• Michael Chabon is one of the authors who has filed a lawsuit against companies who have used his books to train AI. Photo: Gage Skidmore
    September 28, 2023

    Authors respond to news that their books have been used to train AI

    Alex Reisner writes about the more than 170,000 books that were used, without permission, to train various AI systems. The dataset, known as Book3, is now at the center of a series of copyright-infringement lawsuits brought by Michael Chabon, Sarah Silverman, and others. Reisner, who has now publicizing a search tool that allows you to see what books have been used in the AI projects, writes: “I’ve heard from several authors wanting to know if their work is in Books3. In almost all cases, the answer has been yes.” Sara Marcus, whose book Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl

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  • Rumaan Alam
    September 27, 2023

    The Writers Guild of America reaches a deal with studios; A film based on Rumaan Alam’s novel is coming soon

    The Writers Guild of America has voted to accept a deal with Hollywood studios, and the strike order has ended. Hollywood writers will vote on ratifying the contract in early October.

    The new Dilettante Army is out now. The Fall 2023 edition is called “Definitive Guide,” and asks its contributors to think about what guides are good for, how they might stifle, and what their radical possibilities might be. The issue includes work by Abby Kluchin and Patrick Blanchfield, Adora Svitak, Christopher Reeves, and many more.  

    Farrar, Straus, and Giroux have acquired Catherine Lacey’s next two books.

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  • The White Review
    September 26, 2023

    The White Review ceases day-to-day operations; join Bookforum at the Brooklyn Book Festival this weekend

    The White Review, the London literary magazine founded in 2011 by Ben Eastham and Fitzcarraldo Editions publisher Jacques Testard, is indefinitely pausing its day-to-day publishing operations, citing lack of funding and the cost of living crisis. The board of trustees is now seeking consultation as to the magazine’s future. In a statement, the Review thanks its outgoing staff and contributors, including Claire-Louise Bennett, Legacy Russell, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Fernanda Melchor, Sally Rooney, Brandon Taylor, Anne Carson, Joshua Cohen, among many others. 

    The Writers Guild of America has

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  • Hannah Zeavin
    September 22, 2023

    Hannah Zeavin to write an "alternative history of psychoanalysis"

    The 2023 Booker Prize shortlist has been announced. 

    In March 2024 Knopf will publish a book of song lyrics written by novelist and Nobel winner Kazuo Ishiguro. The book, titled The Summer We Crossed Europe in the Rain, will include the lyrics to sixteen songs, all of them written for the jazz singer Stacey Kent.

    Yale University Press has given a sneak peak at the Fall 2024 titles in its Jewish Lives series, including Ruth Franklin’s Anne Frank, Masha Gessen’s Hannah Arendt, and Sasha Frere-Jones’s Bob Dylan

    Slate has a droll recap of Joyce Carol Oates’s tweet making fun of New York Times

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  • Naomi Klein
    September 20, 2023

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

    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

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  • Nicolas Cage as Miller in Butcher's Crossing. Credit: Saban Films
    September 19, 2023

    Merve Emre on “mom rage”; the film adaptation of John Williams’ 1960 western Butcher’s Crossing

    The trailer for Gabe Polsky’s film adaptation of John Williams’ 1960 western Butcher’s Crossing has been released. Nicolas Cage tells Entertainment Weekly that his performance as buffalo hunter Miller was inspired in part by watching Michael Jordan on the court. 

    Frequent Bookforum contributor Charlotte Shane has started a Substack, Meant for You. In the first entry, she writes about binge-reading romance novels in an attempt to get more acquainted with bestsellers: “The underlying desires are so clear, the yearning so intelligible: to be worshipped and thirsted after by the hottest man alive,

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  • Poet Monica Youn is on the long list for the National Book Award (photo: Sarah Shatz)
    September 14, 2023

    National Book Awards: long lists announced

    The National Book Award has now released the longlists for its annual awards in nonfiction, poetry, and translated literature. The finalists in all categories will be announced on October 3.

