstream LGBTQ movement has thrived.

The Financial Times had lunch with the LRB’s Mary-Kay Wilmers—possibly the only literary-magazine editor to be played on television by Helena Bonham-Carter.

Starting today in Philadelphia, you can go and see the oldest American book, Doctrina breve, from 1544, by the first bishop of Mexico.

Or if that doesn’t sound like enough fun, Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney and Portlandia will be going on book tour soon.