paper trail

Nov 16, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

James Frey

Joan Didion once wrote that "a writer is always selling someone out." That phrase takes on multiple meanings in Suzanne Mozes's New York magazine story about author and self-proclaimed rebel James Frey's new publishing company, Full Fathom Five. Frey himself is obviously taking young, ambitious authors for a ride, offering them contracts custom-made to screw artists over. Thankfully, Mozes does a great job of selling Frey out, too, nailing his false charisma and exposing the insidious contractual maneuvers his company has worked hard to keep secret.

President Obama's new book for kids, Of Thee I Sing, goes on sale today.

Over at the Paris Review, Witz author and Bookforum contributor Joshua Cohen gives some advice about how to beat writer's block (drink through it, duh), and explains why you should promote your frenemy's book.

At his reading at NYU on Friday night, Junot Diaz read his excellent short story "Nilda" and provided some choice off-the-cuff remarks too: "There was plans to read other shit before shit got like this.... Fuck."

Yesterday, the Columbia Journalism Review reported that the staff—after learning that their site will soon be folded into The Daily Beast from a New York Times article—became so irate that they started a Tumblr, Save, lodging bitter complaints against their print counterparts: " ... have always remained an ugly stepchild to its print grandparents, who were too busy burning money to notice." But reports of the demise of appear to have been premature, as Tina Brown, newly named editor-in-chief of the combined The Newsweek Daily Beast Co, has posted on Twitter that would not disappear. (Meanwhile, at The Awl, Choire Sicha calculates just how much money the various print and online enterprises are losing.)