paper trail

The new issue of “The Baffler” is out now; Dustin Illingworth on Gerald Murnane’s patterns

Gerald Murnane. Photo: Ian Hill

The new issue of The Baffler is out now, featuring Shamira Ibrahim on the working class, Molly Osberg on Starbuck CEO’s union-busting tactics, Dan Albert on the politics of mass transit in the US, Max Nelson on the East German writer Brigette Reiman, Charlie Lee on Halldór Laxness’s political fictions, and more. 

For Vulture, Max Pearl profiles Mexican novelist Fernanda Melchor, the author most recently of Paradais. Melchor first explored the themes she writes about while in journalism school, and her fiction is often compared to noir and true-crime. “I’m a story collector,” she tells Pearl. “A lot of what I do is go to Veracruz and listen to what people are saying. There are a million things worth writing just based on that.” For more on Paradais, read Angelo Hernandez-Sias’s recent Bookforum review

Following the leak of a Supreme Court draft opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito that repudiates Roe v. Wade, The Cut has put together a list of abortion funds to support in states where abortion access will be most vulnerable if the 1973 decision is overturned. The National Network of Abortion Funds also has a donation portal where you can make and split donations to eighty-three different funds that help people access and afford abortions. LitHub has shared an extensive public document circulating on Twitter that collects resources relevant to all fifty states. 

At the New York Times, Dustin Illingworth reviews Gerald Murnane’s biblio-memoir Last Letter to a Reader. In it, Murnane reflects on his own novels: “Perhaps his most meaningful disclosure is that of the ‘pattern’—a word that appears several times in the book’s 140 pages—which might be described as Murnane’s ultimate formalist project, one fueled by the powerfully visual component of his writing.”

Inspired by Annie Ernaux’s 1988 diaries, the Paris Review is publishing excerpts from their contributors’ diaries online. Elisa Gonzalez’s entry is up now: “I thought, No one in the world knows where I am. Why do I always return to that thought as a source of, if not happiness, then pleasure?”