paper trail

Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalists announced; The power of female literary trios

Namwali Serpell. Photo: Peg Skorpinski

The Aspen Words Literary Prize shortlist was announced yesterday. The nominees are Christy Lefteri’s The Beekeeper of Aleppo, Brian Allen Carr’s Opioid Indiana, Nicole Dennis-Benn’s Patsy, Bryan Washington’s Lot, and Valeria Luiselli’s Lost Children Archive. The winner will be announced at a ceremony in April.

The Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalists were also announced yesterday. Nominees include Namwali Serpell’s The Old Drift, Ben Lerner’s The Topeka School, and, in the newly added Science Fiction category, Marlon James’s Black Leopard, Red Wolf. Walter Mosley will receive a lifetime achievement award. The winners will be announced in April.

Elle magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll said that she was fired from the magazine because of Donald Trump’s insults and personal attacks against her after she accused him of rape.

For T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Megan O’Grady examines the power of “female trios” in literature. “If a solo male was, once upon a time, the traditional actor of narrative, female trios have often been given another task: illuminating a culture’s traps and hypocrisies,” she writes.

The Authors Guild has released a report on the state of the industry in the twenty-first century. “The career of full-time professional author has become endangered. Without change, the current course of publishing is likely to yield an impoverished literary world,” they write in their introduction. “And while writers have always struggled to make a living, says Authors Guild president Douglas Preston, ‘In former days, a writer of talent, energy and ideas was fairly sure of making at least a small living; today those writers can’t make a living at all.’ As a result of what Preston calls ‘censorship of the marketplace,’ important books may never be written.”