• Sloane Crosley. Photo: Laurel Golio
    March 18, 2020

    Rick Atkinson wins New-York Historical Society prize; Sloane Crosley on writing during an emergency

    Rick Atkinson’s The British Are Coming has won the New-York Historical Society’s Barbara and David Zalaznick Book Prize.

    New York’s McNally Jackson bookstores have temporarily laid off almost eighty employees. Staff will be paid through the week and receive health care for the rest of the month.

    Literary Hub has published its first list of ways to support independent publishers and booksellers.

    At the Washington Post, Paul Farhi and Sarah Ellison examine Fox News’s changing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.

    Sloane Crosley reflects on the impulse to write during emergencies and tragedy.

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  • Trisha Low. Photo: Kari Orvik
    March 17, 2020

    Believer Book Award winners announced; PEN World Voices Festival cancelled

    “These stories we make, these books we read… What do they amount to in the presence of suffering?” asks Literary Hub editor in chief Johnny Diamond. “The answer has always been the same, in good times and in bad: books are how we bear witness to life, even as they divert us from its darkest days.” The website plans to point readers to ways to support independent bookstores and authors, and is also offering personalized book recommendations.

    PEN America has cancelled this year’s World Voices Festival due to COVID-19, which was supposed to take place in early May. The organization plans to

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  • Carlos Lozada. Photo: Bill O’Leary
    March 16, 2020

    Carlos Lozada makes book recommendations for ‘Trying Times’

    Mark Sarvas, author of the novel Memento Park, is launching the Decameron Reading Series, a website that will feature video and audio recordings of authors reading their work. He’s starting it for “friends whose bookstore events have been canceled,” but if the site is successful, he says he will “gladly do the same for any writers who have canceled tours.” Sarvas adds: “It’s a safe way to help get the word out for these worthy titles, and gives us all something literary and fun to do while we are cooped up at home. If you have a book and a canceled tour or appearance, please feel free to message

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  • Sarah M. Broom. Photo: Adam Shemper
    March 13, 2020

    National Book Critics Circle Award winners announced; Deadspin starts publishing again

    The National Book Critics Circle Award winners were announced last night. Saidiya Hartman’s Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments won the prize for criticism, Morgan Parker’s Magical Negro won for poetry, and Sarah M. Broom’s The Yellow House won the John Leonard Prize. A ceremony that was originally scheduled for tonight at the New School will now be held in September due to COVID-19.

    The American Academy of Arts and Letters has announced the winners of this year’s prizes. Honorees include Valeria Luiselli, Wayne Koestenbaum, Alex Kotlowitz, Viet Thanh Nguyen, and Mary Ruefle, among others.

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  • Cathy Park Hong. Photo: Beowulf Sheehan
    March 12, 2020

    Michael Schur writing first book; Cathy Park Hong on comedy and writing

    For Ssense, Thessaly La Force talks to Cathy Park Hong about poetry, Richard Pryor, and her new essay collection, Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning. Hong said that her “obsession” with Pryor’s comedy was part of the inspiration for her book. “I have never been able to directly and honestly write about race,” she said. “I thought, how can I write honestly about race that feels as immediate and urgent and real as what Richard Pryor was doing with stand-up comedy?” A poet by training, Hong landed on the essay form, which does similar work to stand-up. “With comedy, you’re making an

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  • Bryan Washington. Photo: David Gracia
    March 11, 2020

    Lambda Literary Award finalists announced; Glenn Greenwald writing new book on Brazilian corruption

    The finalists for this year’s Lambda Literary Awards were announced yesterday. Nominees include Kristen Arnett’s Mostly Dead Things, Bryan Washington’s Lot, and We Both Laughed in Pleasure: The Selected Diaries of Lou Sullivan. The winners will be announced at a ceremony in June.

    ProPublica reporter and New York Times Magazine staff writer Pamela Colloff has sold a book to Random House. A Deal With the Devil will tell the story of “America’s most prolific jailhouse informant, Paul Skalnik, the people he damaged on a decades-long crime spree, and the people and institutions that enabled him.”

