paper trail

Marlon James’s sequel to Black Leopard, Red Wolf; Lauren Christensen profiles Sally Rooney

Marlon James. Photo: Jeffrey Skemp

At the New York Times, Lauren Christensen profiles Sally Rooney, whose third novel Beautiful World, Where Are You will be published in early September. Rooney wrote the novel in part as a response to the fame her first two books brought her. “Rooney knows how many writers would kill to be in her position. But that’s her point: Everyone loses, except capitalism.” She was already at work on Beautiful World during a 2019 fellowship at the Cullman Center at the New York Public Library, where she focused on reading critical theory by Simone Weil, Jonathan Lear, Ian Watt and others, which helped her, Christensen writes, “take a step back from her craft, view it anew.”

The follow-up to Marlon James’s best-selling novel Black Leopard, Red Wolf will be published in February 2022 by Riverhead. Per the publisher’s description, Moon Witch, Spider King is told from the point of view of Sogolon the Moon Witch, an adversary of James’s previous novel’s protagonist.

In the Paris Review’s online weekly review, Jay Graham considers Louise Bourgeois’s current exhibition at the Jewish Museum, Christian Lorentzen discusses Matthew Gasda’s play Quartet, Meghan O’Gieblyn reflects on self-help and Bertrand Russell’s The Conquest of Happiness, and more.

An excerpt of Merve Emre’s introduction to The Annotated Mrs. Dalloway has been published by the New Yorker. When Emre first read Woolf’s novel at the age of ten or eleven, she sent her annotated copy of the book to a boy she had a crush on, thinking that their relationship was akin to the fictional one between Mrs. Dalloway and Peter Walsh. “I confess to feeling some distant admiration for the readers we had been,” Emre writes.

For The Point, Elizabeth Barber writes about reading her grandfather’s self-published erotic novel, wanting to be admired, and the limits of parenting: “What did my grandfather want with a gorgeous daughter? My mom has always said that her dad was fixated on her marrying a neurosurgeon or a neuroscientist, so perhaps he thought that an alluring arrangement of facial bones would win her the correct husband. Still, why he imagined a specific profession for his daughter’s betrothed is another problem I can’t resolve. He also dreamed out loud to her that she would be an international lawyer. Also, that she would live in Paris.”