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Merve Emre and others discuss their Ferrante Letters; Boris Kachka named books editor at the LA Times

Merve Emre

Boris Kachka, a longtime writer and editor at New York magazine, has been named the new books editor at the Los Angeles Times.

Chloe Cooper Jones’s forthcoming memoir, Easy Beauty, was recently purchased by Avid Reader Press in the US, and how has been bought in a pre-emptive bid by Virago Press in the UK. The book, which will be released in 2021, is in part about disability rights, parenthood, and the author’s own experiences with a congenital condition known as sacral agenesis. Says Lauren Wein, editorial director at Avid Reader: “There are so many points of access to this book and to Chloé’s story—philosophical; psychological; medical; intellectual; parental; aesthetic. This book is and will be in conversation with so many of the books that have meant the most to me as a reader—The Argonauts, Autobiography of a Face, Autobiography of Red, and in a just world, I can envision Chloé’s book joining these ranks. She’s made it her life’s work to transcend her disability—multiple PHDs, an MFA, award-winning journalism. And then, in the wake of her son Wolfgang’s arrival, she dares to interrogate her own defences, which may have allowed her to survive, but also left her struggling to connect. There are so many gorgeous, thought-provoking layers to this story.”

In the Washington Post, Carlos Lozada writes that Donald Trump Jr.’s Triggeredreads like a campaign book of 2024.” A recent poll suggests that 29 percent of Republican voters would vote for Trump Jr. in 2024.

Novelist and women’s rights activist Elif Shafak, author of 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World, recommends books “to help us through tough times.”

Following Sonny Mehta’s death last week, Madeline McIntosh, CEO of Penguin Random House, sent a memo to Knopf Doubleday staff assuring them that the “group will remain as independent as it always has been.” She noted that she and Mehta had discussed a succession plan,“at length, particularly in recent months.” She hasn’t revealed what that plan will be, but assured staff that “there will be plenty of time going forward for me to share with you what [Mehta] had in mind and how we will put that vision in place.”

On Tuesday at New York’s McNally Jackson bookstore, Sarah Chihaya, Merve Emre, Jill Richards, and Katherine Hill will discuss their new book The Ferrante Letters: An Experiment in Collective Criticism, which collects the writers’ correspondence about Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels. The resulting book “strikes a tone at once critical and personal, achieving a way of talking about literature that falls between the seminar and the book club.”