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Colson Whitehead discusses his heist novel, “Harlem Shuffle”; Susanna Clarke wins the Women’s Prize for Fiction

Colson Whitehead. Photo: Wayne Lawrence

At the New York Times, Alexandra Alter talks with Colson Whitehead about his latest novel, Harlem Shuffle, and his flexibility as a writer. “His heterogeneous style comes not so much from an effort to show his range but from a short attention span,” Alter writes. As Whitehead puts it, this “prevents me from getting bored—that’s the main thing . . . . Like, why can’t I just do a zombie novel? No reason, just do it. So, with this, can I do a heist novel? Yeah, sure. Why not?” For more on Harlem Shuffle, read Omari Weekes’s review in our new issue.

Contemporaries at Post45 will publish a cluster of writings edited by Jay N. Shelat that will explore the legacy of 9/11 and the war on terror, featuring pieces by Anjuli Raza Kolb, Matthew Mullins, Liliana M. Naydan, and more. The cluster will be posted online on Saturday.

Susanna Clarke has been awarded the 2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction for her novel Piranesi. In our Spring 2021 issue, Ed Park reviewed the book: “At its best, Piranesi is a work of voluptuous amnesia, in which history and character have been effaced. Texts are written and forgotten; startling messages appear, communications from somewhere beyond. As we grow to understand the nature of the labyrinth, our hero’s true biography seeps in. (It’s a shock when he describes his hair, late in the book, as ‘dark and curly.’)”

The MacDowell Fellowships for this fall and spring have been awarded to 136 artists. Among the writers in the group are Jennifer Croft, Alice Elliott Dark, Jason Reynolds, Laura Kolbe, Jeff Sharlet, and more.

This year’s Whiting Literary Magazine Prize winners are Massachusetts Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Arkansas International, Latin American Literature Today, and Full Stop. The prizes are awarded to small and midsize journals publishing in print and online.

Words Without Borders has announced that this 2021 Ottaway Award for the Promotion of International Literature will be given to Naveen Kishore, the publisher of Kolkata-based Seagull Books, which he founded in 1982.