paper trail

"Catcher in the Rye" in Russia, betting on book awards

How has Catcher in the Rye been received in Russia? “First introduced to readers during Khrushchev’s thaw, Salinger’s novel became an instant sensation among Soviet readers in the nineteen-sixties, and it has remained a classic. The Party authorized the novel’s translation believing that it exposed the rotting core of American capitalism, but Soviet readers were more likely to see the novel in broader terms, as a psychologically nuanced and universally appealing portrait of a misfit who rebels against the pieties of a conformist society.”

How do betting houses successfully pick who will win big book awards? By focusing on the reviews rather than the actual books.

When one of the first flights after 9/11 departed from New York to California, Joan Didion was on it. Twelve years later, Didion talks with the Los Angeles Review of Books about that trip, her books, and whether America is “losing its innocence.”

On a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” thread, the editors of the Paris Review revealed what they don’t like in fiction. Topics included “speculative fiction,” “suburban malaise,” and “the obvious specter of childhood sexual abuse hanging over domestic stories."

Annie Proulx has finished the libretto for Charles Wuorinen’s opera adaptation of Brokeback Mountain, which is based on Proulx’s story about two male cowboys who fall in love. In writing the libretto, Proulx said that she wanted to “preserve the dry and laconic western tone” of the original. The opera will premiere next January in Madrid.

Tina Brown will be leaving the Daily Beast when her contract expires in January, Politico reports. Brown plans to start her own company called Tina Brown Live Media.