• Ocean Vuong. Photo: Tom Hines
    October 02, 2019

    Ocean Vuong on the myth of the wunderkind; Jeanette Winterson on disruptive technology

    Ocean Vuong reflects on the myth of the wunderkind and lists ten of the books he turned to while writing On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. “The truth is no writer comes ‘out of nowhere,’” he writes, “and wunderkinds are only as real as our aversion to a more sobering—albeit less glamorous—reality: that a writer’s growth is often a slog, the slow burn of reading and trying and failing when, finally, by some luck or mercy, the book you’re reading turns into a torch in your hands.”

    Bustle Digital Group is launching a tech news website next month. Input “will deliver staples such as device reviews

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  • Téa Obreht. Photo: Ilan Harel
    October 01, 2019

    Maureen Farrell and Eliot Brown writing book about WeWork; Téa Obreht on the struggles of writing

    A new report from PEN America lists the “arcane and arbitrary” titles that prisons are banning inmates from reading. In New York, “authorities tried to ban a book of maps of the moon, arguing that it could ‘present risks of escape,’” while Florida prisons “have prevented inmates from reading Klingon dictionaries and a colouring book about chickens,” and Texas prisons “have a banned list of more than 10,000 books by authors including Alice Walker, John Updike, George Orwell and Joyce Carol Oates.”

    Wall Street Journal reporters Maureen Farrell and Eliot Brown are working on a book about WeWork

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  • Greta Thunberg
    September 30, 2019

    Greta Thunberg's Two-Book Deal; Cormac McCarthy's Advice for Writing Science Papers

    Greta Thunberg, the teen Swedish activist who was a driving force behind this month’s climate demonstrations, has signed a two-book deal with Penguin Press: No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference, a book of speeches, and Our House Is on Fire, a memoir.

    Cormac McCarthy has some ideas about “how to write a great science paper.” Among the tips Nature magazine gathered from the Blood Meridian novelist: “Use minimalism to achieve clarity. While you are writing, ask yourself: is it possible to preserve my original message without that punctuation mark, that word, that sentence, that paragraph or

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  • Lauren Wilkinson. Photo: Niqui Carter
    September 27, 2019

    Center for Fiction announces First Novel Prize shortlist; David Mitchell writing new novel

    The Center for Fiction has announced the shortlist for the 2019 First Novel Prize. Nominees include De’Shawn Charles Winslow’s In West Mills, Chia-Chia Lin’s The Unpassing, Lauren Wilkinson’s American Spy, and Ocean Vuong’s On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous.

    Playwright, novelist, publisher, and editor Sol Stein has died at the age of 92. Besides writing numerous books of his own, Stein worked closely with Lionel Trilling, Dylan Thomas, James Baldwin, and many others.

    David Mitchell is writing a new novel. Utopia Avenue tells the story of a band of the same name, “of riots in the streets and

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  • Sarah M. Broom. Photo: Adam Shemper
    September 26, 2019

    Sarah M. Broom on structure and writing; G/O Media turns a profit

    Otherppl’s Brad Listi talks to Sarah M. Broom about home, structure, and her new memoir, The Yellow House. “I was thinking about the book as a sort of house, that needs a specific architecture. When you go to someone’s house, you don’t just bust in and end up in someone’s bedroom, right? There is a pathway you follow,” she explained. “How do you set up thresholds in a book? How does the reader feel when they’re moving through it? What’s the familial space and the public space? It came to me at the very beginning that I need to be contextualizing it in that way.”

    Nieman Lab’s Joshua Benton

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  • Ocean Vuong. Photo: Tom Hines
    September 24, 2019

    Vox Media buys New York Media; MacArthur "genius" grant winners announced

    The MacArthur Foundation announced the winners of the 2019 "genius" grants. Fellows include writers Ocean Vuong and Saidiya Hartman.

    Vox Media has bought New York Media. “No one had to do this,” New York Media CEO Pamela Wasserstein told the New York Times. “It’s a brilliant, in our view, opportunity, so that’s why we leaned into it. It’s not out of need. It’s out of ambition.”

