paper trail

Mario Vargas Llosa's new novel, bedtime stories on the decline

People may be reading less individually, but at Flavorwire, Jason Diamond claims that we’re in a “golden age of online book clubs.”

The 2009 publication of Joseph O’Neill’s Netherland seems to have struck a chord: This fall will see the release of Jhumpa Lahiri’s Lowland, Stephen King’s Joyland, Curtis Sittenfeld’s Sisterland, Alysia Abbott’s Fairyland, Christopher Steward’s Jungleland, and Amy Sohn’s Motherland. And what’s with the overuse of “land” in contemporary book titles? “‘Land’ is the new ‘Nation,’ a modifier that hints at larger zeitgeisty themes while also intriguing the reader,” Amy Sohn tells the New York Times.

In this week’s depressing study about changing cultural reading habits, a new survey finds that fewer and fewer parents are reading their kids bedtime stories. According to the Littlewoods study, “In a poll of 2,000 British parents with children under the age of seven, only one in five said they read a book to their child every night. In fact, 36 percent of parents don’t read bedtime stories to their children at all.”

Mario Vargas Llosa’s next novel, The Discreet Hero, will be set in his native Peru. The Nobel Prize-winning author announced this week “that the plot centers on a small business owner from [the Peruvian city of] Piura who is an extortion victim, and a rich Lima entrepreneur whose children want to kill him.”

The National Book Foundation has unveiled this year’s list of the “5 Under 35,” an annual award that honors five of the top writers under 35, and this year’s list is all women. The winners are Molly Antopol, NoViolet Bulawayo, Amanda Coplin, Daisy Hildyard, and Merritt Tierce.

People have started to talk more about the gender disparity in publishing, but the near total lack of people of color in the literary world is a topic that often goes unmentioned. Roxane Gay is now making an effort to make it a bigger issue: She recently started blogging at The Nation about writers of color, and launched a series at Salon about feminists of color.