paper trail

Nicolas Mathieu wins Goncourt Prize; Vice Media plans hiring freeze

Nicolas Mathieu

The 2018 Goncourt Prize has been awarded to Nicolas Mathieu for his novel Leurs Enfants Aprè Eux. The book, “a portrait of teenagers growing up in a forgotten, hopeless region of France in the 1990s,” will be published in the US by Other Press late next year. “It is quite a vertigo moment. . . . Writing is a lonely activity, and suddenly I am in the middle of the spotlight,” Mathieu told the New York Times in an interview. “It’s quite disturbing, but it’s good for the book.”

Later this month, Vintage Books will republish Fletcher Knebel’s Night of Camp David, a 1965 political thriller about “an unhinged American president who falls prey to his own paranoia and conspiratorial fantasies.”

“It was startling to see the issues around power imbalances and assault I had been writing about every day suddenly all over the news,” Those Who Knew author Idra Novey says of publishing her new book, which she began writing in 2014. “I started this novel long before a man who bragged about groping women became president and the silencing of victims of sexual assault became an international conversation.”

David Simon’s six-episode miniseries based on Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America will air on HBO, Variety reports

Vice Media has instituted a hiring freeze and is hoping to reduce staff by 15 percent, the Wall Street Journal reports. The company will also consolidate its numerous vertical sites. 

Two upcoming panels at a Hong Kong cultural center that featured exiled Chinese writer Ma Jian have been canceled, the New York Times reports. The events were part of the Hong Kong International Literary Festival. Along with the recent shut down of the one of the city’s last bookstores to sell banned books, the cancelation is seen as “the latest sign of eroding freedoms in the city.” “Before, Hong Kong was a haven for arts and literature — a place where we felt like we could hide from China and find true freedom of thought,” Ma said. “But now that era is slowly disappearing.”