paper trail

Hrishikesh Hirway launches new literary podcast

Hrishikesh Hirway

In August, musician Hrishikesh Hirway, creator of the Song Exploder podcast, will launch a new miniseries titled Book Exploder, on which “authors break down a passage from their work to show us how they write.” The lineup so far includes Susan Orlean, Min Jin Lee, George Saunders, Carman Maria Machado, Celeste Ng, and Tayari Jones.

Random House has purchased Ana Marie Cox’s memoir Just Like Your Mother, in which the author, who writes the “Sober Questioning” column for The Cut, dwells on her alcoholism, her recovery, and her difficult relationship with her mother, also an alcoholic; Random House is calling the book “Mary Karr meets David Carr.” 

A recently discovered notebook that contains unpublished poems by Ted Hughes will be auctioned at Sotheby's next week. The poems were written shortly after Hughes’s partner Assia Wevill killed herself and their daughter. 

Print-book sales have jumped dramatically during the pandemic, rising 18.9 percent in the first half of 2021. Those rises have slowed, reports Publishers Weekly, but sales in 2022 so far continue to be 15 percent above what they were during the same months in 2019. 

At the New York Times, Alexandra Alter reports that more than three hundred new independent bookstores have opened in the US in the past two years, meeting demands for diversity and for “real recommendations from real people.” 

Melville House dedicates the latest volume of its “The Last Interview” series, dedicated to Joan Didion, in which Hari Kunzru talks with the Blue Nights author about, among other things, how she traded her iconic Corvette for a Volvo. 

On Wednesday night at Lincoln Center at 7:30, Ann Powers, the author of Good Booty: Love and Sex, Black and White, Body and Soul in American Music, will take part in a conversation with Aimee Mann.