• Deborah Levy. Photo: Sheila Burnett
    November 22, 2019

    Andrew Kirtzman writing biography of Rudy Giuliani; Deborah Levy on the claustrophobia of first-person writing

    Betrayal: The Life and Lies of Bernie Madoff author Andrew Kirtzman is writing a biography of Rudy Giuliani. “Giuliani has led an operatic life,” Simon & Schuster editor Bob Bender said in a statement. “Andrew has been writing about him since his days as a City Hall reporter in the 1990s, and has an intuitive understanding of this extraordinarily polarizing figure. It’s a perfect match of author and subject.” The still-untitled book will be published in 2021.

    At Vanity Fair, Maris Kreizman explains why the big-five publishers continue to publish works by controversial right-wing authors. “

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  • Susan Choi
    November 21, 2019

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

    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

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  • Sarah M. Broom. Photo: Adam Shemper
    November 20, 2019

    Hallie Rubenhold wins Baillie Gifford prize; Sarah M. Broom on writing and money

    At the Paris Review, Sarah M. Broom reflects on money, unfinished work, and how she wrote her debut memoir, The Yellow House. “I thought, at first, that I would simply follow the chain of the title to write an autobiography of a house. I had no idea of the tentacles, the ways in which the story would transfigure,” she writes. “After several halting years, stopping to earn money in order to write, I began to work less toward my vision and more toward the book that I could afford. How, I wondered, could I show up assured on the page, when I was the opposite in life?”

    The Baillie Gifford prize

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  • Julia Phillips
    November 19, 2019

    Andy Ward named publisher of Random House; Julia Phillips on what it means to be a writer

    Random House editor in chief Andy Ward will succeed the late Susan Kamil as the imprint’s executive vice president and publisher, the New York Times reports. In a memo announcing the move to staff, publisher Gina Centrello “noted that Ms. Kamil had expressed her hope that Mr. Ward might one day take over her role.” Knopf editorial director Robin Desser will replace Ward as editor in chief of Random House.

    After Swedish PEN awarded its annual Tucholsky prize to imprisoned Hong Kong bookseller Gui Minhai, the Chinese embassy in the country has told Sweden that it will “suffer the consequences

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  • Margo Jefferson. Photo: Michael Lionstar
    November 18, 2019

    Margo Jefferson and Darryl Pinckney at the New York Public Library

    Tonight at the New York Public Library, Darryl Pinckney will discuss Busted in New York, his new book of essays about race in America, with Pulitzer Prize–winning critic and author Margo Jefferson.

    In May, the writer Aatish Taseer wrote a story for Time magazine titled “India’s Divider in Chief,” which was critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Last week, the Indian government stripped Taseer of his overseas citizenship, which means that he will never be able to return to India. Now, more than two hundred and fifty writers, including Salman Rushdie and Margaret Atwood, are calling to restore

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  • Angie Cruz. Photo: Erika Morillo
    November 15, 2019

    Aspen Words Literary Prize longlist announced; Ahmet Atlan rearrested in Istanbul

    The Aspen Words Literary Prize longlist was released yesterday. Nominees include Angie Cruz’s Dominicana, Steph Cha’s Your House Will Pay, Valeria Luiselli’s Lost Children Archive, and Bryan Washington’s Lot. The shortlist will be announced in February.

    Turkish journalist Ahmet Altan, who was released from prison last week after being imprisoned since 2016, has been rearrested “after the chief public prosecutor appealed against the decision to release” him, The Guardian reports.

    Columbia Journalism Review’s CNN public editor Emily Tamkin reflects on the network’s use of clever chyrons that

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  • Lucy Ellmann. Photo: Amy Jordison
    November 14, 2019

    Lucy Ellmann wins Goldsmiths prize; The New York Times launches new impeachment podcast

    Lucy Ellmann’s Ducks, Newburyport has won the Goldsmiths prize. Judging chair Erica Wagner said the novel was a “rare thing: a book which, not long after its publication, one can unhesitatingly call a masterpiece.”

    Larissa Pham has sold a book to Catapult. How to Run Away will be "about intimacy and art and distances, from the miles that we travel to get away from ourselves to the impossible chasm that can exist between two people sharing a bed."

    Elizabeth Bishop’s Key West home has been bought by the Key West Literary Seminar for $1.2 million. The group plans to use the house, where Bishop

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  • Toni Morrison. Photo: John Mathew Smith
    November 13, 2019

    Public memorial for Toni Morrison announced; Zadie Smith working on debut play

    Tomorrow night at the New York Institute for the Humanities, Hanif Abdurraqib will present the institute’s fourth annual humanities lecture, “The Intersections of Mundane Pleasures.” In his talk, Abdurraqip “will explore how our living in and throughout the world is also an act of writing, focusing on curiosity, rigid ideas around genre, and the way living can influence and foster curiosity.” The event is free and open to the public; RSVP here.

    A public memorial will be held for Toni Morrison in New York later this month. The event will take place at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine on

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  • Jaquira Díaz. Photo: Maria Esquinca
    November 12, 2019

    Dublin Literary Award longlist announced; Jaquira Díaz on her new book

    Ordinary Girls author Jaquira Díaz talks to Literary Hub about villains, music, and how she motivates herself to write. “I think of all the straight cis white men I was forced to read in school. I think of all the queer AfroLatinxs who never saw themselves in books,” she said. “I think of all the books I needed growing up.”

    The longlist for the Dublin Literary Award has been announced. More than 150 books are in the running for the €100,000 prize.

    Editorial and digital employees across two dozen Hearst magazines are unionizing, the Daily Beast reports.

    At the New York Times, former Deadspin

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  • Stepen Dixon
    November 11, 2019

    Stephen Dixon, 1936–2019

    Associated Press sources say that former Trump adviser John Bolton has signed a book deal with Simon & Schuster, for a reported $2 million. According to the New York Times, Bolton is represented by the Javelin literary agency, whose other clients include former FBI Director James Comey and the anonymous Trump administration official, whose much-anticipated A Warning will be released on November 19. Bolton’s book will, according to his publisher, be released before the 2020 elections.

    Novelist Stephen Dixon has died. He was eighty-three years old. The Times obituary calls him “experimental,”

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  • Carmen Maria Machado. Photo: Art Streiber / AUGUST
    November 08, 2019

    Carmen Maria Machado on creating a new canon; Alex Pareene on the decline of "rude media"

    Hope Reese talks to Carmen Maria Machado about domestic violence in queer relationships, using fiction in memoir, and her new book, In the Dream House. “As a writer, both books that I have written are books that I wanted that didn’t exist, so I decided to fill that space myself,” she said. “I want 50 more books like this. I want people to write a book and say, ‘In the Dream House was insufficient, and I’m going to rewrite it in my own way.’ I want mine to be a tiny piece of a canon; I want people to feel free to tell their own stories.”

    Oprah has chosen Elizabeth Strout’s Olive, Again as her

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  • Édouard Louis. Photo: Arnaud Delrue
    November 07, 2019

    Édouard Louis on the power of theater; James Andrew Miller working on book about HBO

    For The Week, Phillip Maciak reflects on the death of “the good internet” and what the loss of websites like Gawker, Deadspin, and Grantland, among others, means for writing and journalism. “What these sites represented, what they tried to mainstream — or at least fund — is done,” he writes. “Experiment after experiment has failed, not because these writers couldn't produce extraordinary writing, but because the people in a position to value it consistently failed to know how to value it, and because those same people often failed to see those writers — who used to write for free! — as deserving

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