paper trail

Susan Orlean on California fires; How authors find community in writing groups

Jenny Zhang

The Dutch House author and book store co-owner Ann Patchett offers an assessment of the 2019 holiday shopping season and speculates on the best upcoming titles of 2020.

The New York Times’s Concepción de León looks at writing groups started by authors like Jenny Zhang, Tony Tulathimutte, and Alice Sola Kim, among others. Zhang’s group “grew out of a need for a more supportive space than the ones she was encountering in creative-writing classes,” de León writes. “There would be, like, racist stories being put up and praised in workshops,” Zhang remembered. “I didn’t have adults or published writers to look up to, so it was nice to have this horizontal space.”

On the Maris Review, Maris Kreizman talks to Susan Orlean about unsolved mysteries, California fires, and her recent book, The Library Book.

Literary Hub lists the most checked-out books from the New York Public Library System. Michelle Obama’s Becoming, Tara Westover’s Educated, and Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere topped the list.

Katherine Bell has been selected as the next editor in chief of Quartz.

“I like to be scared and worried and moved and puzzled and manipulated and welcomed,” choreographer and Out Loud author Mark Morris says of his reading preferences. “To be surprised by the satisfaction and reluctance of completion. To not want it to end. Awe-struck, sad, grateful.”