paper trail

The literary career of Elena Ferrante translator Ann Goldstein; a new fellowship for Octavia E. Butler scholars

Ann Goldstein

At the New York Times, Alexandra Alter gives the backstory on how the Pulitzer-winning presidential historian Jon Meacham, “who is not a Democrat,” came to speak at the Democratic National Convention. “Until now, Mr. Meacham has avoided any whiff of partisanship in his work,” Alter writes. “While he delivered eulogies at the funerals of George Bush and the former first lady Barbara Bush, he has never before spoken at a political rally or convention. He agreed to speak this week because he felt it was important to make an argument informed by history for why the country needs new leadership.”

Publisher’s Weekly writes up seven new bookstores that have opened in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Huntington Library in San Marino, California—which holds the archives of science-fiction writer Octavia E. Butler—has announced the creation of a new one-year fellowship for the study of Butler’s work. “This initiative is particularly timely,” said Steve Hindle, the library’s director of research, “because it is designed to promote critical engagement with the published work and personal reflections of a writer who was committed to the reconstruction of the experience of the disenfranchised not only in the real, historical past but also in imaginary pasts and futures.”

Ann Goldstein has been the head copy editor at the New Yorker, the editor of Janet Malcolm, and the translator of Elena Ferrante. According to author Jenny McPhee: “Ann is all over [the translation of Ferrante’s] books. . . . If somebody else had done it, it may have never taken off.”

Book deals: Little, Brown has purchased Chantal Johnson’s debut novel, Post-traumatic, about a Black Latinx lawyer who represents patients at a New York City psychiatric ward. Viking has bought The Great Influenza author John M. Barry’s The Next Wave: Covid-19 and the World.