paper trail

Sarah Jaffe on Vivian Maier as a worker and a photographer; Bookforum’s sports issue is out now!

Sarah Jaffe. Photo: Janice Checchio. 

Sarah Jaffe writes about photographer Vivian Maier for The Nation. Reviewing a new biographer of Maier, Jaffe observes that the author, like many Maier scholars before her, doesn’t know what to make of the photographer’s lack of careerism and her day job as a nanny: The “book still treats Maier’s life and art as a riddle to be solved rather than as the complicated and contradictory products of a formidable intellect.” 

The new issue of Bookforum is online now! In a special summer section, we asked writers to contribute essays, reviews, and reflections on their favorite players and teams, their most bitter sports disappointments, and what this billion-dollar industry can reveal about the world.  

At n+1, William Harris looks at the NBA playoffs: “Watching the Suns this year was like reading Trotsky extol the virtues of the military. The opposing team stood a chance for three quarters. But then discipline, economy, attritional ingenuity, ruthless cunning, the fitful suspicion of virtue, Chris Paul’s generalissimo style—these qualities won out.”

The Guardian reports on Afghan journalists who were abandoned by the British government after it promised to relocate them. Eight reporters are now taking legal action to expedite their applications to move to the UK. The journalists are facing death threats and violence as retribution for their collaboration with Western media following the Taliban’s swift takeover of the country last summer. 

In a free post in his Substack newsletter, George Saunders considers ten ways to think about story endings.  

For the New Yorker, Thomas Mallon writes about Barbara Pym’s life and work. Pym was a self-declared spinster who published six novels in her lifetime; her work is compared (“often wrongly”) to Jane Austen’s, Mallon writes. Pym’s novels “may seem to come down, like Austen’s, on the side of sense, but the inner life from which they sprang was a maelstrom of sensibility, a confusion of disproportionate feelings lavished upon badly chosen men.” 

Tomorrow night, Anne Carson will discuss H of H Playbook, her take on Euripedes’s play Herakles. Carson will be joined in conversation by New Yorker staff theater critic Hilton Als and critic Sam Anderson at the NYPL’s Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library. Tickets are available for livestream and in-person attendance.