paper trail

Laura van den Berg on horror and travel; "Fear" breaks Simon & Schuster sales records

Laura van den Berg

Tin House talks to Laura van den Berg about Havana, the similarities between travel and horror, and her new book, The Third Hotel. “Speaking generally, the way things appear to be versus the terrifying reality lying in wait just beneath the surface is often foundational to horror,” she said. “Transient spaces like hotels and airplanes ask us to make a pact with surfaces, I think, to believe in the lie of them (the bedspread is clean; those ‘homey’ touches actually feel something like home). Yet there are moments . . . where the surface falters and a whole little world of strange opens up.”

Bob Woodward’s Fear has sold more copies in its first week than any other book in Simon & Schuster’s publishing history. Already in its tenth printing, the book has sold over one million hardcover copies alone.

Puja Patel has been hired as the new editor in chief of Pitchfork. Patel was most recently editor in chief of Spin.

Politico’s Annie Karni is joining the New York Times as a White House correspondent.

“The confession, when made by men showing a sensitive side, is a literary device to display a newly whole, unified character who is stronger thanks to introspection,” writes Nausicaa Renner, comparing the ways that women and men are allowed to write about harassment and assault. “Women, however, have the reverse experience: to ensure that their accounts are bulletproof, they are quoted, rather than given space to describe their experience in their own words.” At the New Yorker, Jia Tolentino notes that “for Buruma and Ghomeshi and Hockenberry, and for many others, the abuse of women is not the problem—naming it, and giving it consequences, is the problem.” In an interview with CBC Radio program The Current host Anna Maria Tremonti, Harper’s Magazine president and publisher Rick MacArthur compared criticism of John Hockenberry and Jian Ghomeshi’s respective essays to Soviet Union-style reeducation.