paper trail

Javier Marías has died at age seventy

Javier Marías

Javier Marías has died at age seventy. The Spanish writer, best known for his Your Face Tomorrow trilogy, was the author of more than fifteen novels, including Thus Bad Begins, and The Infatuations.  In 2018, Marías said in an interview with Garth Risk Hallberg, “A professor goes to give his lesson after 40 years . . . and the teacher knows he will give a good lesson, or at least a decent one. And he will do it with ease. And the carpenter who’s been making tables for 40 years or whatever knows he will succeed with the next table. But a novelist doesn’t know that at all!”

On her Substack, Jessi Jezewska Stevens reflects on the recent debates about cultural boredom, picking up on essays by Christian Lorentzen, Michelle Goldberg, and Max Read, as well as David Marx’s new book, Status and Culture (and Kaitlin Phillips’s review of that book). 

On Twitter, Jennifer Baker has a thread explaining her departure from the Amistad imprint of HarperCollins. 

For the New Yorker, Lauren Michele Jackson reviews Namwali Serpell’s The Furrows, her new novel about grief and storytelling: “It’s soon apparent that Serpell isn’t delivering yet another symbol for loss. Rather, ‘The Furrows’ enacts the physics of becoming lost.”

In the latest episode of Mr. Difficult, Alex Shepard and Erin Somers’s podcast devoted to Jonathan Franzen’s work, critic Leo Robson joins the hosts to discuss Franzen’s latest essay collection, The End of the End of the Earth. Most of the essays in the book “revolve around nature and, in particular, birds,” the hosts warn.