paper trail

Historical battles over the Booker Prize; Bloomsbury buys Teddy Wayne's upcoming novel

Teddy Wayne

Archives reveal some of the most cantankerous behind-the-scenes battles between judges of the Booker Prize. Rebecca West once argued that John LeCarre wrote “according to formula,” and that Wendy Owen was a “half-wit.” In 1985, a judge protested winner Keri Hulme’s The Bone People by saying “over my dead body.” And the 1976 prize was so contested that it was finally decided on a coin toss.

Bloomsbury’s Liese Mayer bought Teddy Wayne’s forthcoming novel Apartment, which according to the publisher is “a powerful, masterfully written novel about loneliness, sexuality, and class.” According to Publishers Weekly, the book is about an “MFA student who offers a classmate the chance to stay, rent-free, in his rent-stabilized New York City apartment.” The book is scheduled to be released in spring 2020.

Veteran reporter Bob Woodward, whose book Fear: Trump in the White House was just released, says of the anonymous New York Times op-ed by a member of the Trump administration that ran last week: “I wouldn’t have used it.” He adds that the piece “does not meet the standards of trying to describe specific incidents. Specific incidents are the building blocks of journalism, as you well know.”

The Brooklyn Book Festival, which culminates on Sunday September 16, kicks off today with a number of “Bookends” events. Here’s the full schedule.