paper trail

Martha Nussbaum wins Berggruen Prize; Elaine Pagels on writing a memoir

Martha Nussbaum

Monarchy of Fear author Martha Nussbaum has won the 2018 Berggruen Prize, which awards $1 million to a person who has “profoundly shaped human self-understanding and advancement in a rapidly changing world.” Nussbaum will receive the award at a ceremony in December. 

Penguin Random House imprint Dutton is releasing “mini books” of John Green’s novels, with hopes to capture the attention of young readers who might not be interested in traditional paperbacks. “The tiny editions are the size of a cellphone and no thicker than your thumb, with paper as thin as onion skin,” Alexandra Alter explains at the New York Times. “They can be read with one hand — the text flows horizontally, and you can flip the pages upward, like swiping a smartphone.”

“One friend who’s a college professor said to me, ‘If you write this, they’ll think you’re not a scholar anymore.’ That was a little unsettling, coming from someone I respect,” said Why Religion? author Elaine Pagels about her decision to write a memoir. “But I can show you my CV. If people don’t think I’m a scholar, that’s not my problem.”

At Lithub, Andre Dubus III and Meg Wolitzer interview each other about their recent books.

Martin Amis talks to The Guardian about the film adaptation of his novel London Fields, which was released last weekend in the US and “boasts a rare 0% on Rotten Tomatoes.” “When it’s suggested that a book of mine be made into a film, I always say, ‘Take it away, I don’t want to have any control over it. It’s yours now, do what you will with it,’ Amis said. “Life really is too short to worry about the secondary may-offends, you just focus on your end of it.”