• Masha Gessen. Photo: Svenya Generalova
    January 27, 2020

    Masha Gessen sells book on Trump

    According to an article by Maggie Haberman and Michael S. Schmidt, a manuscript of a book by former national security adviser John R. Bolton, given out to associates and to the White House for review, describes a conversation with Trump in August, in which the president said he planned to continue freezing $400 million in aid to Ukraine until the country helped him with investigations into rival Democrats, particularly the Bidens. The book draft also points out that Trump was at odds with Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper in his stance on Ukraine. As

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  • Garth Greenwell. Photo: Bill Adams
    January 24, 2020

    Reagan Arthur named publisher of Knopf; Garth Greenwell on the purpose of art

    Reagan Arthur has been named publisher of Knopf, the New York Times reports. Arthur, most recently a senior vice president and publisher at Little, Brown, will succeed Sonny Mehta, who died late last year.

    PBS NewsHour’s Jim Lehrer has died at age 85. Lehrer was a cofounder of the program and served as its anchor for thirty-six years.

    On the Maris Review, Maris Kreizman talks to Garth Greenwell about queer life in Bulgaria, the futility of looking for answers in art, and his new book, Cleanness. “The deepest questions of human life don’t have answers. There is a reason that the eternal

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  • Mona Simpson. Photo: Gaspar Tringale
    January 23, 2020

    The Paris Review names new publisher; Charles Yu on his new novel

    Mona Simpson has been chosen as the new publisher of the Paris Review. Simpson has previously been a senior editor at the magazine, as well as a professor at Bard College and UCLA. Simpson takes over for Susannah Hunnewell, who died last year.

    Adam Sternbergh talks to Charles Yu about television writing, imposter syndrome, and his latest book, Interior Chinatown. “Not having an M.F.A., having a day job, there was always a feeling like I came in through the back door, or at least the side door,” he said of his career. “Even to this day, it all feels a bit D.I.Y. It’s like I don’t play an

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  • Isabel Allende. Photo: Lori Barra
    January 22, 2020

    Several news websites profitable in 2019; Isabel Allende on literature and journalism

    Literary Hub’s Emily Temple rounds up all the literary events happening in 2020. “It’s only January, so this calendar is necessarily incomplete,” she notes. “I expect we’ll have more than a few surprises in store in this cursed (or blessed?) year of our lord 2020.”

    On the First Draft podcast, Mitzi Rapkin talks to Isabel Allende about literature, journalism, and her new book, A Long Petal of the Sea. “Few people allow themselves to be influenced or changed by books,” she said. “It takes a book sometimes decades, sometimes centuries, to have an effect, while journalism is very immediate and

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  • Jeanine Cummins. Photo: Joe Kennedy
    January 21, 2020

    The new Yale Review launches; Ashley Feinberg on the Times’s Democratic primary endorsement

    The new Yale Review, with Meghan O’Rourke as editor, has launched with a redesigned website. O’Rourke’s first issue features essays, stories, and poetry by authors such as Cathy Park Hong, Sheila Heti, Kevin Young, and Dan Chiasson. In her introductory note, O’Rourke writes, “Every issue, like every piece of good writing, is the product of a series of accidents colliding with intentions. This is an issue that constellates around stories. Collectively, these pieces are testimony to the necessity of imaginative literature as an act of critical interrogation of the world—or the selves—we inhabit.”

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  • Ronan Farrow
    January 17, 2020

    Ronan Farrow on “journalists under fire”; Alex Shephard looks at Amazon's bestseller book deals

    At the New Republic Alex Shephard looks at recent deals between Amazon.com and best-selling authors Dean Koontz and Patricia Cornwell. Shephard warns that this may be the beginning of a worrying trend for traditional book publishers, as Amazon bypasses the industry by acquiring, publishing, marketing, and retailing book all on their own terms. With Amazon-controlled companies like Audible, Kindle, and Amazon Prime Video also in the mix, the online giant can make an appealing pitch to lure big-name writers. Shephard argues that book publishers have grown complacent as the industry has been

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  • Garth Greenwell. Photo: Bill Adams
    January 16, 2020

    Garth Greenwell on his new novel; The New York Times to offer editing training to staff

    The New York Times will be offering its staff editing training in 2020. The paper celebrated with an oversized custom cake bearing the words “The Year Of Editing,” and tote bags that declare “I edit the New York Times.”

