paper trail

Ryu Spaeth on Hua Hsu’s Stay True; Charlotte Shane argues for “the right to not be pregnant”

Hua Hsu. Photo: Devlin Claro/New York Institute for the Humanities

For Vulture, Ryu Spaeth profiles Hua Hsu and argues that Hsu’s new coming-of-age memoir, Stay True, represents an evolution in Asian-American literature. While the book is largely an elegy to a college friend who was murdered after a party, it also depicts Hsu and his buddies just hanging out, with some highly comedic results: “The book has some very funny scenes of Hsu being embarrassed by his extremely basic friend, rolling up the car window so no one can hear Ken blasting ‘Crash Into Me’ on the stereo.”

In Harper’s Magazine, Charlotte Shane writes an essay on abortion and “the right to not be pregnant”: “Over the years, I’ve heard pro-choice advocates suggest that abortion restrictions are akin to laws that would force people to donate their spare kidneys, or host parasites, or, farther afield, save strangers from drowning—to in some way use and risk their bodies in service of another. But these theoretical burdens do not come close to approximating pregnancy’s protracted invasion, debilitation, and deadly hazard. Neither do they capture the extent to which that hazard is constructed by one’s own body.”

Online at The Common, you can read excerpts of books by the four finalists for this year’s Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing. The finalists are Geimy Colón, Praveen Herat, Ananda Lima, and A. Molotkov.

For the Los Angeles Review of Books, Lily Meyer talks with writers and translators about the process of publishing international literature in English, and the advocacy efforts of groups like the American Literary Translators Association and Literature Across Frontiers. “Increasingly, translated literature in the United States exists in its own ecosystem, one that Eric Becker, digital director and senior editor at Words Without Borders, says ‘grew out of necessity.’”

From the Artforum archives: a 1968 Manny Farber essay on Jean-Luc Godard, who died on September 13. In 2019, Howard Hampton wrote about Farber’s double life as a critic and visual artist for Bookforum