paper trail

National Book Award shortlist; drafting the King James Bible

Hanya Yanagihara

The shortlist for the National Book Award is out, and some helpful soul has collected free samples of most of the books in question, including the memoirs by Sally Mann and Ta-Nehisi Coates, fiction by Lauren Groff and Hanya Yanagihara, and poetry by Terrance Hayes and Ada Limón.

In a “leap-out-of-the-bathtub moment,” as he told the New York Times, an American scholar has found the earliest draft of the King James Bible, a notebook from the early seventeenth century in which one of the translators seems to have puzzled out his allotted section and then taken over someone else’s: “Some of them, being typical academics, either fell down on the job or just decided not to do it,” Professor Miller said, with a laugh. “It really testifies to the human element of this kind of great undertaking.”

The artist Ai Weiwei has sold his memoirs (which also promise to be a “cultural history of China over the past 100 years”), due out in 2017.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, newspaper reporting made it onto a list of the “most endangered” jobs for the second year running—the list is compiled by CareerCast, which also established this year that it’s better to be a lumberjack than a reporter.

Tonight, the Albertine book club, led by Antonin Baudry, will discuss Jean-Paul Sarte’s weird and wonderful autobiographical novel Les Mots.