paper trail

Martin Amis on Trump; the return of JT LeRoy

JT Leroy

Embattled Fox News boss Roger Ailes, accused of sexual harassment by the television host Gretchen Carlson, is negotiating his exit from the network he started twenty years ago, according to one of Ailes’s lawyers. His career there ends as Fox-style rhetoric has all but taken over the GOP. As the New York Times writes: “Mr. Trump’s convention has been a triumph for Mr. Ailes’s brand of smash-mouth and ‘politically incorrect’ politics. . . . It is, in a way, the most Fox News-y convention in the network’s history.” Ailes’s imminent departure was announced as two more women, Megyn Kelly and Ann Coulter, spoke out against Ailes’s conduct.

As Donald Trump officially clinched the Republican nomination for president, he continues to be literary fodder. Martin Amis reviews two books by the candidate, looking for signs of madness, or failing that, any ideas at all. Meanwhile, Richard Ford weighs in with his assessment of the Donald’s mental soundness: Trump, he says, is not displaying symptoms of insanity, but is instead a symptom of “our national malaise with life . . . our American disease.”

The Asian American Writers’ Workshop has awarded its 2016 Editorial Achievement Award to Chris Jackson, an editor who has worked with authors including Victor LaValle, Eddie Huang, and Ta-Nehisi Coates.

HarperPerennial will reissue two books by JT LeRoy, the novel Sarah and the story collection The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things, in late August—just before the September 9 theatrical release of Jeff Feuerzeig’s documentaryAuthor: The JT LeRoy Story. The film will chart the rise and fall of LeRoy, an HIV-positive gay male author with a traumatic backstory (including a stint as a teen truck-stop prostitute) who turned out to be the persona of thirty-something author Laura Albert. “JT LeRoy” had a significant following (Lou Reed, Mary Gaitskill, Dennis Cooper, Billy Corgan, Dave Eggers, and many others once celebrated his work). But the unmasking of LeRoy (the result of an article by novelist Stephen Beachy) left him few admirers. The new edition’s blurb, by Adam Langer, tries to reclaim Albert as an author worth reading despite the elaborate hoax, calling her “a tremendously gifted and empathetic writer who found herself overshadowed by her own creation.”

#MyIdeaOfFlirtingIs ... tweeting at corporate Twitter accounts? The tactic worked for Victoria Carlin, whose reply four years ago to a tweet about Pokémon by London bookstore Waterstone’s resulted in a wedding to Jonathan O’Brien, the man behind the “nerdy tweets.” The rest of their story is a wedding announcement made in clickbait heaven, complete with doughnuts, secret cocktail bars, and Pokémon Go. At the reception, the bride, groom, and best man all cited the tweet that started it all. O’Brien told Mashable, “None of us knew the others would mention it.”