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  • Ann Napolitano. Photo: Jake Chessum
    March 10, 2020

    National Magazine Awards postponed; Ann Napolitano on obsessions

    The National Magazine Awards ceremony has been postponed due to COVID-19 concerns, the New York Post reports. The event, which was scheduled for March 12, will likely be rescheduled for later this spring.

    At Literary Hub, Ann Napolitano explains why writers should follow their obsessions. “We are inundated with information every hour of every day, and so it’s entirely possible to go through your life without realizing which subjects, pieces of art, or stories call out to you,” she writes. “If you’re a writer or artist, missing this information will deprive your work. If you’re not a writer or

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  • Jonathan Escoffery. Photo: Colwill Brown
    March 09, 2020

    Jonathan Escoffery wins the Plimpton Prize

    Kerry Howley, author of the cage-fighting classic Thrown, has written a piece about Elizabeth Warren’s takedown of Michael Bloomberg (“perfect brutality”), and about the thrill that she felt while watching Warren debate. “To watch Warren explain something was to watch someone with a particularly ordered mind, capable of seizing upon a narrow question, zooming out and carrying you concisely along a set of interlocking forces,” Howley writes. “Even when you didn’t agree, you could marvel at the fluidity with which she engaged the logic of the worldview. The system may be rigged, but she can untie

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  • Brandon Taylor. Photo: Bill Adams
    March 06, 2020

    Brandon Taylor on not writing for the white gaze; Jessi Jezewska Stevens on passive protagonists

    At Literary Hub, Jessi Jezewska Stevens reflects on the passive protagonist. “Passive protagonists can ruin things for any number of reasons. They resist and retard drama. They lack motivation. They’re weak. . . . There’s perhaps a special danger in writing a passive woman, a trope that rests on centuries of male underestimation of the weaker sex,” she writes. “Even still, I feel motivated to make at least half an argument for the passive, lazy lead, who, despite the wisdom of popular craft, I also find uniquely useful for cutting through the bullshit of a very troubled world.”

    “Anyone who

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  • Hilary Leichter. Photo: Sylvie Rosokoff
    March 05, 2020

    ViacomCBS planning to sell Simon & Schuster; Hilary Leichter on the gig economy

    At Literary Hub, Kristin Iversen talks to Hilary Leichter about capitalism, the gig economy, and what inspired her to write her new novel, Temporary. “I was teaching in an undergraduate program, and I was tutoring five different people, and I had a temp job during the day. . . . I realized that everyone around me was sort of in this same position and we were all just spending all of our time racing around—for what? We were just trying to stay afloat,” she explained. “I wrote it before the election in 2016, and then I edited it after the election. And it’s like that saying, ‘Write drunk, edit

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  • Ocean Vuong. Photo: Tom Hines
    March 04, 2020

    PEN/Faulkner finalists announced; Deb Olin Unferth on writing animals

    The winners of this year’s PEN America awards were announced earlier this week. Yiyun Li’s Where Reasons End won the Jean Stein Book Award, Mimi Lok won the Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Short Story Collection, and Brandon Shimoda’s The Grave on the Wall was awarded the Open Book Award.

    The PEN/Faulkner award finalists were announced yesterday. The nominees are Chloe Aridjis’s Sea Monsters, Yiyun Li’s Where Reason Ends, Peter Rock’s The Night Swimmers, Maurice Carlos Ruffin’s We Cast a Shadow, and Ocean Vuong’s On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. The winner will be announced in May.

    The New

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  • Candice Carty-Williams
    March 03, 2020

    Women's Prize for Fiction longlist announced; Tyler Cabot launches news-inspired fiction website

    The longlist for the Women’s Prize for Fiction was announced yesterday. Nominees include Angie Cruz’s Dominicana, Jenny Offill’s Weather, Jacqueline Woodson’s Red at the Bone, and Candice Carty-Williams’s Queenie. The winner will be announced in June.

    Former Esquire fiction editor Tylor Cabot has launched a new website that uses fiction to reflect on real-world events. The Chronicles of Now will publish short fiction by writers like Carmen Maria Machado, Weike Wang, and Colum McCann that will “be an entry point into the social and political issues they examine,” Literary Hub explains.

    Stephen

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