paper trail

Margot Lee Shetterly gets two-book deal; Ron Howard to direct "Hillbilly Elegy" film

Margot Lee Shetterly. Photo: Megan Mendenhall

The 2017 Pulitzer Prize winners were announced yesterday. Winners include the New Yorker’s Hilton Als for criticism, Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad, and Heather Ann Thompson’s Blood in the Water. BuzzFeed news was a finalist in the competition for the first time, for an expose of arbitration strategies used by international companies.

At the New Yorker, Rebecca Mead profiles Margaret Atwood. The two discuss witches, feminism, and why the 2016 election would make terrible fiction. “There are too many wild cards,” Atwood said. “You want me to believe that the F.B.I. stood up and said this, and that the guy over at WikiLeaks did that? Fiction has to be something that people would actually believe. If you had published it last June, everybody would have said, ‘That is never going to happen.’”

Hidden Figures author Margot Lee Shetterly has signed a two-book deal with Viking. Titles and publication dates for Shetterly’s forthcoming books have not been announced, but both works will highlight “extraordinary ordinary African-Americans whose contributions to American history have, for one reason or another, been untold, unseen, or overlooked.”

Ron Howard will produce and direct a film based on J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy. Imagine Entertainment president Erica Huggins said that the book has illuminated “the plight of America’s white working class, speaking directly to the turmoil of our current political climate.”

Business Insider reports that Breitbart employees have been told to stop publishing articles that criticize Jared Kushner. The request comes after the New York Times detailed the animosity between Kushner and former Breitbart editor and current chief strategist Stephen Bannon. The Washington Post investigates how Bannon relied on dozens of nonprofit and private companies “to advance his conservative, populist agenda and bring in millions of dollars” through the production of conservative documentary films.

The New York Timesprofiles publisher Adam Bellow, who recently left his job as editorial director of the conservative HarperCollins imprint Broadside and created a new, bipartisan imprint at St. Martin’s Press. The son of author Saul Bellow said that the move does not mean he’s renounced his neoconservative views, but that he wants to foster cross-cultural dialogue. “Both sides need to re-examine their assumptions,” he said, “and I want to sponsor that process.”