paper trail

Tobi Haslett on Annie Ernaux; Naomi Klein on her doppelganger and the “mirror world”

Naomi Klein

For Harper’s Magazine, Tobi Haslett looks at the work of Annie Ernaux. Haslett writes, “Ernaux’s works aren’t coy or glancing; they’ve been sharpened to a point. Though she seems like a writer of details, each book is a vital mission, carried out with thrusting force.” For more on Ernaux, see Jamie Hood’s review of The Young Man in the new Bookforum

Jonathan Franzen, John Grisham, and more novelists are filing a lawsuit alongside the Authors Guild against OpenAI. The suit contends that training the AI chatbot on their work “without a word of permission from or a nickel of compensation to copyright owners” is copyright infringement.

At LitHub, Kate Roberts writes about the politics of chronic illness and the literature around the topic, discussing books by Susan Sontag, Anne Boyer, Meghan O’Rourke, Emily Wells, and more. On O’Rourke’s The Invisible Kingdom, Roberts writes, “O’Rouke describes that when a person steps into a doctor’s office, they are not a patient but a diagnosis. The focus is the disease. And if that disease is nebulous, the system has nothing to offer.” Hannah Zeavin recently reviewed Wells’s book A Matter of Appearance for the New Yorker online.

Naomi Klein talks about her new book, Doppelganger, on the Tin House Between the Covers podcast.

At Words Without Borders, J. Howard Rosier reviews My Work by Olga Ravn: “Calling this a novel feels comically rigid when the epistolary is juxtaposed with literary criticism and poetry blurs the edges of memoir. It also runs afoul of the traditional novel structure’s need for completion.” 

For the New Republic, Osita Nwanevu reads Vincent Bevins’s new book If We Burn and considers the past decade of political demonstrations: “The age of mass protest ushered in by the Arab Spring is hardly over,” he writes, “but [the] record of failures, setbacks, and cataclysms has been dispiriting even to many of the agitators and demonstrators who shaped the movements in question.”