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Booker Prize shortlist announced; Carmen Maria Machado on Beth March

The Booker Prize shortlist has been announced. The finalists include Salman Rushdie, Lucy Ellmann, Bernardine Evarist, Chigozie Obioma, Elif Shafak, and Maragaret Atwood. Atwood was nominated for The Testament (her forthcoming sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale), which will be published in the US on September 10th. The chairman of the Booker’s judging panel praised Atwood’s book, calling it “a savage and beautiful novel that speaks to us today with unusual conviction and power.”

The Verge looks at how coordinated one-star reviews can sabotage a podcast.

At the New Yorker’s Page Turner blog, Ceridwen Dovey examines collective novel-writing, profiling several groups that create fiction by committee. Dovey observes that the practice seems extremely appealing, at least at first: “The pleasures of collaborative fiction writing can seem so bountiful that one might begin to wonder why anybody would choose to do it alone.”

On Lit Hub’s Fiction/Non/Fiction podcast, Jess Row and Timothy Wu talk about race and writing with podcast co-hosts V. V. Ganeshananthan and Whitney Terrell. The discussion centers on Row’s new book, White Flights: Race,Fiction, and the American Imagination, and the show notes include an extensive and informative reading list.

At the Paris Review Daily, Carmen Maria Machado re-reads Little Women and discovers “The Real Tragedy of Beth March.” The essay is part of a new collection published by the Library of America, March Sisters: On Life, Death, and “Little Women.”

On Thursday at the Strand in Manhattan, Caleb Crain will discuss his new novel, Overthrow, with Kate Bolick.