paper trail

Stacey Abrams discusses her new political thriller; Jonny Sun in conversation with Clint Smith

Jonny Sun. Photo: Rozette Rago

Stacey Abrams discusses her new novel, While Justice Sleeps, and why it took a decade to find a publisher. The book, a thriller about a Supreme Court Justice who learns of a conspiracy involving the President before falling into a coma, will be published by Doubleday on May 11.

At Medium, novelist Michael Chabon apologizes for being a Scott Rudin apologist. He writes that he knew that Rudin, with whom he collaborated for more than twenty years, could be abusive. “But I didn’t just know; I took it for granted, from the first. Scott was the way he was, Hollywood was the way it was, and to be a professional, to be a grown up in Hollywood, you could not take Scott’s behavior too seriously, even when it was unprofessional and juvenile. But that was just bullshit. To say ‘I took it for granted’ is letting myself off too easily, because what I did, to ease my own conscience, was buy into, and thus help to perpetuate, the myth that professional and artistic success, encoded as ‘survival,’ require submissiveness to abuse, encoded as ‘toughness.’”

ColmTóibín introduces Boland: Journey of a Poet, the new online project devoted to the life and work of poet Eavan Boland. “Boland moved from writing poems of formal grace and distant perspectives to dealing with her life as a woman and a mother in Ireland to considering what the past with all its erasures and ambiguous textures means,” Tóibín writes. “Her tone, as she wrote her early books, became more and more urgent. She sought a line in her poems that made a clear and chiselled statement. She avoided irony and easy comfort.”

Ann Kjellberg offers a vision of success for literary magazines: “In their different ways, the stories of Harper’s, the NYRB, Paris Review, teach a counter-commercial message: making things that last is more than this or that editorial choice, this or that hire, this or that buyout. It involves creating conditions that allow people to accrue cultural power according to their own lights, to build their own institutions following a creative or an intellectual imperative. A great magazine both knows the tastes of the audience, and imagines them, gives the audience something they don’t know they want and gives the culture something it doesn’t know it needs.”

It may be a while before in-person author events resume, Publishers Weekly reports.

Upcoming book events: tonight, Jonny Sun will talk about his new book, Goodbye, Again with Clint Smith; on Wednesday, April 28, Elissa Washuta will discuss her new collection of essays, White Magic, with Maaza Mengiste; on Tuesday, May 4, Kristin Hersh will be in conversation with John Doe about Hersh’s new title, Seeing Sideways: A Memoir of Music and Motherhood.