paper trail

Margaret Atwood writing "The Handmaid's Tale" sequel; The "nuclear arms race" of book blurbing

Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood has written a sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale. The new book, called The Testaments, takes place fifteen years after the conclusion of Handmaid’s, and is narrated by three women. “Everything you've ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book,” Atwood says in a video. “Well, almost everything: The other inspiration is the world we've been living in." The new book will be released on September 10, 2019, by Doubleday/Nan A. Talese.

A literature professor has discovered a forgotten cache of poet Anne Sexton’s early works. Written in the late 1950s, the essay and four poems were first published in the Christian Science Monitor and will be republished by Fugue.

At LitHub, Madelaine Lucas profiles A Public Space editor Brigid Hughes. “I sometimes think about how Jane Jacobs talks about what makes a vital street,” Hughes said of A Public Space’s editorial direction. “You don’t want homogeneity, you want a variety of buildings and shops and people. That’s what makes a vibrant and vital community, and I think of the magazine as something similar.”

Hmm Daily’s To Scocca attempts to understand the nuances of who is and isn’t included on the New York Times’s opinion section masthead.

At The Millions, Marie Myung-Ok Lee calls for “not an end, but maybe an armistice, in the arms race of blurbing.” Lee writes that although the idea behind book blurbing—authors helping other authors find readers—is laudable, the internet and social media have expanded the amount of necessary promotion to the point that advance copies now require separate pre-blurbs before being sent. “The beast grows and needs more food more frequently,” she writes, “and is anyone keeping track of what’s happening? At what point will it be deemed ridiculous, at the pre-pre-pre-pre-blurb stage? And who will be doing it?”