paper trail

Jordan Pavlin is the new editor in chief of Knopf; Patricia Highsmith’s diaries to be published this fall

Jordan Pavlin. Photo: Karen Haberberg.

Jordan Pavlin has been named the new editor in chief of Knopf, filling the spot left vacant since her predecessor, Sonny Mehta, died in 2019. Palavin has edited writers including Nathan Englander, Yaa Gyasi, Megha Majumdar, Ayana Mathis, Jenny Offill, Tommy Orange, Julie Orringer, Julie Otsuka, and Karen Russell. In a statement, Knopf publisher Reagan Arthur writes: “Jordan’s reading palate is broad, and her enthusiasm for fine storytelling infectious. She is always willing to go the distance for every writer on our list.”

This fall, Patricia Highsmith’s diaries will be published for the first time. Diaries and Notebooks is nearly 1,000 pages long, edited down from fifty-six notebooks. The project’s editor, Anna von Planta, told The Bookseller: “What amazed and touched me most when delving into the diaries and notebooks was to discover the raw and unrestrained voice of the young Pat.”

At Jacobin, Alex Press looks at the Federal Writers Project, a 1930s initiative that employed out-of-work authors to write travel guides and record oral histories. As Press observes, the guides’ genuine oddness were part of their appeal: “The guides were not straightforward. A traveler seeking relevant hotel or culinary information might find them, at best, meandering and, at worst, useless. Instead, they were literary achievements, records of a period and a people, a hodgepodge reflecting the bizarreness and ambition of the FWP itself.”

The Sympathizer, Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, will be adapted into an HBO television series costarring Robert Downey Jr. Park Chan-wook will direct the series and be a showrunner.

Today at noon EDT, n+1 publisher and coeditor Mark Krotov will talk with Dana Spiotta about her new novel, Wayward.