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Joy Williams has won the Library of Congress Prize; Wallace Shawn warns against forgetting Trump

Joy Williams. Photo: Anne Dalton 

Joy Williams has won the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction, a lifetime achievement award. Carla Hayden, the librarian of Congress, said of Williams: “Her work reveals the strange and unsettling grace just beneath the surface of our lives.” Williams’s first novel in more than twenty years, Harrow, will be published this fall.

Sarah Schulman’s Let The Record Show, a monumental political history of the AIDS activist group ACT UP, is being adapted as a television series by director Andrew Haigh. Schulman told Deadline, “After covering AIDS since the early 1980s I am thrilled to have the opportunity to bring the story of Act Up to new generations, working with this experienced, committed team.” For more on the book, see this recent interview and review in Bookforum.

For the New Republic, writer and actor Wallace Shawn warns against forgetting the Trump era and the resentment the former president’s fans have for American elites, especially in the mainstream media: “The elite commentators failed to realize, time after time, that the disgusting thing they denounced was in fact an arrow aimed very precisely not at its ostensible target but actually at them, and if they cried out in pain, that was, for Trump and those who loved him, like a wonderful cascade of coins falling into their laps from a slot machine.”

Scribner has bought Jennifer Egan’s The Candy House, which the author describes as a “sibling novel” to her 2010 Pulitzer-winner A Visit from the Goon Squad. The new novel, which will be published in April 2022, will follow “a tech billionaire, record producers, aging rock stars, and an anthropologist” “over the course of decades” and between San Francisco and New York City.

New York Times journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones has been granted tenure from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, months after the university’s board of trustees initially refused to consider granting it. Their opposition was mainly toward Hannah-Jones’s work on “The 1619 Project,” an initiative she conceived to investigate the legacy of slavery in the US. In a statement issued Wednesday night through the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Hannah-Jones wrote that the “outcome and the actions of the past month are about more than just me,” and did not specify how she would move forward.