paper trail

New York mag's new book critic; PEN's longlist

Susan Berman

The remains of Miguel de Cervantes have been found in a convent.

Christian Lorentzen will be the next book critic at New York magazine, replacing Kathryn Schulz, who left a few months ago for the New Yorker. Lorentzen writes frequently for Bookforum; his most recent piece for us was on Kazuo Ishiguro.

The most well-known book by the writer Susan Berman, one of the alleged victims of Robert Durst, is Easy Street, a memoir of her family’s mob ties. With the success of the HBO show Jinx, a six-episode HBO documentary about Durst, paperback copies of Berman's book that could be got on Amazon for ten dollars a week ago are now selling for fifty.

PEN has announced the longlist for its literary awards. The debut fiction category includes Molly Antopol’s UnAmericans, Phil Klay’s Redeployment, Kenneth Calhoun’s Black Moon, and seven others. The essay category names Leslie Jamison’s Empathy Exams, Valeria Luiselli’s Sidewalks, and Charles D’Ambrosio’s Loitering, among others.

Gawker has set up a website that will publish the pool reports that report on the president’s everyday actions. These are unsigned dispatches about the president’s comings and goings written by a rotating cast of reporters from the White House press corps, and made available to be used by publications as they see fit. Gawker explains: “Though much of what is in these pool reports eventually finds its way into press coverage—that's what they're for!—the actual raw copy is available only to the anointed hundreds, or perhaps thousands, who are judged to be important enough to merit placement on the distribution list.” Now Gawker will publish the reports as soon as it has them.

The publisher of Grove Atlantic, Morgan Entrekin, is planning a new website called Literary Hub, in conjunction with Electric Literature. Literary Hub, which will go live April 8, aims to be a clearing-house of “literary life.” Because it is backed by publishers, the site won’t publish book reviews. Rather, it’ll feature interviews, profiles, essays, and excerpts, focusing exclusively, according to Entrekin, on literary fiction.