paper trail

Kiese Laymon in conversation with Robert Jones, Jr.; “The Atlantic” union asks for voluntary recognition

Kiese Laymon

A number of star reporters at the New York Times have joined forces to try to prevent the NewsGuild of New York from raising the paper’s union dues. NewsGuild says that without dues increases, it will face financial disaster, and will no longer be able to offer the legal and staffing services it has provided in the past. Buzzfeed reports that a “contingent of more than 100 New York Times staffers signed a letter to the union opposing its proposals for raising cash. That petition, which has been shared widely in media circles, included the signatures of the newspaper’s Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists . . . as well as other star reporters.”

The Atlantic staff has formed a union with the NewsGuild which is asking for voluntary recognition from management today. In a mission statement, the union writes, “We have faith in our leadership, but in a time of upheaval in our industry and nation, we also wish to ensure that all of the staffers who contribute to The Atlantic’s successes are justly rewarded for their labor and free to speak their mind on matters of concern.”

To celebrate New Directions’ eighty-fifth birthday, LitHub contributors have made a list of their favorite New Directions titles.

Andrew Cuomo has refused a freedom of information request from the Times Union of Albany to release public documents regarding his book American Crisis. According to the Times Union: “The newspaper’s requests sought the timesheets showing the governmental work hours for Cuomo aides who did extensive work on his book; records Cuomo’s office had provided to state ethics officials seeking approval to publish American Crisis; and copies of any investigative letters that ethics regulators may have sent to Cuomo’s office in recent weeks.” One of the reasons the paper is seeking time sheets is to determine if the governor used staffers to help write the book, for which he received a $5.1 million advance. “State government resources cannot be used to forward a politician’s private business interests, but Cuomo maintains any work by his aides was ‘voluntary.’”

Ira Silverberg will be conducting a three-part seminar in July titled “My ABCs: Acker, Burroughs, Cooper.” Each session will be devoted to a single writer: Kathy Acker (July 13), William S. Burroughs (July 20), and Dennis Cooper (July 27). The events will be both live (in Bellport, NY) and on Zoom. Registration is open now.

NPR has an interview with publisher Peter Osnos, who is the author of the new memoir An Especially Good View and who worked on books with authors including the young Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, and Donald Trump’s ghostwriter.

Book deals: Berkeley has bought two novels by Nikki Payne; both books (the first will be titled Pride and Protest) are contemporary Black renditions of Jane Austen novels; Viking has bought a new biography of Jack Kerouac by Holly George-Warren, author of Janis: Her Life and Music; Graydon House has paid six figures for Someday, Maybe by Onyi Nwabineli, who was “born in Nigeria, raised in Scotland and England, and now lives in London and works in tech.” According to the publisher, the debut novel follows a British Nigerian woman in the wake of her husband’s suicide, who must deal with “toxic in-laws, her boisterous immigrant family, and society’s pressure to ‘move on.’”

Tonight at 7:30pm EDT, Greenlight Bookstore will host a Zoom author conversation between Kiese Laymon (Heavy and Long Division) and Robert Jones, Jr. (The Prophets).