paper trail

Remembering W.S. Merwin; the Winners of the Windham-Campell Awards

Marlon James

The 2019 Windham-Campell Awards have been announced. Danielle McLaughlin and David Chariandy have won for fiction; Raghu Karnad and Rebecca Solnit for nonfiction; Ishion Hutchinson and Kwame Dawes for poetry; and Young Jean Lee and Patricia Cornelius for drama. Each author will receive $165,000.

W.S. Merwin, the former U.S. Poet Laureate who won two Pulitzers and a National Book Award, has died at ninety-one.

In an interview at Desert Island Discs, Marlon James, author of Black Leopard, Red Wolf, recalls his struggles growing up gay in Jamaica. When he was young, he wanted to not be gay to such an extent that he sought an exorcism, or a “gay cure,” at a pentecostal church. “Then one day it hit me: ‘What if I got rid of the church?’ And that worked smashingly.”

Simon and Schuster has purchased Howard Stern’s latest autobiography, Howard Stern Comes Again. When Stern’s first memoir, Private Parts, came out in 1993, it became the fastest-selling book in Simon and Schuster’s history up to that point.

Publishers Weekly talks with Penguin Random House’s Amanda D’Acierno about the rapid rise of audiobooks. “Honestly, 16 years ago I would have been surprised if you told me that audio would be the talk of the industry in 2019,” D’Acierno says. “It’s been a very exciting development, and great to see the growth of this format that so many people have worked so tirelessly to pursue. Like most of us in publishing, I came into the business very much thinking book, book, book. Then, I really fell in love with taking an author’s work, works that I have so much respect for, and finding the right actors to bring those written works to life in audio.”

At the London Book Fair, which just wrapped, publishers and writers responded to the political uncertainties generated by Brexit. Ian McEwan said the decision to leave the E.U. is “a national tragedy.” Some publishing houses noted that Brexit is going to cause real problems in terms of supply chain and exports, but also noted that as of yet, it hasn’t affected business in “a major way.”