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National Book Award winners announced; Random House to publish “1619 Project” book series

Susan Choi

The winners of this year’s National Book Awards have been announced. Susan Choi’s Trust Exercise won the fiction prize, Sarah M. Broom’s The Yellow House won the nonfiction prize, and Laszlo Krasznahorkai and Ottile Muzlet won the translated literature prize for Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming.

After a three-year hiatus, Trump has selected the winners of the National Medal of the Arts and the National Humanities Medal, the New York Times reports. Honorees include “the actor Jon Voight, the novelist James Patterson, the musicians of the United States Military and the conservative think tank the Claremont Institute.”

HarperCollins is launching a Native-focused children’s books imprint. “The books themselves are not reflective of the diversity of Native people—not only the diversity among Nations but also the diversity of individuals in terms of their rural or urban lifestyle and so many other characteristics,” author and imprint head Cynthia Leitich Smith told Publishers Weekly. “It is so clear that we need more Native voices represented in every children’s book format, from picture books to middle-grade to books for teens.”

Random House has acquired the rights to the New York Times’s “1619 Project.” The publisher plans to create a series of books based on the project.

BuzzFeed editor Ben Smith examines the succession drama roiling the New York Times. Executive Editor Dean Baquet is due to retire before his sixty-sixth birthday in 2022. “Speculation is premature only in the sense that it was a bit early in, say, the fall of 2018 to be thinking about presidential politics,” he writes. “The Times is like the US Senate, in that at any moment there are no shortage of senior editors with their eyes on the prize.”

Vanity Fair’s Joe Pompeo reports that the Times will now allow reporters to “describe ‘a specific comment or action’ as racist,” but not “a person, unless that person is, say, ‘an avowed racist or white supremacist.’”