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New Editor at NYTBR

Tanenhaus out. Pamela Paul in.

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One wonders what a “Richard Hofstader-like approach” will look like. And what NYTBR will look like under the new management.

Let’s hope she doesn’t hate fiction.

This doesn’t bode well for an already embarrassingly bad book review. Pamela Paul basically does picture books and snark. Her last great article? It was called, “Don’t Call Me, I Won’t Call You,” and it begins, grandly enough, “NOBODY calls me anymore — and that’s just fine.” Another substantive report from the field is called “What Are the Blogs Saying About Me?”, and in its turn it begins, “ALMOST every author I know with a new book does it – the embarrassing, nearly irresistible, ritualistic dip into Internet-assisted narcissism. I know I do.” It is this kind of clubby, Katie Roiphe-ish BS that has marginalized the Manhattan-based publishing bureaucracy… Bookish is just a symptom.


The Surrender is Scott Esposito’s “collection of facts” concerning his lifelong desire to be a woman.


Two long essays of 10,000 words each on sex in—and out of—literature . . .

The first essay dives in to Nicholson Baker’s “sex trilogy,” explaining just what Baker is up to here and why these books ultimately fail to be as sexy as Baker might wish.

From there the book moves on to the second essay, which explains just why Spaniard Javier Marías does right what Baker does wrong . . .


5 essays. 2 interviews.

All in all, over 25,000 words of Latin American literary goodness.

3 never-before-published essays, including “The Digression”—a 4,000-word piece on the most important digression in César Aira’s career.

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