Sunday, October 17News That Matters

Tag: Books and Literature

Paradise Was Lost. She’s Telling Its Stories.

Paradise Was Lost. She’s Telling Its Stories.

Technology, World
Images of the wildfire that devastated Paradise, Calif., in 2018 are hard to forget. Known as the Camp Fire — after Camp Creek Road, where it started — the disaster killed at least 85 people and essentially destroyed the entire town. Lizzie Johnson was a reporter at The San Francisco Chronicle at the time, and her new book, “Paradise,” is a vivid ticktock account of the disaster, told through the stories of those who experienced it. Johnson, now a reporter at The Washington Post, talks about the fire as a turning point, how the scope and structure of her book changed over time and more.When did you first get the idea to write this book?The book came about a lot earlier than the Camp Fire itself. I’d been writing about wildfires for a while, and there wasn’t much being written about the lon...

Give Phoebe Robinson the Title She Deserves: Boss

LifeStyle
A week later, Robinson said she was too in her head in that show, that she needed to remind herself to have fun. “It’s hard to stay in the moment for someone like me who is always thinking about the next 20 moves,” she said by phone.Robinson had done a chunk of material about the difference between her 20s and 30s, including one bit about being more concerned with frivolous things earlier, like shaving body hair, which she did so much, she said, “that she didn’t read a book for 10 years.”Now she’s an author and publisher who tries to read a book a week. “I miss that innocence a bit,” she said, explaining that she didn’t have to worry about her employees or brand back then. A few years later, her profile would grow thanks to a regular show with Jessica Williams called “2 Dope Queens” that m...

Bookworms, and Book Dogs and Book Cats and Book Rabbits

LifeStyle
Cleo Le-Tan does not have pets. Not in the shop she recently opened. Not in the home she shares with her husband, Alex Detrick, and their two children, ages 2 and 6.Which is not to say she doesn’t appreciate pets, or all animals, for that matter. She most certainly does — enough to establish a bookstore dedicated to them.On Sept. 15, Ms. Le-Tan opened the doors to what she calls “the first animal-focused bookshop in New York,” Pillow-Cat Books, on East 9th Street in the East Village of Manhattan.“All my favorite characters are animals,” she said of why she settled on the theme, pulling out a Little Golden Book about Little PeeWee, a circus dog, a favorite of hers growing up in France. “I do have all these technical books on poodle grooming and it just makes me want a poodle,” she said. (“W...
An Erotica Pioneer Goes From Hero to Villain for Dozens of Authors

An Erotica Pioneer Goes From Hero to Villain for Dozens of Authors

Business
Under pressure from authors, Blushing has offered more transparency, and says that it is now providing monthly royalty payments, and that since the first quarter of 2020, it has used an automated royalty tracking system to generate payments.A lawyer for Ms. Wills said that she “believes she has fulfilled her contractual duties to her authors and continues to do so” and that “Blushing wishes to move on from this small group of past authors and disgruntled past employees and put its energy into focusing on the talented and passionate authors they have the privilege to represent.”The enormous appetite for erotica, a nearly $1.5 billion industry, has stoked a feeding frenzy among publishers for new content. Romance sales exploded in the past 15 years, following the rise of e-books and self-pub...

Stanley Tucci’s Passion Was Acting. Now, It’s Food.

Travel
Recovering from the tumor seems to have affected some of those rituals. He cooked a risotto Milanese for his co-star, Colin Firth, when they worked together on the movie “Supernova,” released earlier this year. In an email, Firth said that it was the best he had ever had, but Tucci “was convinced it tasted awful and was mortified.”“He simply wasn’t tasting what we were,” Firth said. “One was left to imagine how distressing this was, because most of the time he put on a very brave and matter-of-fact face.”During his recovery, Tucci watched cooking shows, “which was weird because even the smell of food then would just make me want to throw up,” he said. “But I liked watching them. I just wanted to learn more, live vicariously through them. It was a way I was going to have that once again.”Th...
The Trump Prophets Regroup

