paper trail

Porochista Khakpour on choosing her next book cover; Jenny Slate writing feminist essay collection

Porochista Khakpour

Porochista Khakpour explains how she and her team at Harper Perennial came up with the cover for her upcoming memoir, Sick. Khakpour says her newest work was also the hardest to chose a cover for: “Do you do some play on Lyme? (At one point a lime green cover was an option to which I yelped, please no!) Hospital paraphernalia? Meds? Doctors?” In the end, she and her team chose one of the many selfies Khakpour had taken while hospitalized, something she had done regularly to keep track of her health and stave off boredom. “I was mixed for a moment about this—it’s a lot to imagine your face at bookstores and all over the internet for ages to come, but especially your face associated with a word like ‘sick!’”

Actress Jenny Slate is working on an collection of feminist essays and fables. The currently-untitled book will be published by Little, Brown in 2019, and “will explore what it’s like to be female in a misogynistic culture.”

Emma Cline has filed a counter-suit against an ex-boyfriend who claims the novelist plagiarized parts of The Girls by installing spyware on his computer to access his unpublished work. Cline’s lawsuit attributes any similar language to “the couple’s shared lives, conversations and reading of each other’s work when they were both aspiring writers who were romantically involved.” Cline is seeking $75,000 in damages.

The New York Times has chosen its top ten books of 2017, culled from its annual list of one hundred notable books from the past year. Selections include Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing, Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West, and James Forman Jr.’s Locking Up Our Own. Literary Hub has released its own list of twenty “baffling omissions” from the paper’s yearly list, including Arundhati Roy’s The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, Zinzi Clemmons’s What We Lose, and Richard Lloyd Parry’s Ghosts of the Tsunami.

Vacationland author John Hodgman talks to the Times’s “By the Book” section about film adaptations, choosing books by their cover, and literary dinner conversation. “I’m lucky that I actually get to eat dinner with several writers I really admire,” he says. “But talking with writers about writing is not something that I enjoy doing, and I don’t find other writers do either. We mostly talk about TV.”