paper trail

PW releases its annual publishing survey

Publishers Weekly has released its latest annual publishing survey, which looks at racial diversity pay compensation by gender, and salary increases. The survey also asks employees if they have been sexually harassed in the workplace, and looks at how many companies have sexual-harassment policies.

Juris Jurjevics—the novelist and editor who founded Soho Press—has died. While working at Dial Press, he edited James Baldwin’s final novel, Just Above My Head.

Following the death of book critic Christopher Lehmann-Haupt last week, the Times has posted some of his most memorable reviews—of Portnoy’s Complaint, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Our Bodies, Ourselves, and more.

In a new editorial, Michelle Alexander, the author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, writes about the disturbing biases embedded in the technology of recent criminal justice reforms: “Under new policies in California, New Jersey, New York and beyond, ‘risk assessment’ algorithms recommend to judges whether a person who’s been arrested should be released. These advanced mathematical models—or ‘weapons of math destruction” as data scientist Cathy O’Neil calls them—appear colorblind on the surface but they are based on factors that are not only highly correlated with race and class, but are also significantly influenced by pervasive bias in the criminal justice system. As O’Neil explains, ‘It’s tempting to believe that computers will be neutral and objective, but algorithms are nothing more than opinions embedded in mathematics.’”

Bookforum contributor A.S. Hamrah’s new book of film criticism, The Earth Dies Screaming, which is being published by n+1, is out now.

Heather Chavez’s debut novel, No Bad Deed, was a buzz book at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair. This week, William Morrow purchased the novel for a rumored mid-six-figure price. According to Chavez’s agent, the book is a thriller “in the vein of Harlan Coben” about “a mom who’s on the hunt for her missing husband while she’s trying to protect her kids from a killer who knows too much about her own dark family history.”

The Holocaust diary of Renia Spiegel—who was shot in Poland days after her eighteenth birthday—is being published in English for the first time.