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Négar Djavadi wins Albertine Prize; Wayétu Moore on magical realism

Négar Djavadi’s novel Disoriental has won the 2019 Albertine Prize. “By exploring the nuances between the intersection of eastern and western cultures in Disoriental, Négar Djavadi sheds light on one of the many facets of French culture” said cultural counselor of the French Embassy Benedicte de Montlaur. “Now in its third year, the prize received more votes than any other year, a testament to the growing appreciation and need for international literature in the United States.”

“The anonymous Californian woman who was sexually assaulted by Stanford University student Brock Turner and whose powerful victim’s statement was read by millions around the world, is writing a book about the assault and trial, and her recovery,” The Guardian reports. The still-untitled work will be published in September by Viking.

Barack and Michelle Obama have signed a deal with Spotify to produce podcasts through their production company, Higher Ground. “Podcasts offer an extraordinary opportunity to foster productive dialogue, make people smile and make people think, and, hopefully, bring us all a little closer together,” President Obama said in a statement.

Members of the Vox Media Union staged a day-long walkout yesterday to push the company to sign a union contract.

Wayétu Moore talks to The Guardian about Liberia, magical realism in African literature, and her new novel, She Would Be King. “It was rare in the west African storytelling tradition to hear a story that didn’t include someone casting a spell, or flying or shape-shifting or displaying some other supernatural ability as they went about their lives,” she said. “I don’t mind when it’s categorised as magical realism. . . . But I also recognise that when African and black diaspora writers engage with the art in this way, it is older and larger than the category.”