• Jay Bernard. Photo: Joshua Virasami
    October 18, 2019

    TS Eliot Prize shortlist announced; Ismail Kadare wins Neustadt International Prize for Literature

    Former permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy Sara Danius has died at age 57, the New York Times reports. Danius “was the first woman to lead” the academy and “played a central role in the hotly debated decision” to award the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature to Bob Dylan. Danius resigned in 2018 after another academy member was accused of sexual assault by eighteen women.

    The TS Eliot Prize shortlist has been announced. Nominees include Jay Bernard’s Surge, Ilya Kaminsky’s Deaf Republic, and Sharon Olds’s Arias. The winner will be announced in January.

    Ismail Kadare has won the 2020 Neustadt

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

    The controversy over two 2019 Booker Prize winners; Cat Marnell on her new audiobook

    The Guardian examines the controversy over the decision to award the 2019 Booker Prize to both Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo. Critics noted “that the first black woman ever to win Britain’s most prestigious literary award has had to share it – while receiving half the usual money.” In an op-ed, Booker judge Afua Hirsch defended the choice. “Choosing a winner for the Booker is a curious thing. You read, read and read. . . . Until one day, you have to somehow condense all of this to a single book,” she wrote. “We chose two winners. The outcome would always be imperfect, because it was

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  • Ben Lerner. Photo: John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
    October 16, 2019

    Ben Lerner on whiteness; Rebecca Traister on Ronan Farrow's Catch and Kill

    At Literary Hub, Ocean Vuong talks to Ben Lerner about space, whiteness, and his new novel, The Topeka School. “Part of what makes writing worthwhile—for the writer and for the reader—is not just what artistry achieves but how it fails, how it is necessarily disfigured by history, which includes, which is dominated by, what Baldwin called the ‘lie’ of whiteness,” he said. “Certainly this is a book about whiteness, is more intensely focused than my others on how racist (and other forms of) violence fills the vacuum at the heart of privilege for white boys on the cusp of becoming white men, how

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  • Bernardine Evaristo. Photo: Jennie Scott
    October 15, 2019

    Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo win the 2019 Booker Prize; Harold Bloom, 1930–2019

    Professor and literary critic Harold Bloom has died at age 89. Bloom had written over twenty books and was still teaching until last week.

    Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments and Bernardine Evaristo’s Girl, Woman, Other have both won the 2019 Booker Prize. After five hours of deliberation, the judges chose to give the award to both authors, “despite being told repeatedly by the prize’s literary director, Gaby Wood, that they were not allowed to split the £50,000 award.” Evaristo is the first black woman and first black British author to win the prize. “These are two books we started not wanting

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  • John Giorno in Andy Warhol's "Sleep"
    October 14, 2019

    John Giorno, 1934-2019

    Poet, artist, and activist John Giorno, author of Subduing Demons in America, died on Friday. Giorno, who collaborated with a number of writers including William S. Burroughs, was the “star” of Andy Warhol's 1963 five-hour silent film Sleep. Giorno started the AIDS Treatment Project in 1984. In 1968, he started “Dial-a-Poem”: Anyone calling the number 641-793-8122 would hear a recording of poems by Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery, and others. The number still works today.

    “The most overrated books almost all emerged simultaneously from a single genre: magic realism. I can’t stand it. I always found

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  • Sarah Ruhl. Photo: Zack DeZon
    October 11, 2019

    Splinter shuts down; Sarah Ruhl writing memoir

    G/O Media shut down news website Splinter yesterday. Although the company said there would be no layoffs as a result of the closure, Digiday reports that at least one employee has been let go and remaining employees “will be given opportunities to apply for open positions within G/O Media.” “Despite the hard work of everyone on that staff, which has produced much outstanding journalism and great scoops, establishing a steady and sustainable audience for a relatively young site proved challenging in a fiercely competitive sector,” a memo announcing the closure said.

