paper trail

Suketu Mehta on Americans and history; Megan Greenwell joins Wired

Suketu Mehta

Suketu Mehta talks to The Guardian about immigration, history, and his new book, This Land Is Our Land. “I am a migrant, but I’m also an American. My taxes financed an illegal and incredibly bloody war that plunged the whole of the Middle East into turmoil. I’m the recipient of an economy that is fouling the atmosphere. So I’m certainly enjoying my privilege here and deeply implicated in all of this,” he said. “Yet I’m always shocked by the lack of historical awareness on the part of the average American. Many of the people who have come here did so to forget history, to turn their backs on history.”

Deadspin editor Megan Greenwell is leaving the company after management “refused to guarantee editorial independence” for the website and asked writers to “stick to sports.” Greenwell has been hired as a web editor at Wired.

Kaitlyn Tiffany is joining The Atlantic as a staff writer covering internet culture.

At the Washington Post, Margaret Sullivan wonders why Mark Halperin is getting “forgiveness, second chances and redemption” with his new book deal. Sullivan notes that Regan Books publisher Judith Regan was also behind the cancelled O. J. Simpson book, If I Did It. “People mess up, sometimes badly. Some do deserve a second chance, and not all situations are of equal weight. There is no one-size-fits-all,” she writes. “But forgiveness, second chances and redemption should be inconceivable without dealing honestly and publicly — and, in some cases, personally — with misconduct. And even if that happens, it doesn’t mean that the perpetrators should blithely get to return to what they were doing before the fall.”

David Streitfeld pages through counterfeit copies of George Orwell’s books.

After winning the James Tait Black Prize for her novel Crudo, Olivia Laing announced that she would be splitting the money with the other shortlisted authors. “I said in Crudo that competition has no place in art and I meant it,” she explained. “Crudo was written against a kind of selfishness that’s everywhere in the world right now, against an era of walls and borders, winners and losers. Art doesn’t thrive like that and I don’t think people do either. We thrive on community, solidarity and mutual support and as such, and assuming this is agreeable to my fellow authors, I’d like the prize money to be split between us, to nourish as much new work as possible.”