paper trail

Tonight: Kwame Anthony Appiah talks with author Sarah Schulman

Kwame Anthony Appiah. Photo: Wikipedia/David Shankbone

At The Cut, Mia Mercado writes about Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s recent three-part essay “It Is Obscene,” in which the Americanah author responds to accusations that she is transphobic. In the essay’s second part, Adichie describes a particular author’s “perverse self-absorption” and “utter lack of self-awareness.” As Mercado points out, this author is Nigerian novelist Akwaeke Emezi, who in 2020 called Adichie transphobic in a Twitter thread. Emezi has written in a statement posted on Instagram: “I won’t be reading [Adichie’s essay] because it wasn’t meant for me. It was designed to incite hordes of transphobic Nigerians to target me.”

Sarah Weinman, Corey Robin, Kyle Chayka, and Laura Marsh pay tribute to Janet Malcolm.

Regional book conferences are starting to plan live events for this fall.

Anjelica Huston and Stephen Rea are two of the actors who are requesting that the Irish government protect the Dublin house where James Joyce’s story “The Dead” is set. The house, which once belonged to Joyce’s aunts, was used in John Huston’s 1987 film adaptation of the story. Government protection will prevent it from being turned into a fifty-four-bed tourist hostel.

Sasha Frere-Jones writes about Michael Robbins’s new book of poems, Walkman. “Walkman works in the blunt, epic, bouillon ways of the pop song, unapologetically understandable and generally brief. And, yes, Robbins mentions Hole and Fleetwood Mac and Sonic Youth and Crime and Slade and Steve Perry and Dr. Dre in the very first poem. Robbins is immersed in pop songs: their cultural wrappers, their characters, their dumb and insolent sway.”

Book deals: Michael Wolff, author of the bestseller Fire and Fury, has sold Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency to Henry Holt; MacArthur fellow Tressie McMillan Cottom has sold two books to Random House: Basic, a work about the white identity, and a memoir titled The Vivian; HarperCollins’s Broadside imprint has purchased Jared Kushner’s untitled book about the Trump presidency.

Tonight at 7pm EDT on Zoom, NYPL Live will host a discussion between Sarah Schulman, author of Let the Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP New York, and Kwame Anthony Appiah, author of The Lies that Bind: Rethinking Identity.