    PEN America has responded

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  • Olga Tokarczuk. Photo: Fryta 73
    October 10, 2019

    2018 and 2019 Nobel Prize in Literature winners announced; Ronan Farrow on his new book

    The winners of both the 2018 and 2019 Nobel Prizes in Literature have been announced. Olga Tokarczuk was chosen as the 2018 laureate for her “narrative imagination that with encyclopedic passion represents the crossing of boundaries as a form of life,” while Peter Handke was selected as this year’s laureate for his “influential work that with linguistic ingenuity has explored the periphery and the specificity of human experience.” The New York Times looks at both writers’ work and explains why last year’s prize was postponed.

    Ronan Farrow talks to the Hollywood Reporter about investigative

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  • Marlon James. Photo: Jeffrey Skemp
    October 09, 2019

    National Book Award finalists announced; Alexandra Jacobs on writing biographies

    The finalists for the National Book Awards have been announced. Nominees include Marlon James’s Black Leopard, Red Wolf, Sarah M. Broom’s The Yellow House, Yoko Ogawa’s The Memory Police, and Tressie McMillan Cottom’s Thick. Winners will be announced in November.

    Alexandra Jacobs talks to Literary Hub about her experience writing her latest book, Still Here: The Madcap, Nervy, Singular Life of Elaine Stritch. “Unlike so many who quake at the blank page I feel confident beginning—less so wrapping things up,” she said. “That’s why biography is nice because you know how it’s going to end.”


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  • Crystal Hana Kim. Photo: Nina Subin
    October 08, 2019

    Rihanna working on "visual autobiography"; Crystal Hana Kim on short stories

    The winners of this year’s Dayton Literary Peace Prize have been announced. Eli Saslow’s Rising Out of Hatred won the nonfiction prize, while Golnaz Hashemzadeh Bonde’s What We Owe won the prize for fiction.

    Rihanna is working on a “visual autobiography” with Phaidon, Entertainment Weekly reports. The five-hundred-page, eponymously titled Rihanna, which includes over one thousand photos of the singer’s life from childhood on, will be published later this month.

    Anna Merlan has joined Vice as senior staff writer for news features.

    Kevin Delaney, cofounder, CEO, and editor in chief of Quartz,

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  • Margaret Atwood
    October 07, 2019

    Atwood, Rushdie, and Others Give Advice on How to Write a Booker Contender

    Margaret Atwood, Salman Rushdie, and others give tips on “how to write a Booker contender.”

    Last Thursday, a number of European publishers became concerned after reading that the Trump administration’s new tariffs on products from the European Union will be applied to books published in the UK and Germany. But as Ray Ambriano of Meadows Wye & Co., a logistics company specializing in the publishing industry, has pointed out, according to the official language of the new tariffs, bound books will not be affected.

    Last night, Trump praised journalist and author Bob Woodward for his appearance

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  • Nona Willis Aronowitz
    October 04, 2019

    Nona Willis Aronowitz sells new book to Plume; Abrams creates new LGBTQ-focused imprint

    Teen Vogue columnist Nona Willis Aronowitz has sold a new book to Plume. Bad Sex will be “a blend of memoir, social history, and culutural criticism” that examines why, “despite the ubiquity of both sex and feminism, true sexual freedom remains elusive.”

    Former National Enquirer editor Dylan Howard is threatening a lawsuit over Ronan Farrow’s upcoming book, Catch and Kill, the Daily Beast reports. Howard’s legal team is not only planning a lawsuit against Farrow and his publisher, Hachette, but “has taken the unusual step of also warning booksellers that plan to stock” the book.

    Abrams is

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  • Kristen Radtke. Photo: Amy Ritter
    October 03, 2019

    Whiting Creative Nonfiction Grant winners announced; Jim Carrey writing a novel

    The Whiting Foundation has announced the winners of its 2019 Creative Nonfiction Grant. Recipients include Ilyon Woo, Wil S. Hylton, and Kristen Radtke.

    Actor Jim Carrey is writing a novel with co-author Dana Vachon. Memoirs and Misinformation will be a “semi-autobiograhpical deconstruction of persona,” according to the press release. “None of this is real and all of it is true,” Carrey said of the book, which will be published by Knopf next May.

    Vice Media is one step closer to acquiring Refinery29, Variety reports. Though the deal has not been finalized, it is expected to close by the end

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