paper trail

Oprah's memoir to be published in 2017

Sonny Mehta

On Saturday, the New York Times ran an op-ed on page one, above the fold. “End the Gun Epidemic in America” points out the obvious necessity for better regulation of firearms. “It is not necessary to debate the peculiar wording of the Second Amendment,” the editorial reads. “No right is unlimited and immune from reasonable regulation.” In another Saturday print-edition article (not on page one) titled “Gun Debate Yields Page One Editorial,” the Times provides us with some of its own history: notably, the paper has not run an editorial on page one since 1920, when it bemoaned the Republican party’s nomination of Warren G. Harding as its presidential candidate. Speaking of the gun-control op-ed, Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. noted that the print version of the paper still has a particular effectiveness: “Even in this digital age, the front page remains an incredibly strong and powerful way to surface issues that demand attention.”

Oprah Winfrey’s memoir, The Life You Want, will be published by Flatiron Books, a division of MacMillan publishers, in January 2017. The book will be the first title in Winfrey’s new imprint with Flatiron, which will release several nonfiction titles each year.

Knopf EIC Sonny Mehta has been named Person of the Year by Publisher’s Weekly. Says PW: “Mehta has seen to it that Knopf hasn’t simply rested on its reputation—he’s cemented its place as one of the most successful literary imprints in the business.”

In Al Jazeera America, Scott Beauchamp turns to Don Delillo’s work in order to understand terrorism’s insidious “war on the imagination.” In Delillo’s prescient 1991 book Mao II—one of many Delillo fictions concerned with public plots and rampant paranoia—the novelist narrator muses on how terrorists have supplanted writers in shaping society: “I used to think it was possible for a novelist to alter the inner life of the culture. Now bombmakers and gunmen have taken that territory. They make raids on human consciousness.”

Novelist Teddy Wayne makes the case for why having a shelf full of (print) books is the best thing parents can do for their children’s development: “Poking through physical artifacts . . . is archival and curatorial; it forces you to examine each object slowly, perhaps sample it and come across a serendipitous discovery. Scrolling through file names on a device, on the other hand, is what we do all day long, often mindlessly, in our quest to find whatever it is we’re already looking for.”