paper trail

Marilynne Robinson announces next book in Gilead series; Lidia Yuknavitch's favorite writing advice

Lidia Yuknavitch

Marilynne Robinson will publish the next installment of her Gilead series this year. According to the book listing, “Jack tells the story of John Ames Boughton, the black sheep of his family, the beloved and grieved-over prodigal son of a Presbyterian minister in Gilead, Iowa, a drunkard and a ne’er-do-well.” Jack will be published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux next October.

Lidia Yuknavitch tells Literary Hub about her favorite books, the best writing advice she’s ever received, and her new book, Verge. Yuknavitch offers two pieces of writing advice: “Never surrender (Ken Kesey), and when dragged under, kick. Kick the fuck out of it,” and “They’re not expecting us (Kathy Acker).” “They seem related to me,” she noted.

On the Maris Review, Maris Kreizman talks to Miranda Popkey about male rage, imitating the mind, and trying to avoid cliches. “It’s very difficult to construct a very new story,” she said. “It is impossible to imagine how one would do so; you’re always building from the cultural artefacts around you or are important to you and you have absorbed.”

At Columbia Journalism Review, Mairav Zonszein wonders what happened to The Forward. In the last year, the Jewish media outlet ended their print edition and laid off thirty percent of their staff. “When Donald Trump became president, it was clear that The Forward was uniquely positioned to cover the rise of anti-Semitism and his administration’s impact on American Jewry. But it quickly became apparent that the paper would not pursue that path,” she writes. “At a time when anti-Semitic violence is on the rise, white supremacy has reached the federal level, and the discourse around Jews and Israel may be the most toxic it’s ever been, many of us have been disappointed to find that The Forward is leveraging news more than reporting it.”

Longreads’s Matt Giles has compiled a reading list about Kobe Bryant, “a legendary and complex figure within not only basketball and sports but culture writ large.”

At Gay Mag, Roxane Gay reflects on her 2019 reading.

Literary Hub selects their favorite titles of the past year for their annual Book Oscars.

Gish Jen talks to the New York Times “By the Book” column about dystopian novels, the passage of time, and why she hasn’t read Ted Chiang’s Exhalation yet. “I’ve dragged my feet a bit because the title evokes yoga for me and, much as I love yoga, I am allergic to books with a namaste vibe. But so long as there’s nothing in it about ‘bringing your hands to heart center,’ I’ll give it a go.”