paper trail

Tonight: Elaine Castillo in conversation with Jane Hu; Penguin Random House CEO testifies in antitrust trial

Elaine Castillo. Photo © Elaine Castillo. 

The New York Times reports on the testimony of Penguin Random House CEO Madeline McIntosh, who took the stand yesterday in the trial that will determine whether the publisher will be allowed to acquire Simon & Schuster. 

At the New Yorker, read an excerpt from staff writer Hua Hsu’s new memoir Stay True, which will be published next month. In the excerpt, Hsu recalls faxing his father, who was working in Taiwan as Hsu was attending high school in California. Hsu writes that, at times, “We were like two strangers trading small talk at a hardware store.” 

Joan Didion’s personal belongings, books, and artworks will be auctioned off at a sale on November 16th. 

Tonight at 7pm PST, Los Angeles’s Skylight Books is hosting Elaine Castillo to discuss her new essay collection How to Read Now. Castillo, who is also the author of the novel America Is Not the Heart, will be joined in conversation by Jane Hu, who reviewed the new book for the New York Times, writing: “To be a good reader, Castillo suggests, means being open to the different readings of other people, perhaps especially those you disagree with.”

In Astra magazine, Sophia Stewart reviews Brenda Lozano’s novel Witches, translated by Heather Cleary. The book features two parallel narratives, and Stewart remarks that one narrator has an especially distinctive voice, writing that it is “at first hard to follow, then, with time, poetic in its fluidity. Her sentences are circuitous and breathless, most of them run-ons several times over, a pure outflow of thoughts and memories.

Poet and psychoanalyst Naur Alsadir discusses what she learned at clown school in an interview about her new book, Animal Joy, aired this morning on NPR. The book is a study of laughter, and differentiates between Duchenne laughter (“the full bodied outburst that overtakes you,” Alsadir explains) and non-Duchenne, social laughter.