paper trail

Morrissey's first novel out in September


Morrissey, whose Autobiography was published by Penguin Classics in 2014, has announced that his first novel, List of the Lost, will be released in late September. The author and his publisher are offering up no other information. According to the Independent: “There are no details yet about what the novel will be about.”

If commentators are attributing “megalomaniacal billionaire” Donald Trump’s political success to populism, what does that say about our definition of populism? Not much, says Rich People Things author and Bookforum editor Chris Lehmann. “The Beltway definition of populism is disdainful.” Trump’s success at tapping into a populist current is founded on a contradiction: “He has so far masterfully exploited a broad animus against self-infatuated elites across the media and political landscape—even as he loudly advertises his own ultra-elite membership in America’s owning class.”

The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas—which has recently acquired the papers of David Foster Wallace, Denis Johnson, and J.M. Coetze—has reportedly offered $1.1 million for the archives of novelist Kazuo Ishiguro. The university is still awaiting approval of the sale.

Since essayist, poet, and TV personality Clive James’s leukemia diagnosis five years ago, “there have been so many interviews and appreciations that the speak-with-Clive-James-before-he-dies piece has become a kind of genre unto itself.” The Observer points out one of the finest, in which Australian broadcaster Mark Colvin talks with James about his new book, Latest Readings.

Newly released top-secret files reveal that the British intelligence agency MI5 spied on novelist Doris Lessing for twenty years, “listening to her phone conversations, opening her mail and closely monitoring her movements.”