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Booker Prize judges announced; Remembering Elizabeth Wurtzel

Elizabeth Wurtzel. Photo: David Shankbone

Stacey Abrams is writing a book. Our Time is Now: Power, Purpose, and the Fight for a Fair America will be published by Henry Holt in June. “The future of our democracy depends on correcting all that is wrong with our elections process, including the insidious practice of voter suppression,” Abrams said. “And we must remind voters of their power to be seen and to demand action not simply on election days but every day.”

The judges for next year’s Booker Prize have been announced. Lee Child, Sameer Rahim, Lemn Sissay, Emily Wilson, and Margaret Busby will make up the judging panel for the 2020 award.

Prozac Nation author Elizabeth Wurtzel has died at 52. Wurtzel’s books ushered in a new era of personal essays and memoirs. “[Prozac Nation’s] success definitively announced several things that were especially important to women writers,” author and Yale professor Anne Fadiman told the Washington Post. “It’s okay to be indiscreet. It’s okay to take risks. It’s okay to write something that will embarrass your grandmother. It’s okay to write about sex, drugs and depression. It’s okay to be over the top. It’s okay to be a bad girl. It’s okay if you aren’t always likable.”

At Literary Hub, Kristin Iversen talks to Miranda Popkey about desire, living narratives, and her new book, Topics of Conversation. “How can you look back at your life, that flow of data, and not feel the impulse to shape it in some way, so that you can arrive at an understanding of why you are who you are?” she asked. “It turns out that not everybody thinks about their life as a narrative, which is shocking to me.”

At The Baffler, Zoë Hu wonders why stories like Little Women endure. “What might an adaptation of Little Women do, then, given its release at a moment when a certain political rigor is, or ought to be, demanded of popular culture—when Hollywood is being cajoled to reckon with the narratives it has seeded into society? One possibility is to not try to have it both ways. Hollywood could have given us—as it so often does—the fantasy alone,” she writes. “The other possibility is that, in the year 2019, which is now the year 2020, we could have decided the one thing we didn’t need was another Little Women.”