paper trail

Stephen King testifies in Penguin Random House-Simon & Schuster antitrust trial; Mohsin Hamid in conversation with Danzy Senna

Mohsin Hamid. Photo: © Jillian Edelstein

Pulitzer Prize–winning author Heather Ann Thompson is in the midst of a lawsuit to keep New York prisons from banning her book on the 1971 Attica prison revolt. The state attorney general’s office has proposed dismissing the suit, as prison officials have decided to lift the ban under the condition that two pages of Blood in the Water, which display a map of the prison, will be excised before reaching incarcerated readers. Thompson has noted that censorship at Attica by correctional officers was one of the factors that sparked the 1971 uprising.  

Stephen King has testified in the antitrust trial that will determine whether Penguin Random House will be allowed to acquire and merge with Simon & Schuster. King argued that “consolidation is bad for competition,” and compared the current publishing landscape to the one he entered fifty years ago. As Jennifer Zhan reports for Vulture, King characterized competition today as an “‘After you.’ ‘No, after you’” exchange. 

For Lyz Lenz’s newsletter, Moira Donegan writes about reading Susan Faludi’s 1992 Backlash today, amid opposition to #MeToo and in the wake of the overturning of Roe v. Wade: “If antifeminism is inevitable, and if any feminist progress is going to prompt outrage and resistance from misogynists, then feminists have just as much to lose from tepid steps as they do from big ones. If your enemy is going to lash out anyway, you might as well demand the world you really want.” 

At the New Yorker, Hannah Gold considers patient-therapist transference, plot and drama, and Judith Rossner’s 1983 novel August. The book, Gold writes, “gets its title from the cruellest month, in psychoanalytic terms, when many therapists, especially the fancy Manhattan ones, tend to take their vacations. Rossner’s novel is preoccupied with how this intermission plays in the theatre of the patient’s psyche.”

On August 6, Brooklyn’s Community Bookstore will host the launch of Mohsin Hamid’s new novel The Last White Man in partnership with Miami’s Books & Books and the Miami Book Fair. Hamid will be joined in conversation by Danzy Senna. Attendance via Zoom is free.