    Director Guillermo del Toro is writing a book of short stories for Amazon’s Original Stories publishing imprint. The still-untitled book “will introduce a world of strange happenings, otherwordly horror, and dark

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  • Anelise Chen
    September 24, 2019

    National Book Foundation announces "5 Under 35" nominees; How the self-help genre has changed for Millennials

    Anelise Chen’s So Many Olympic Exertions, Isabella Hammad’s The Parisian, Johannes Lichtman’s Such Good Work, Bryan Washington’s Lot, and Ashley Wurzbacher’s Happy Like This have been selected as “5 Under 35” honorees by the National Book Foundation.

    Oprah Winfrey has picked Ta-Nehisi Coates’s The Water Dancer for her eponymous book club, which is being revived by Apple Books.

    The New York Times’s Alexandra Alter looks at the ways book publishers are taking more responsibility for the accuracy of the books they publish. “Publishers have long maintained that fact-checking every book would be

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  • Camonghne Felix
    September 23, 2019

    National Book Award Poetry Finalist Camonghne Felix Is also a Strategist for Elizabeth Warren

    Camonghne Felix, whose poetry collection Build Yourself a Boat is on the long list for the National Book Award, is also the Director of Surrogates & Strategic Communications of Elizabeth Warren's campaign for president.

    We're watching the Emmys, and wondering: Why are the people accepting awards for the HBO miniseries Chernobyl refusing to thank (or even mention) Svetlana Alexievich, the Nobel-prize-winning author of Voices from Chernobyl? Even though Alexievich initially refused to work with the production, she later said she was "impressed" with the miniseries, calling it "a very strong

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  • Leslie Jamison. Photo: Beowulf Sheehan
    September 20, 2019

    National Book Foundation announces nonfiction award nominees; Leslie Jamison on earnestness

    The National Book Foundation has announced the nominees for the 2019 nonfiction prize, including Sarah M. Broom’s The Yellow House, Hanif Abdurraqib’s Go Ahead in the Rain, and Tressie McMillan Cottom’s Thick.

    A German award jury has reversed its decision to give the Nelly Sachs Prize to British author Kamila Shamsie over her support of the BDS movement against the Israeli government.

    In the New York Times Magazine, Kat Chow profiles Red in the Bone author Jacqueline Woodson.

    Leslie Jamison talks to Entertainment Weekly about revision, earnestness, and her new essay collection, Make It

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  • Kimberly King Parsons. Photo: Heather Hawksford
    September 19, 2019

    Kimberly King Parsons on her new story collection; Roy Scranton on narrative in the Anthropocene

    Otherppl’s Brad Listi talks to Kimberly King Parsons about empathy, Texas, and her new story collection, Black Light. “I wasn’t planning for this to be a collection. I was just learning how to write,” she said. “I had this big project that ended up being a big disaster, but I was writing these stories that were the things that made me really excited. I just thought that this was to practice or to hone craft; I wasn’t thinking of them as a collection but standalone pieces. What started to happen was that my obsessions and preoccupations kept coming up in the same way.”

    The New York Times is

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  • Naja Marie Aidt. Photo: Mikkel Tjellesen
    September 18, 2019

    Kirkus Prize finalists announced; Festival Albertine to focus on climate change

    Finalists for the 2019 Kirkus Prize have been announced. Nominees include Ocean Vuong’s On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, Colson Whitehead’s The NIckel Boys, Hanif Abdurraqib’s Go Ahead in the Rain, and Naja Marie Aidt’s When Death Takes Something from You Give It Back: Carl’s Book. Winners will be announced in a ceremony this October.

    Naja Marie Aidt’s book is also on the longlist for the National Book Award for Translated Literature, along with Yoko Ogawa’s The Memory Police, Olga Tokarczuk’s Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, and more.

    This year’s Festival Albertine will focus on

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  • Margaret Atwood. Photo: Jean Malek
    September 17, 2019

    Chris Rock writing essay collection; Booker prize committee denies rumors that Margaret Atwood has won 2019 prize

    Comedian Chris Rock is writing a book. The essay collection, My First Black Boyfriend, will be published in 2020 by Celadon.

    The Booker prize committee is denying that it has already selected Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments as its 2019 winner “after a bookseller mistakenly displayed copies declaring it the 2019 victor,” The Guardian reports.

    The Guardian collects advice from writers on how to deal with social media.

    At Longreads, Samuel Ashworth looks at the phenomenon of congressional fan fiction. “If you’ve always associated fan fiction with the kind of people who hand-sew their own Star

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