paper trail

Patrick Radden Keefe wins the 2021 Baillie Gifford Prize; Zoe Hu on Jay Caspian Kang’s “The Loneliest Americans”

Patrick Radden Keefe. Photo: Lars van der Brink

New Yorker staff writer Patrick Radden Keefe has won the Baillie Gifford Prize for Nonfiction for his book on the Sacklers, Empire of Pain.

Essayist and novelist Sloane Crosley tells Entertainment Weekly about her forthcoming book, “a romantic comedy set in a new age mind control cult on the Lower East Side” called Cult Classic: “My hope is that what sets it apart from every other romantic comedy set in a new age mind control cult on the Lower East Side is that it’s also a mystery.”

Zoe Hu reviews Jay Caspian Kang’s The Loneliest Americans for Jewish Currents. The book explores Asian identity politics, and expresses skepticism about the use of the term “Asian American.” Hu writes, “Through its blend of memoir and polemic, The Loneliest Americans chronicles the disjuncture between theoretical and felt identity, producing in the process an interpretation of Asian America that is as much a disquisition on knowledge as on race.”

At the New Republic, Vivian Gornick reconsiders her opinion of Elizabeth Hardwick’s work: “It’s the emotional weariness in Sleepless Nights that I was unable to grasp, much less sympathize with, all those long years ago. It runs just below the surface of the prose, and riddled through it is a strain of self-doubt that also came as revelation.”

McKenzie Wark writes about Semiotext(e) founder Sylvère Lotringer’s life and legacy for the New Left Review’s Sidecar blog. “Lotringer taught us certain tactics. To conduct one’s life as a discreet yet visible site of experimentation. To look for the play of concepts between one’s pleasures and one’s struggles. To not settle into too dense a representation of oneself, one’s desires, one’s politics.”