paper trail

Stephanie Burt on Imogen Binnie and trans fiction; Mary Gaitskill on the inner weave of fiction

Imogen Binnie

For the New Yorker, Stephanie Burt writes about Imogen Binnie’s Nevada and the invention of the trans novel. First published in 2013, Nevada was just reissued by FSG. Burt notes that for  Binnie, “Authenticity, not uplift, is the point.” 

In the summer issue of the Paris Review, Lidija Haas conducts an “Art of Fiction” interview with Sigrid Nunez. They discuss Nunez’s linear process, writing about one’s parents, corresponding with readers about loss, and more. Of her recent novel The Friend, Nunez said: “There is some poet—it might have been Lowell—who said about his writing, ‘I want to break your heart.’ There’s an arrogance in that that has always bothered me. You leave my heart alone! But I do have faith that, anytime I’m sharing a moment of true feeling, it will be recognizable to the reader.”

In her Substack, “Out of It,” the novelist Mary Gaitskill writes about an under-discussed aspect of fiction, which she describes as “the inner weave, the subtle life inside the apparent story, that for which the plot or even the theme functions almost like a conduit; an ineffable content which can be compared to a person’s unconscious or the guts of the body.”

For Harper’s Magazine, Hannah Zeavin writes about scams and gullibility

Russian journalist Dmitri A. Muratov has sold his Nobel Peace Prize for more than $100 million. The money is being donated to UNICEF to aid Ukrainian children and families affected by the war. Before the auction, Muratov said, “We hope that this will serve as an example for other people like a flash mob, for other people to auction their valuable possessions, their heirlooms, to help refugees, Ukrainian refugees around the world.” The previous record for a Nobel medal was about $4 million for James Watson’s prize, awarded for discovering the double helix of DNA.