paper trail

Politics and the novel; media women on Twitter

Amanda Hess

The new issue of Dissent is out, with pieces on politics and the novel from Helen DeWitt, Nikil Saval, Roxanne Gay, and Vivian Gornick. In his introduction to the issue, David Marcus writes that political novels "can help keep our eyes on the present," offering "neither visions of what our lives ought to be like in the future nor paeans to how our lives once were lived."

The BTK serial killer explained in a letter from prison that he will cooperate with the writer Katherine Ramsland, a forensic psychology professor at DeSales University in Pennsylvania, on her book about his crimes.

The New York Times's public editor, Margaret Sullivan, responds to complaints that the paper's coverage of the Amazon/Hachette dispute has been skewed in favor of Hachette. Sullivan says she agrees that the articles have tended to be sympathetic to the publisher more than the Amazon: "The Times has given a lot of ink to one side and — in story choice, tone and display — helped to portray the retailer as a literature-killing bully instead of a hard-nosed business." Among other things, she calls for "greater representation" of people who think Amazon will be good for book culture. 

"Deep readers," writes Will Self at the Guardian, will soon be "in very short supply."

Fortune's list of the most influential women on Twitter names some women in media, including Amanda Hess, a writer at Slate; Ann Friedman, a journalist (who sometimes writes for Bookforum); and Jamilah Lemieux, the senior digital editor at Ebony.