    St. Martin’s Press is planning to publish a memoir by Christina Blasey Ford, the psychology professor who, in 2018, testified that Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party in the 1980s. 

    Tonight at the PowerHouse Arena in Brooklyn, author Sean Howe will celebrate the release of his new bookAgents of Chaos, which dwells on numerous countercultural threads of 1970s America, particularly at the rise

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  • Namwali Serpell. Photo: © Jordan Kines Photography.
    September 13, 2023

    Atlantic Books acquires Namwali Serpell’s next two titles; The National Book Awards revokes Drew Barrymore’s invitation to host

    Atlantic Books has acquired Namwali Serpell’s next two books: On Morrison, a book-length engagement with the Nobel Prize–winning author, and I Am Dead, a collection of twenty essays. Serpell posted in response to the news, “Delighted about this! There's no other mind I’d rather spend time with than Toni Morrison’s.” In 2022, Sarah Jaffe talked with Serpell about her novel The Furrows for Bookforum

    The National Book Foundation has revoked Drew Barrymore’s invitation to host this year’s National Book Awards. The foundation cited Barrymore’s decision to resume production of her talk show: “The

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  • Annie Ernaux
    September 12, 2023

    Annie Ernaux’s latest novel is out today; Kaitlin Phillips on what she’s been reading lately

    Annie Ernaux’s latest novel, The Young Man, was published in English translation today. Ernaux, winner of the 2022 Nobel Prize, was profiled in May by Rachel Cusk in the New York Times Magazine. You can read an excerpt of the novel in Vogue and a review by Jamie Hood in the new issue of Bookforum

    The legendary independent bookstore City Lights is celebrating its seventieth birthday this year. The San Francisco store will host a full slate of poetry readings, book talks, and online panels and discussions.   

    Kaitlin Phillips shares three books she’s read recently. Considering Elfriede

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  • Merve Emre
    September 06, 2023

    Merve Emre on the function of criticism; Ottessa Moshfegh talks with Sheena Patel

    The Oslo-based online literary magazine Vinduet has published Merve Emre’s lecture on the function of criticism. Emre says, “To narrate the authority of criticism in all its richness and variety requires starting from the inside of this arrangement, from the critic’s mind, and working our way outward, to the contexts in which criticism circulates.” Her lecture does just that, ranging from the 1655 collection The World’s Olio, through considerations of George Eliot’s Middlemarch, Virginia Woolf, Toni Morrison, and more. 

    Paul Yamazaki, a bookseller who has worked at City Lights for more than

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  • Elif Batuman. Photo: Valentyn Kuzan
    September 05, 2023

    Andrea Long Chu on Zadie Smith’s path for the novel; Elif Batuman searches for a Proust quote with AI

    In a review of The Fraud for Vulture, Andrea Long Chu considers Zadie Smith’s trajectory as a novelist, arguing that since her debut in 2000 with White Teeth—which James Wood famously described as “hysterical realism”—Smith’s work has become increasingly moral and conventionally realist. Referencing Smith’s 2008 essay “Two Paths for the Novel,” Chu writes: “Her two paths for the novel have become a perfect circle: What could be more avant-garde in an age of data harvesting and identity politics than a heartfelt 19th-century novel?” 

    “Did ChatGPT seriously just recommend I ‘delve into Proust’s

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  • Rachel Monroe. Photo: Emma Rogers
    August 31, 2023

    Rachel Monroe on Texas's dying swimming holes

    At the New Yorker, Rachel Monroe, the author of Savage Appetites: Four True Stories of Women, Crime and Obsession, reports on how rising population and rising temperatures are causing the state’s legendary swimming holes to dry up

    At The Nation, Suchitra Vijayan, a barrister at law and the author of Midnight’s Borders: A People’s History of Modern India, reports on India’s crackdown on Kashmir’s free press, exhibited most recently in the blocking of the website and social-media pages of the Kashmir Walla, an independent news outlet based in Srinagar.

    The Queen Sofia Spanish Institute has

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