paper trail

Ryan Chapman on dark places in fiction; Eve Ensler on James Baldwin

The Guardian is launching an investigative series called “Toxic America,” Digiday reports. Through the series, which will “explore the public health implications of all the chemicals that have crept into American food, air and water,” the paper hopes to increase American readership and donations.

Esquire editor in chief Jay Fielden is leaving the magazine.

“I think that’s one of the great things about fiction and the first-person voice is that, unlike a film or a painting or music, people will go with you to incredibly transgressive and dark paces and laugh at things that would never laugh at if they were told that same story at a dinner table,” Riots I Have Known author Ryan Chapman tells Maris Kreizman. “That’s the hope at least.”

Playwright and author Eve Ensler talks to the New York Times By the Book column about James Baldwin, boldness, and her new book, The Apology. Ensler recommends rereading The Fire Next Time annually. “The text keeps changing and I realize that part of what makes Baldwin such a force of nature is his relationship to history,” she explains. “He can be prescient and politically attuned to his present moment at the same time, which doesn’t seem logically possible, but is.”

“The Times has become a book-deal factory,” one of the paper’s journalists tells Vanity Fair’s Joe Pompeo. “For department heads,” another staffer says, “it’s become almost impossible to manage.”

Donald Trump Jr. has sold a book to Hachette imprint Center Street Press. “We’ve always been interested in working with him,” Center Street editorial director Kate Hartson told the New York Times. “He’s very much at the forefront of all the discussion about what’s happening in the administration.”