paper trail

Remembering Carolyn Reidy; Jenny Zhang on commas

Jenny Zhang

Simon & Schuster publisher and CEO Carolyn Reidy died yesterday at the age of seventy-one. Reidy had been with the company for almost twenty years, and worked with writers from Hillary Clinton to Jennifer Weiner. “Carolyn was a literary giant, a leader who artfully navigated the upheavals of publishing to amplify a wide range of voices reflective of our lived world,” PEN America president Jennifer Egan remembered. “Carolyn believed in every story she touched, and ushered our works into the wider world with passion, care, and decades of expertise.”

Haruki Murakami is hosting a radio show during Japan’s lockdown. “I’m hoping that the power of music can do a little to blow away some of the corona-related blues that have been piling up,” he said. Stay Home Special will air on May 22.

Nieman Lab’s Sarah Scire talks to Andy Hunter about, an online bookstore alternative to Amazon.

The New Yorker’s Isaac Chotiner talks to Chris Hayes about cable news, Bernie Sanders, and covering the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These are hard times for facts and for words, which have been devalued and distorted. A time of betrayal not only of language, but for it,” writes Lydia Millet. “Language is under siege.”

Jenny Zhang, Tracy O’Neill, Ivy Pochoda, Brady Hammes, and Lauren Sandler answer the Literary Hub questionnaire. Hammes said it bothers him when reviewers describe his books as “dysfunctional family” stories. “What family isn’t dysfunctional? And what constitutes dysfunction?” he asked. “As Mary Karr once said, ‘a dysfunctional family is any family with more than one person in it.’” Zhang reflected on her punctuation. “I still don’t know where commas go,” she said. “Do I want to be better at it? Only insomuch as I want to stop hearing from annoying people.”