paper trail

Sam Sanders on “soft” news; Jonathan Franzen and the family novel

Sam Sanders. Photo: Corey Seeholzer/NPR

For the New York Times, Isaac Fitzgerald talks with Jocelyn Nicole Johnson about her debut novel, My Monticello. Asked what advice she would give to writers who feel stuck, Johnson says, “You have to start somewhere. Find support. Find community. And start small.”

For Vulture, Merve Emre talks with Jonathan Franzen about this new novel: “I had the wicked thought: People think I’m a family novelist. I’m not really a family novelist. But maybe, finally, I’ll write a book about a family. And to me, a family novel spans generations.” For more on Crossroads, see Frank Guan’s review in the new Bookforum.

For Columbia Journalism Review, NPR’s Sam Sanders writes about how categories of “hard” and “soft” news are socially constructed and exclusionary. As Sanders writes, these designations can also lead to one-dimensional reporting: “Journalism should blur the lines between hard and soft, high and low, serious and trite—not reinforce those boundaries.”

Today at 4pm Eastern, NYU’s Center for Disability Studies hosts La Marr Jurelle Bruce and Fred Moten for a reading and discussion of Bruce’s new book, How to Go Mad Without Losing Your Mind: Madness & Black Radical Creativity.

Tomorrow night, as part of the Brooklyn Book Festival, poet Melissa Lozada-Oliva will be in conversation with author and editor Nadja Spiegelman at 7pm Eastern; beginning at 7:30, Greenlight Bookstore will host its annual Brooklyn Indie Press party.