paper trail

Jeanette Winterson’s Modern-Day "Frankenstein"; Herman Wouk (1915–2019)

Jeanette Winterson

Herman Wouk, the author of numerous bestsellers, including the World War II epic War and Remembrance, has died at the age fo 103. Jeanette Winterson talks about Frankissstein, which revisits the industrial revolution of Mary Shelley classic’s classic and pulls us back into the present of “artificial intelligence, sexbots, and cryogenics.” The technology of the future “could be lovely,” Winterson says. “But it’s not going to be, because we are human so we will fuck it up!”

At LitHub, Alexis Gunderson writes about a “new generation of villainous women” in fiction. “Just as #MeToo and Time’s Up have given so many real women control of their own narratives, so too have contemporary novelists given the witches, evil queens, and wicked stepmothers of our childhoods a new voice, shifting each tale’s narrative frame just enough that the misogynistic forces at the root of the villainization of each of these infamous women is laid bare. Of course, no one would mistake myth and fairy tale for reality, but this reframing of archetypal villains we all know so intimately is just as important, as what we choose to mythologize shapes how we grow (or don’t) as a culture.”

An author who goes by the name of Oobah Butler is trying to propel his book, How to Bulls*t Your Way to #1: An Unorthodox Guide to 21st Century Success, onto bestseller lists by buying a large number of copies himself.

Sarah Manguso, Kate Zambreno, and other contributors to the Paris Review write about what they’re reading (and what card games they’re obsessed with) this Spring. (Speaking of book recommendations, presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg continues to mention his favorite book, James Joyce’s Ulysses, saying: “It’s doing the same thing in literature that I’m trying to do in politics.”)

37 Ink has purchased the rights to Jabari Asim’s American Struggle: On Race, Culture and Imagination and Soul Run Wild. Asim is the author of, among other books, the PEN Award finalist We Can’t Breathe: On Black Lives, White Lies, and the Art of Survival. According to 37 Ink, his new book is “part group biography, part meditation on the overwhelming and sometimes tragic toll that fame, creative genius, and the demands of the music industry extracted from some of the most distinguished male icons of soul, including Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway, Sam Cooke and others.”