paper trail

New fiction by Charles Yu; Hanif Abdurraqib remembers Eric Jerome Dickey

Eric Jerome Dickey. Photo: Joseph Jones

Nieman Lab has asked “some of the smartest people in journalism” for their 2021 predictions.

Hanif Abdurraqib writes about his gratitude for Eric Jerome Dickey, the best-selling novelist who died yesterday at age fifty-nine. For Abdurraqib, Dickey was an inspiration not just for his output, but for his roundabout path to becoming an author: “I’m always thankful for the life he lived before that. A life where he was still a writer, no matter what else he was doing.”

At Entertainment Weekly, read an excerpt of Interior Chinatown author Charles Yu’s latest work of fiction.

At The Cut, MacArthur recipient, novelist, and children’s book author Jacqueline Woodson discusses her reading habits, the residency she founded, and how she structures her writing time: “Living in my head and imagining what the world can be like—where there can be beauty, hope, empathy, social justice, and change—is really a way to make it through every day.”

Lila Shapiro talks with Torrey Peters about entertaining thorny questions about detransitioning and motherhood through writing, and how her debut novel came to be. Detransition, Baby began, Peters says, as “a thought experiment for how to live as a trans woman.”

At the Paris Review Daily blog, Karl Ove Knausgaard offers some thoughts on what writers and editors actually do, and the impossibility of setting criteria for what makes a literary work “good.”

Next Wednesday, McNally Jackson will host Brigid Hughes, Laurie Muchnick, and Yiyun Li for a conversation about Bette Howland’s 1974 memoir, W-3, soon to be reissued by A Public Space Books.