• Robert Birnbaum, everyone’s favorite literary interviewer, talks with Francisco Goldman, author of The Long Night of the White Chickens (one of the most extraordinary Central American novels of the last two decades) and this year’s The Divine Husband, which I’d intended to read by now. Among other things, Goldman highlights the ignorant hubris of some in New York City publishing:

    I was at the Chicago book convention [ABA], and I am not going to name names, but this is how people are in New York. I met some newspaper editors from New York and was introduced to this guy who runs a line of biographies, short biographies. I was making small talk and I say, “You really ought to do one of those biographies of Jose Marti.” I was thinking that Cabrera Infante should write it. Because he writes so brilliantly about Marti. He’s a Marti maniac like me. And the guy turns up his nose, “Marti is not of the stature to merit a biography.”

    Yeah, okay. I’d like to see that guy stand out on Calle Ocho in Miami and say that again.

  • At BookAngst, Mad Max Perkins posts a love letter to booksellers. Earlier this week, he shared the story of a “senior editor at several top New York publishers who, after two decades, decided to pursue her own interest in writing, while also continuing to keep a hand in as a freelance editor.”


You might want to subscribe to my free Substack newsletter, Ancestor Trouble, if the name makes intuitive sense to you.