paper trail

On getting old...

Lynne Segal

Salon mourns the closure of the oldest LGBT bookstore in the country, Philadelphia’s Giovanni’s Room.

Tim Parks asks why the people who attend book events pose such stupid questions. “The irony perhaps is that what’s mysterious to them is even more mysterious to you.”

George Prochnik will speak tonight at the New York Public Library about Austrian novelist and biographer Stefan Zweig, who in the 1920s and '30s was the bestselling author in the world. Prochnik’s new book, The Impossible Exile (Other Press), is a study of Zweig’s final years in the US and Brazil, where he lived after fleeing Nazi Europe.

Over at The Awl, founders Choire Sicha and Alex Balk are stepping aside as two new editors, Matt Buchanan and John Herrman, take over the day-to-day blogging. There’s also word of a redesign coming soon, but nothing too drastic, Sicha assures us: “Certainly we are trying to keep some elements of ‘jankiness’ and ‘terribleness,’ our visual trademark, but also it might actually be mildly attractive. We know.

John Jeremiah Sullivan has won the James Beard Foundation food writing award for his essay “I Placed a Jar in Tennessee.”

One of our favorite LRB writers, Jenny Diski, reviews Out of Time, Lynne Segal’s book about aging, which Verso put out last year (the LRB, endearingly, has never been too concerned with pub dates). “I can’t think of anything about the reality of aging which improves a person’s life,” Diski writes with characteristic dryness. “The wisdom people speak of that is supposed to come to us in old age seems to be in much shorter supply than I imagined, and apart from that, it’s a matter of how self-deceptively, or stoically, you are able or prepared to put up with the depletions, dependency and indignities of getting old.”