paper trail

The Story of the New Yorker's Toni Morrison cover; Proust's secret stories

After the news of Toni Morrison’s death last week, the New Yorker decided to pay tribute to the author on the cover of its next issue. Under a tight deadline, art director Françoise Mouly reached out to artist Kara Walker created Quiet as It’s Kept, the cover illustration for the magazine’s August 19 issue, in less than twenty-four hours.

Nine stories that Marcel Proust wrote in the 1890s but kept secret are going to be published by Éditions de Fallois in France in October. The author presumably kept the stories to himself because they touch on “themes of homosexuality,” according to The Guardian. The new volume, 176 pages, is annotated by Luc Fraisse, a professor at the University of Strasbourg, and is scheduled to mark the centenary of Proust being awarded the Prix Goncourt in 1919.

Legs McNeil and Gillian Murphy—the authors of Please Kill Me, the classic oral history of punk, and The Other Hollywood, an account of the porn industry—have spent the past twenty years working on an oral history about the Charles Manson murders. The book is almost done. According to a story in Rolling Stone, the new book, titled 69, will debunk many of the prevailing assumptions about the Manson cult: “McNeil and McCain say the story they’ve found challenges this prevailing mythology of Manson as a criminal mastermind and his followers as bloodthirsty murderers—the interviews they’ve done reveal Manson to be more of a loser who made a series of fatal decisions. And according to the authors, some of the Manson followers in prison for one of American history’s most brutal and notorious series of murders deserve to be released.”

Author Jeff Sharlet’s books The Family and C Street—investigations into a secretive yet deeply influential Christian group called The Fellowship, which is run by Douglas Coe, who has been called “the most powerful man in Washington you’ve never heard of”—are the basis for a new Netflix documentary series directed by Jesse Moss.

Barnes and Noble’s new CEO James Daunt (who helped save Britain’s Waterstones chain from financial disaster) doesn’t mince words when he describes problems within the faltering company: “It’s a bit ugly—there’s piles of crap around the place. It all feels a bit unloved, the booksellers look a bit miserable, it’s all a bit run down.”

Book deals: Scribner has paid six figures for Stories from Our Tenants Downstairs, a debut work of fiction by Sidik Fofana, who graduated from NYU’s MFA program and currently teaches high school in Brooklyn. Random House has purchased It’s Garry Shandling’s Book, a collection of writings by the comedian edited by Judd Apatow.