paper trail

Terry Castle on Patricia Highsmith; New books by Hanif Abdurraqib

Terry Castle

For the London Review of Books, Terry Castle writes about a new “unsavory” biography of Patricia Highsmith, which Castle tried to finish during the January 6 mob assault on the US capitol: “The same ugly question kept intruding: would house-wrecker Highsmith – everyone’s favourite mess-with-your-head morbid misanthrope – have relished the day’s cascading idiocy?” For more Castle on Highsmith, see Bookforum’s Summer 2016 issue, in which Castle wrote about Todd Haynes’s Carol, based on Highsmith’s 1952 lesbian-romance-thriller, The Price of Salt: “It’s a commonplace that this [novel] is ‘different’ from other Highsmith fiction. I disagree. It’s true that no one gets bludgeoned or garroted in The Price of Salt, but once one starts looking, one can’t help but notice sinister touches throughout—enough to give the work a peculiarly sickly cast.”

Hanif Abdurraqib has announced that he has two new books coming out from Random House. The first, There’s Always This Year, is, according to the author, “an Extremely Ohio Book,” about basketball in the 1990s and early 2000s. On Instagram, Abdurraqib noted that the new books are “many years away.”

In The Baffler, Raechel Anne Jolie considers Sarah Jaffe’s Work Won’t Love You Back.

Akwaeke Emezi is working on a new book, a romance novel coming out in 2022 about “a young artist struggling to overcome the loss of an old love, while inviting a new one in.”

Waterstones bookstore has posted a video interview with Kazuo Ishiguro, whose new novel, Klara and the Sun, comes out today. In the Spring issue of Bookforum, Dennis Lim notes that Ishiguro’s latest narrator, a solar-powered robot, or “Artificial Friend,” has much in common with the author’s past characters: “Her view of the world is circumscribed, her vocabulary stilted, her agency virtually nonexistent. All of which make her an oddly perfect fit for Ishiguro, who has long specialized in the blinkered protagonist. What his tentative narrators tell us, about themselves and the worlds they inhabit, is never the full picture.”

Mark your calendar: on Tuesday, March 16th, the New York Public library is hosting Vivian Gornick and Margo Jefferson talking about Gonick’s new essay collection, Taking a Long Look.