paper trail

Yahoo directory to close; a new biography of Jonathan Franzen

Edward Champion

Yahoo has announced that on December 31 it will close the Yahoo Directory, “once the Google of its time.”

Jeff Feuerzeig, the filmmaker who directed The Devil and Daniel Johnston, is planning a documentary about literary hoaxer JT Leroy, aka Terminator, aka Laura Albert. Rumors are now circulating that the film will be aired on A&E by Vice Media, and that Feuerzeig has begun interviewing the many writers, artists, and actors who were fooled by Albert's hoax.

This summer, books blogger and author interviewer Edward Champion posted an 11,000-word complaint about Emily Gould and the rise of what he called “Middling Millennials.” Champion was widely decried for his tone, his sexist vitriol, and his syntax. He responded to his critics by saying that he was going to commit suicide, and then said that he would be taking a break from writing to seek the help he needed. Late last week, the web erupted again when it was revealed that Champion had threatened via Twitter author Porochista Khakpour after she deleted a comment he had made on her Facebook timeline. The Daily Dot has published a recap of the Champion affair. Champion has been banned from Twitter. Writer Michele Filgate has urged publishers to not allow authors to be interviewed by Champion on his Bat Segundo Show. But apparently he is continuing to post on his Ello account.

Richard A. Stengel, formerly the ME of TIME and now the under secretary of state for public diplomacy, has formed a group that is attempting to battle ISIS’s social-media tactics. “Posting on Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube and Facebook, members of the unit question claims made by the Islamic State, trumpet the militants’ setbacks and underscore the human cost of the militants’ brutality.”

Bloomsbury has purchased a biography of Jonathan Franzen, which will be published in Fall 2015. The book, titled Jonathan Franzen: The Comedy of Rage, was written by Philip Weinstein, an acquaintance of Franzen and a professor at novelist’s alma mater, Swarthmore College. ““It doesn’t pretend to be a full-scale biography,” Weinstein says. “It’s too early for that. He’s in full career mode. Someone later, a generation from now, will do that biography. It’s a report on who he is.”

David Fincher’s film adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s novel Gone Girl (Flynn also wrote the screenplay) opened at the New York Film Festival on Friday. Reviews have been mixed: Manohla Dargis calls the film a “precision machine,” but laments its lack of depth. (Last year, Mary Gaitskill reviewed Flynn’s novel for Bookforum.)