paper trail

Molly Young on Asali Solomon’s new novel; Brittany Luse on passing stories

Asali Solomon. Photo: Ron Nichols; Mural: David Shane.

In the New York Times, Molly Young reviews Asali Solomon’s new novel, The Days of Afrekete. The book, inspired by Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, Toni Morrison’s Sula, and Audre Lorde's Zami, is coming out today. Young writes, “Solomon’s novel is a feat of engineering. It’s also a reverie, a riff on 'Mrs. Dalloway' and a love story.” To which we'd add: It’s also quite funny. Earlier this fall, Solomon told Porochista Khakpour in a Bookforum interview: “Humor is really important to me. And I think that in that sense, the greater the risk, the greater the reward.”

For Vulture, Brittany Luse writes about how Black women writers use passing stories to talk about race, class, and gender. Luse covers Danzy Senna’s 1998 novel Caucasia, Mariah Carey’s memoir, and Nella Larsen’s 1929 book, Passing, which is being adapted for a film coming out in November. Luse notes, “In the years between Passing the book and the release of Passing the movie, ideas around race, heredity, and multiracial identity have transformed countless times—within families, within institutions, and within pop culture.”

The Washington Post has announced expanded roles for three top editors.

For the London Review of Books, Christian Lorentzen writes about Richard Powers’s new novel Bewilderment. The book follows an astrobiologist father raising his son after the death of his wife, and is, according to Lorentzen, “essentially a rewrite of a children’s book.”

The Paris Review Daily shares a selection of archival photos shot by Lester Sloan, who was a photojournalist for Newsweek from the late 1960s until the mid-’90s. Sloan discusses each image with his daughter, writer Aisha Sabatini Sloan.

Tomorrow night, the New Republic and The Strand bookstore in New York City host Amitav Ghosh. The author will discuss his latest book, The Nutmeg's Curse: Parables for a Planet in Crisis, with TNR editor Laura Marsh.