paper trail

Poet Rupi Kaur Writes for the Readers of the Future

Rupi Kaur. Photo: Baljit Singh

At the New Republic, Rumaan Alam declares Rupi Kaur, author of Milk and Honey and The Sun and Her Flowers, the “writer of the decade.” Kaur’s writing is “not itself to my taste,” writes Alam. Nonetheless, “Kaur’s achievement as an artist is the extent to which her work embodies, formally, the technology that defines contemporary life: smartphones and the internet.”

Random House’s One World imprint has purchased Wes Moore’s Five Days: The Fiery Reckoning of an American City, a report on the protests that seized Baltimore in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray, who died in police custody in 2015. One World says the book looks at the protests from the point of view of “seven Baltimoreans whose lives intersected on those five days.” The book will be released in April.

According to figures generated by NPD Bookscan, Delia Owens’s Where the Crawdads Sing has sold more print copies than any other book for adults in 2019. The book has “blown away the combined print sales of new novels by John Grisham, Margaret Atwood and Stephen King.” According to publishing reporter Alexandra Alter, “Industry analysts have struggled to explain the novel’s staying power, particularly at a moment when fiction sales overall are flagging, and most blockbuster novels drop off the best-seller list after a few weeks.” Says Peter Hildick-Smith, of the Codex Group, which analyzes the book industry: “This book has defied the new laws of gravity. It’s managed to hold its position in a much more consistent way than just about anything.”

Peter Wollen—director, screenwriter, and author of the influential book Signs and Meaning in the Cinema—has died.

On Wednesday in New York, the Poetry Project will host its annual New Year’s Day reading marathon. Starting at 2 pm and ending around midnight, the event will feature readings by more than one-hundred and fifty poets, performers, and artists, including Cathy Park Hong, Ariana Reines, Fred Moten, and Eileen Myles, to name just a few.