paper trail

The first sneak peek at Hilary Mantel’s The Mirror and the Light

Hilary Mantel. Photo: Els Zweerink

The Guardian has published the exclusive first excerpt from Hilary Mantel’s much-awaited The Mirror and the Light, the third and final installment of her series of historical novels featuring Thomas Cromwell. The paper also has an interview with Mantel, who says she finds it amusing that people have claimed that The Mirror and the Light was delayed because she has writer’s block. “I’ve been like a factory!” She also scoffs at the suggestion that the novel’s completion was difficult because she didn’t want to kill off Cromwell. “It’s not something I’ve ever said; it’s what people think I should have said. It’s this version in which the woman writer is sentimentally attached to her creation. As opposed to the male writer who just wants his cheque.”

Atria has bought the debut novel of Zakiya Dalila Harris, a former Knopf assistant editor, for a reported seven figures. The Other Black Girl is about a young, black assistant at a publishing house, and “is a cheeky, occasionally searing send-up of the publishing industry, with nods to speculative fiction and horror.” Agent Stephanie Delman has said she pitched the novel as “Get Out meets Younger.”

The Sydney Review of Books has posted the first installment of a three-part conversation about music critic and historian Mark Fisher, his project (and later book) k-punk, and the blog scene of the 2000s.

In October 2020, Penguin Press will publish Missionaries, the debut novel by Phil Klay. Klay, an ex-Marine, won the National Book Award in 2014 for his book of stories, Redeployment.

Two organizations have asked Amazon to stop selling anti-Semitic books. In a statement provided to the New York Times, an Amazon representative claimed: “As a bookseller, we are mindful of book censorship throughout history, and we do not take this lightly. We believe that providing access to written speech is important, including books that some may find objectionable, though we take concerns from the Holocaust Educational Trust seriously and are listening to its feedback.”

Tonight, the Bowery Poetry Club will host a Spelling Bee to benefit the Columbia Journal. Competitors include authors Elissa Schappell, Daphne Merkin, Wendy Xu, BK Fischer, and Alan Gilbert.