paper trail

Saunders sells book on teaching Russian lit; Ntozake Shange has died

George Saunders

George Saunders has sold his new book to Random House. In Masterclass, the Lincoln in the Bardo author reflects on two decades of teaching Russian authors to MFA students. According to his publisher, the book is like a “seminar in book form” that asks: “how do great stories work, how do you write them, and what are their political and moral implications?”

Ntozake Shange, the playwright and poet who wrote the award-winning for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf, has died.

“I have the theological understanding of a third grader,” Anne Lamott says in a charming profile with the Times. “But it turns out there is room for a person like me who knows nothing. It turns out there is this hunger for people talking about spirituality from a really ecumenical position.” The “leftie guru” Lamott talks about politics, how she came to be an “inspirational writer,” and why she originally wanted to call her new bestseller Doomed, even though it’s about hope.

Michael Rectenwald, a professor at NYU, has outraged many of his colleagues by inviting Milo Yiannopoulos—the ultra-offensive ”conservative provocateur” and author of the alt-right bestseller Dangerous—to speak at his class on Wednesday about “the politics of Halloween.”

Publishers Weekly has published its list of the best books of 2018.