paper trail

Jung Hae Chae wins Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize

Jung Hae Chae

Jung Hae Chae has been awarded the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize for her book Pojangmacha People. The prize, which was created to “honor and encourage the art of literary nonfiction,” has in the past gone to writers such as Kevin Young, Leslie Jamison, Esmé Weijun Wang, and Lars Horn. In addition to giving Chae a $20,000 advance and a $2,000 stipend, Graywolf will publish the book, which, according to the publisher, “deeply explores the idea of matrilineal inheritance of ‘han’ in the Korean diaspora...[and] centers the lives of ‘ordinary’ Korean women...who take action as the makers of their own fortunes, even when they’re thwarted by the oppressive forces that have affected them and generations before them.”

The Backstreets, by Perhat Tursun, is the first Uyghur novel to be published in the US. In 2015, the author’s translator was worried that Tursun would come under scrutiny in China if the novel were released. But as Tiffany May at the New York Times reports, Tursun did not escape notice. He was, along with many other Uyghur intellectuals, detained in a Chinese camp by 2018. Now, his novel—about “an unnamed narrator trying to escape rural poverty finds work as a token minority hire in a bleak government unit dominated by Han Chinese”—is bringing his story of oppression to a broader readership. 

Henry Holt has laid off the entire staff of its Metropolitan Books imprint: Sara Bershtel, who has been Metropolitan’s publisher since 2008, and three other employees (one of whom has been offered another role at Holt). Since it was started in 1997, the imprint has published, among others, Barbara Ehrenreich, Susan Faludi, Thomas Frank, Atul Gawande, Naomi Klein, Joe Sacco, Edward Snowden, and Elizabeth Warren.

Lit Hub has posted its latest “5 Reviews You Need to Read This Week.” 

Tonight at Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn at 7pm, Emma Ramadan will present her new translation of the French author Barbara Molinard’s Panics, which she will discuss with author Kate Zambreno (Book of Mutter, Drifts).