paper trail

National Book Critics Circle announces John Leonard Award finalists; John le Carré writing new novel

R.O. Kwon. Photo: Smeeta Mahanti

writes poet laureate Tracy K. Smith at the Times. “It has become a means of owning up to the complexity of our problems, of accepting the likelihood that even we the righteous might be implicated by or complicit in some facet of the very wrongs we decry.”

At the New Yorker, Osita Nwanevu examines the misplaced mourning for the “old WASP aristocracy.”

Teju Cole and Rowan Ricardo Phillips discuss tennis, talent, and Phillips’s new book, The Circuit. “Tennis is the perfect sport for late capitalism,” Phillips said. “I think people think that they’re escaping politics when they embrace Roger Federer. But they’re totally rooting for capitalism, right? There’s such a commodified way to be a Roger Federer fan. . . . It comes with all the accessories, and they’re expensive.”