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Nell Zink has sold a new novel to Knopf; the National Book Foundation announces its Science + Literature initiative

Nell Zink. Photo: Francesca Torricelli

Nell Zink, the author, most recently, of Doxology, has sold a new novel to Knopf. Avalon is “a Cinderella story framed as a confession, complete with a dusty money laundering operation, outlaw bikers, and a handsome prince with cerebral machinations.”

In The Nation, Marie Solis reviews Kikuko Tsumura’s novel There’s No Such Thing as an Easy Job and the ways in which fiction depicts our working lives. Comparing the book to recent stories about work by Halle Butler, Hilary Leichter, and Ottessa Moshfegh, Solis notes Tsumura’s approach: “This is what jobs are about, good or bad, Tsumura seems to suggest: exercises in narrative-making.”

The National Book Foundation has announced a new initiative to explore “the connection between science and the humanities.” The Science + Literature program will announce its inaugural honored books in Winter/Spring 2022, and host public conversations to highlight the selected titles of science and technology writing.

Christine Smallwood considers Tao Lin’s new novel, Leave Society, for the New York Times. Lin’s narrator, Smallwood writes, is “recovering from existentialism” as well as Western medicine, with the help of LSD and fermented vegetables. The new book diverges from Lin’s previous work: “If personality is an effect of health, as Li avers, then literary style must be, too. Are we to understand the ‘existential autofiction’ that Lin wrote from 2006 to 2013 — deadpan, sincere stories of millennial malaise — as symptomatic of illness? Were his characters’ brains broken not by drugs or the internet or capitalism, but by pesticides and pollutants? Were they poisoned by … poisons?”

Tonight, Community Bookstore in Brooklyn is hosting Rebecca Donner and Maud Newton to talk about Donner’s new book, All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days: The True Story of the American Woman at the Heart of the German Resistance to Hitler.