    The editor in chief of Harper’s Bazaar, Glenda Bailey, is stepping down after nearly nineteen years of leading the magazine.

    At the Paris Review, an interview with Garth Greenwell about his new novel, Cleanness: “When a situation is so vertiginous, so ethically complex, so emotionally fraught, that I feel like I’m staring into an abyss—that’s when I feel moved to make art,

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  • Anna Wiener. Photo: Russell Perkins
    January 15, 2020

    Jabari Asim on a new collection of Zora Neale Hurston stories; Anna Wiener at the Strand

    The New York Times has an excerpt and a review of Zora Neale Hurston’s Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick: Stories from the Harlem Renaissance, a new collection that includes eight stories “recovered” from obscure periodicals and archives. Jabari Asim writes in his review: “Just as Ralph Ellison sought to wring the marvelous from the terrible, Hurston boldly found humor in the midst of tragedy and disruption.”

    The Atlantic has announced a new fiction section. As executive editor Adrianne LaFrance notes in her introduction to the project, “Contemplative reading might be viewed as a

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  • Kiley Reid. Photo: David Goddard
    January 14, 2020

    Kiley Reid on literary caregivers; Jessi Jezewska Stevens reconsiders Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping

    At Literary Hub, Such a Fun Age author Kiley Reid reflects on literary caregivers. “The literary nanny must be drawn akin to a ghost,” she writes. “The house must feel different in their presence, even if part of their role is to go unseen. They must leave things a bit differently than the family remembers. And a transaction must take place, one that far too often goes beyond a simple exchange of goods, seldom at market price. From teachers to house maids to babysitters to au pairs, the child caregiver is an essential literary character as they give depth, warmth, and sometimes fear to the

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  • Nell Zink. Photo: Fred Filkorn
    January 13, 2020

    Nell Zink's Robert Walser tour; Simon Reynolds to give Mark Fisher Lecture

    The National Book Critics Circle has announced the thirty finalists for its 2020 awards.

    Crime Reads has posted part one of its list of this year’s most anticipated crime novels.

    She didn’t seek allies or apologies; as messy as she presented herself to the world, she was clear-eyed about who she was and what she needed,” Kera Bolonick writes in a remembrance of author Elizabeth Wurtzel. “And I loved her, her intensity and loyalty, and the friends and experiences she generously shared with me. Her words and her friendship became life rafts for me during the worst and even best of times.

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  • Zadie Smith. Photo: Dominique Nabokov
    January 10, 2020

    Story Prize finalists announced; Leslie Jamison on objectivity

    Edwidge Danticat’s Everything Inside, Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s Sabrina & Corina, and Zadie Smith’s Grand Union have been selected as finalists for this year’s Story Prize. The winner will be announced later next month.

    At Literary Hub, Lynne Steger Strong remembers Elizabeth Wurtzel, who died earlier this week at age 52. “Wurtzel made more space for the rest of us to write complicatedly and to get messy, to not apologize for it later, to not continually take it back,” she writes. “I am so grateful to her, for how openly and unapologetically she was.”

    On The Maris Review, Maris Kreizman talks

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  • T Kira Madden. Photo: Jac Martinez
    January 09, 2020

    Sarah Moss on writing residencies; Authors on their career breakthroughs

    Viking has bought It’s Not TV, “the first in-depth history of HBO” by Bloomberg editor Felix Gillette and New York Times TV writer John Koblin.

    The papers of Power Broker author Robert Caro have been acquired by the New-York Historical Society, the New York Times reports. The acquisition of “200 linear feet of material” has been “a true weight has been lifted from my shoulders,” Caro told the paper.

    On the Reading Women podcast, Kendra Winchester talks to Sarah Moss about Brexit, the difficulty of writing residencies, and her recent novel, Ghost Wall. Moss began writing her latest novel at

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