paper trail

Remembering Etel Adnan; A “Paris Review” podcast on Edward P. Jones

Edward P. Jones

Novelist, journalist, and artist Etel Adnan has died at age ninety-six. Her 1978 novel Sitt Marie Rose is a classic of war fiction, and Adnan was also a prolific poet—here, you can see the author reading from her epic book-length poem, The Arab Apocalypse (1980), at the Serpentine Galleries in 2011. In the early 2010s, her reputation as a painter began to grow, culminating in this year’s exhibition of six decades of art at the Guggenheim museum. Writing about Adnan’s show at Mass MoCA in 2019, Kaelen Wilson-Goldie—author of a 2018 monograph on the artist—notes the obstacles Adnan has faced in her life and career and observes, “What stays in the mind, about her work in general and this show in particular, is how little struggle Adnan displays, in any media, even while articulating such difficulties, holding beauty and horror in hand, refusing to let either of them go.” Adnan herself put it simply: “It seems to me I write what I see, paint what I am.”

At Columbia Journalism Review, a consideration of what makes a good magazine cover. Caleb Pershan writes about how the art has changed as the newsstand has been replaced by the feed—not always for the better. As Lindsay Ballant, a former art director for the New Republic tells Pershan, “If I hear of a cover, it’s usually because it’s bad.”

Oxford American has announced their 2021 Up South music issue. The magazine has two covers—one featuring Tina Turner and the other Aretha Franklin—and includes writing by Maureen Mahon, Zandria F. Robinson,Terence Blanchard, Big Freedia and others, as well as a CD sampler with twenty tracks of jazz, soul, country, and blues.

The 2021 National Book Awards will be held online again this year, streaming on Wednesday evening. You can RSVP for the ceremony here.

On episode twenty-one of the Paris Review Podcast, an exploration of the work of Edward P. Jones, featuring audio of Jones’s 2013 “Art of Fiction” interview with Hilton Als and a reading of his work by actor Amber Gray.