The Trump Prophets Regroup

Business
Beyond the spiritual test of unrealized prophecies, there are very earthly stakes here: Under Mr. Strang’s stewardship, Charisma had grown from a church magazine to a multipronged institution with a slew of New York Times best sellers, millions of podcast downloads and a remaining foothold in print media, with a circulation of 75,000 for its top magazine. It is widely regarded as the flagship publication of the fast-growing Pentecostal world, which numbers over 10 million in the United States. With its mash-up of political and prophetic themes, Charisma had tapped a sizable market and electoral force. In 2019, one poll found that more than half of white Pentecostals believed Mr. Trump to be divinely anointed, with additional research pointing to the importance of so-called prophecy voters ...
Richard Powers Speaks for the Trees

Richard Powers Speaks for the Trees

Technology, World
During a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts one weekend, he saw a 1914 photograph of farm boys in Germany, and started thinking about the birth of the machine age. Inspired by the figures in the photo, he quit his programming job and started writing his 1985 debut, “Three Farmers on Their Way to a Dance.” It was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award, the first in a river of accolades, including a MacArthur “genius” grant and a National Book Award.For much of his career, Powers has used fiction to probe humanity’s relationship to technology, and how our creativity and ingenuity has come to define and ensnare us. He’s been labeled “our pre-eminent novelist of ideas,” “our greatest living novelist” and “the best novelist you’ve never heard of.” In his books “The Gold Bug Variations...
‘Reversing Gears’: China Increasingly Rejects English, and the World

‘Reversing Gears’: China Increasingly Rejects English, and the World

Business
As a student at Peking University law school in 1978, Li Keqiang kept both pockets of his jacket stuffed with handwritten paper slips. An English word was written on one side, a former classmate recalled, and the matching Chinese version was written on the other.Mr. Li, now China’s premier, was part of China’s English-learning craze. A magazine called Learning English sold half a million subscriptions that year. In 1982, about 10 million Chinese households — almost equivalent to Chinese TV ownership at the time — watched “Follow Me,” a BBC English-learning program with lines like: “What’s your name?” “My name is Jane.”It’s hard to exaggerate the role English has played in changing China’s social, cultural, economic and political landscape. English is almost synonymous with China’s reform a...
Salman Rushdie Is Now on Substack

Salman Rushdie Is Now on Substack

Technology
“I mean, if I were publishing a book, I’d get more money,” he said.He still plans to hold back his big swings for the traditional outfits and is at work on a novel to be published by Random House.Daily Business BriefingUpdated Aug. 30, 2021, 5:48 p.m. ETSubstack has cash to burn. It has raised nearly $83 million at a valuation of $650 million, and it recently acquired Cocoon, a social media app that is driven by subscriptions and does not include any advertising.Mr. Rushdie has always been a maximalist, on the page and in life. His fiction is a highly stylized blend of magical realism and meta-theatrical storytelling, stories within stories told by multiple narrators. He has had an adventurous personal life and has been married several times. In many ways, Substack seems a natural ven...
‘It Was Like I’d Never Done It Before’: How Sally Rooney Wrote Again

‘It Was Like I’d Never Done It Before’: How Sally Rooney Wrote Again

LifeStyle
With her closest friends, she’ll exchange ideas about climate change, economic inequality and who broke up with whom, all in the same breath. “It would be artificial to try and reproduce some kind of compartmentalization that I don’t feel in my real life,” she said.For Rooney, the intimate and the ideological go hand in hand. That is, you can’t fully understand Felix and Alice’s relationship, or Eileen and Simon’s, without understanding their relative positions within the social order around them.So, yes, she does have opinions on Dublin’s housing crisis, but even if she didn’t, “as a novelist,” she said, “I simply have to engage with the reality of the housing market, because the characters have to live somewhere. They have to go home, put a key in the door and live.”Rooney thinks it’s a ...