paper trail

Ocean Vuong reads his work; Writers pay tribute to Marilynne Robinson

Ocean Vuong. Photo: Tom Hines

The National Memo has an excerpt of Joe Conason’s preface to Without Compromise: The Brave Journalism that First Exposed Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, and the American Epidemic of Corruption, a collection of writings by legendary investigative reporter Wayne Barrett (1945–2017). As a longtime writer at the Village Voice, Barrett wrote articles about city politics and corruption that “made him the scourge of City Hall, the bane of several mayors, and an essential member of New York's pugnacious press corps.” Barrett published deeply critical books about Rudy Giuliani (Grand Illusion, 2006) and Donald Trump (Trump: The Greatest Show on Earth, released in 1992, updated in 2016).

In anticipation of Marilynne Robinson’s new novel, Jack, her publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux asked writers to “say a few words about how Marilynne’s fiction has resonated in their own lives and work.” Writes Maria Dahvana Headley, author of Beowulf: A New Translation: “Gilead was embraced as a meditative and restorative novel, but as the quartet expands, we can see that one man’s meditation, and even goodness, can easily be another’s estrangement and crisis. Here we are, in the America of 2020, hopefully learning some of the lessons Robinson’s been teaching for forty years.”

New York Times media columnist Ben Smith says that papers have “assigned top reporters to update Mr. Trump’s obituary—Peter Baker at The New York Times, Marc Fisher at The Washington Post and Mark Z. Barabak at The Los Angeles Times, people at each paper told me....”

McSweeney’s has started running articles directed at undecided voters. Contributors to the series, who “seek to convince the unconvinced,” include Kao Kalia Yang, Sarah Gerard, Owen King, and Shelly Oria.

The New Yorker Union is holding a digital informational picket tonight at 8 PM EST to demand a “just cause” clause in their collective-bargaining agreement. The picket conicides with a New Yorker Festival event featuring Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who have both agreed not to cross the picket line. The union invites supporters to join the picket here.

In a virtual event that will take place tomorrow, October 6, at 7:30 PM EST, poet-novelist Ocean Vuong (On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous) will read from his work and participate in a Q&A.