Paper Trail

Guadeloupean novelist Maryse Condé has died; Small Press Distribution has announced its closure

Maryse Condé. Photo: Columbia University 

The Guadeloupean novelist, activist, and academic Maryse Condé has died at the age of ninety. Condé was the author of over twenty books including the multigenerational saga Segu. Her work was nominated twice for the International Booker Prize, and in 2018 she received the New Academy prize, a one-off award given in lieu of the Nobel that year. 

“As a toddler she had caused a sensation in her family when she announced she wanted to live in a little hole like the ant. Not an ant, the ant. This might have been misheard.” Read an excerpt from Joy Williams’s forthcoming book Concerning the Future of Souls in the new issue of the Paris Review

For the New Yorker, Leslie Jamison goes long on gaslighting: “Gaslighting is not a clinical diagnosis, but, as with narcissism, less precise applications of the term can be a way to take an inevitable source of pain—the fact of disagreement, or the fact that we are not the center of other people’s lives—and turn it into an act of wrongdoing. This is not to say that narcissism or gaslighting don’t exist, but that, in seeing them everywhere, we risk not just diluting the concepts but also attributing natural human friction to the malevolence of others.”

Small Press Distribution has announced its closure, effective immediately. Founded in 1969, it was one of the last independent distributors in the country. Kent Watson, SPD’s executive director, told Publishers Weekly that declining sales and lack of institutional support have forced the company to close. 

Bookforum contributor Becca Rothfeld’s debut essay collection, All Things Are Too Small, is out today. Tonight’s launch event is sold out, but tickets are available for an in-person and livestream discussion with the author and The Point editor Jon Baskin on April 8.