paper trail

Poet Nuar Alsadir on creativity and the unconscious

Nuar Alsadir. Photo: Deborah Copaken Kogan

Thomas Nelson Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Christian publishing, is releasing a new memoir by US Senator Tim Scott, America, a Redemption Story, on August 9. The copyright page states that the South Carolina Republican is preparing a presidential bid for the 2024 election. The publisher is now saying that Scott did not sign off on this declaration, and that printing it was a mistake. “The description on the copyright page was our error and is not accurate. It was not done at the direction or approval of the Senator or his team. We are working to correct this immediately,” a spokesperson for Thomas Nelson said. But with the books already printed, it is not clear how the correction will be made. 

Nick Paumgarten pays homage to editor John Bennet, who died in July. Bennet worked with a number of New Yorker writers, including Elizabeth Kolbert, Connie Bruck, Seymour Hersh, Oliver Sacks, and William Finnegan. John McPhee says, “John was a protector of writers, a protector of writers’ time.” According to Bennet: “Only shitty writers need transitions.” Also: “A writer is a guy in the hospital wearing one of those gowns that’s open in the back. An editor is walking behind, making sure that nobody can see his ass.” And: “An editor is like a shrink. And if the writer doesn’t think his editor is great, he’s totally fucked up.” 

Publishers Weekly talks with science writer David Quammen, author of Outbreak and a forthcoming book on COVID, Breathless: The Scientific Race to Defeat a Deadly Virus, which will be released in October. “We need to help the public understand better that science is a human process like grandmaster chess, Major League Baseball, and ballet,” Quammen says. “We need communicators. We need educators. We need librarians to help people understand what science is, how it works, and how important it is, and the fact that scientific answers are highly reliable but always provisional.”

The Yale Review has published an excerpt from Nuar Alsadir’s new book Animal Joy: A Book of Laughter and Resuscitation, in which the author dwells on creativity, the true self, and the freedoms obtained by delving into the subconscious. 

On Wednesday at 12:30 Eastern time, the New York Public Library will host a live and virtual event titled “Crafting the City,” which will feature novelists Rumaan Alam and Emily St. John Mandel and poet Threa Almontaser. Translator and novelist Idra Novey will moderate.