paper trail

Obama White House staffer to write memoir; Emma Straub on opening a bookstore

Emma Straub

Simon & Schuster imprint Gallery Books is publishing a new memoir by a former White House writer for Barack Obama. Pat Cunnane’s West Winging It: An Unpresidential Memoir will be published in June 2018 and has already been optioned for television.

Slate’s Jessica Winter has been hired as the New Yorker’s website executive editor. Other new hires at the site include Public Books’s Liz Maynes-Aminzade as senior web manager and the New York Times’s Soo-Jeong Kang as executive video producer. At the Times, University of Pittsburgh professor and MacArthur fellow Terrance Hayes has been hired as the New York Times Magazine’s poetry editor.

The Wall Street Journal’s chief foreign affairs correspondent was fired yesterday after business deals he had made with his sources came to light. According to the Associated Press, Jay Solomon was involved in “prospective commercial deals—including one involving arms sales to foreign governments—with an international businessman who was one of his key sources.”

BuzzFeed reports on the rise and fall of Guardian US, which recently cut 30 percent of its staff. A Pulitzer Prize for the site’s reporting on Edward Snowden and their many talented hires couldn’t make up for years of financial setbacks and mismanagement. “Guardian US, five years after delivering a defining American political story, became anonymous during the most chaotic election in decades — though it wasn’t for lack of trying or reporting talent.”

Novelist Emma Straub describes the time and effort that went into opening her Brooklyn bookstore, Books Are Magic. Besides buying shelving and finding the perfect space, other concerns included finding the right contractor and fielding customer opinions about what books should be available. “I try not to be offended by these suggestions from people, even when I have OF COURSE already ordered several books by whichever author someone is suggesting, because they don't know that. Retail is egoless,” she writes. “Plus, sometimes I actually have forgotten to order someone, and then I am eternally grateful.”