paper trail

Join Bookforum on Sunday at the Brooklyn Book Festival; Katie Kitamura on fiction and fluidity

Katie Kitamura. Photo: Martha Reta

At Bomb, Katie Kitamura discusses her novel Intimacies, circular sentences, and staying open to looseness: “I had the sense, after three books, that I might try sharing work earlier. If you only share work that is very finished, and very polished—which is how I’ve tended to work—then to some extent its problems have ossified, and the project as a whole is no longer very mobile. With this novel, I wanted to write something that felt, at least in process terms, a little more fluid.”

A group of writers and translators have signed an open letter written by Jennifer Croft and Mark Haddon that calls on publishers to feature translator’s names on the front covers of books. The campaign launched yesterday with one hundred signatories, on International Translation Day. Haddon commented, “This is the simplest and easiest way for authors to treat translators with the gratitude and respect they deserve.” Over one thousand people have signed the letter.

For the New York Review of Books, Ben Lerner considers the work of W. G. Sebald on the occasion of Carole Angier’s new biography of the author. Lerner writes, “Repetition is both his technique and theme; his books are more patterned than plotted; the way phrases and figures and events recur at intervals enacts what he and his characters so often describe: a vertiginous sense that the past has erupted in the present.”

The 2021 Brooklyn Book Festival takes place this weekend, with children’s events on Saturday and Festival Day on Sunday. Authors including Hanif Abdurraqib, Rumaan Alam, Danielle Evans, Walter Mosley, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Rachel Kushner, Melissa Broder, and dozens more, will appear at panels and readings, and you can visit your favorite publishers and magazines—including Bookforum—at their booths.

For the New York Times, John Williams talks with Kelefa Sanneh about his book Major Labels, a study of the past fifty years of music across seven popular genres. The book is a defense of musical genres, which the author considers crucial to the development of communities and personal opinions. “I got less judgmental over the years, which is probably a good thing for a music listener but maybe not such a good thing for a music critic,” Sanneh told Williams. “I found it surprisingly more and more difficult to find stuff that I really, really hated.”

At Lit Hub, Snigdha Koirala writes about how you can support programs that send books to incarcerated individuals.