• Elif Shafak. Photo: Zeynel Abidin
    May 07, 2020

    PEN America World Voices Festival moves online; Jennifer Weiner on the books she avoids

    The PEN America World Voices festival is moving online. Podcasts, videos, interviews, and other live events on the theme of “These Truths” will be available on the groups website over the next few weeks. “In an era when the agreed-upon factual basis of our daily news is constantly undermined, there has never been a greater need for us to hear the deeper truths afforded by literature,” they said. “This virtual edition of America’s premier international literary festival will engage with contested histories and memory, challenge the fabrications of truth served to us on an almost daily basis,

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  • Susan Choi. Photo: Heather Weston
    May 06, 2020

    Concerns over press freedom and misinformation in France; Susan Choi in conversation with Michael Cunningham

    In France, a page on a government website that purportedly pointed out misinformation about coronavirus in the French media was taken down. The site was removed after the the Syndicat National des Journalists union complained that it was an attack on press freedom.

    The union representing newsroom employees of the Tribune Publishing Group—which owns the Chicago Tribune, the Baltimore Sun, the Hartford Courant and many other papers—is trying to unseat two board members representing Alden Global Capital. The hedge fund, which took a 32 percent share in the group in November, is the largest

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  • Ben Moser
    May 05, 2020

    Pulitzer Prize winners announced; Percival Everett on the surprises in his new book

    The winners of this year’s Pulitzer Prizes were announced yesterday. Colson Whitehead’s The Nickel Boys won the prize for fiction, Benjamin Moser’s Sontag won the biography prize, and Anne Boyer’s The Undying and Greg Grandin’s The End of the Myth both won the general nonfiction prize.

    Percival Everett tells the New York Times why readers might disagree about the events of his most recent novel, Telephone. Everett and publisher Graywolf released three different versions of the novel, and there’s no way for readers to choose which one they get. “It’s going to piss a lot of people off, I’m

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  • Jessica Winter. Photo: Adrian Kinloch
    May 04, 2020

    Pulitzer Prizes will be announced today; New Yorker editor Jessica Winter sells new novel to Harper

    The Pulitzer Prizes—originally scheduled for April 20 but delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic—will be announced today at 3pm EST.

    The new Yale Review—the second since its restart with author Meghan O’Rourke as editor—is out now, and features work by Eileen Myles, Jess Row, Jenny Xie, Major Jackson, and others.

    Viking has announced that it will publish The Searcher, a new thriller by bestselling author Tana French, on October 6. (At Literary Hub, Emily Temple collects all the information about the book that she can find.) In other book news, the New Yorker’s Jessica Winter, author of Break

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  • Joy Harjo. Photo: Matika Wilbur
    May 01, 2020

    Joy Harjo plans for her second term as US Poet Laureate; Tribune Publishing employees stage a digital protest

    Joy Harjo has been named US Poet Laureate for the second time. Harjo plans to spend her second term focusing on creating “a digital interactive map featuring contemporary Native poets, including videos of them reading their work.”

    The New York Times’s Gal Beckerman analyzes celebrity bookshelves as they appear in quarantine broadcasts. “A stranger’s collection is to us a window to their soul,” he writes. “We peruse with judgment, sometimes admiration and occasionally repulsion.”

    Read an excerpt from Greil Marcus’s new book, Under the Red White and Blue: Patriotism, Disenchantment and the

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  • Tana French
    April 30, 2020

    Tana French announces new novel; David Barboza starts China-focused digital magazine

    Tana French has announced a new novel. The Searcher, which follows a retired detective living in Ireland who returns to work “when a local kid alerts him to his brother’s disappearance,” will be published by Viking in October. French tells Entertainment Weekly that she was inspired to write the new book by her last novel, The Witch Elm. “So much of it was about what was going on inside the narrator’s head. . . . The character in The Witch Elm just goes through this arc from being the golden boy to being a wreck,” she said. “I didn’t want to write that again.”

    Former New York Times Shanghai

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  • Lisa Napoli
    April 29, 2020

    Axios to return its Paycheck Protection Program loan; Lisa Napoli on the birth of 24-hour news

    At The Ringer, an appreciation of the late True Grit author Charles Portis: “His novels are marvelous odysseys into the dark heart of WTF.”

    After a public backlash, the media company Axios has decided to return its Paycheck Protection Program loan, a federal grant designed to help small businesses avoid layoffs. According to cofounder Jim VandeHei, Axios is close to completing a deal for an “alternative source of capital.” VandeHei explained: “The program has become divisive, turning into a public debate about the worthiness of specific industries or companies. . . . While applying for the

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  • Nicole R. Fleetwood
    April 28, 2020

    A previously unpublished work by Simone de Beauvoir; Nicole R. Fleetwood on art and mass incarceration

    A previously unpublished novel by Simone de Beauvoir will be released in France this fall and in the US next year. Beauvoir worked on The Inseparables for a few months in 1954 and then abandoned the project when Jean-Paul Sartre said it was no good. Toril Moi, author of Simone de Beauvoir: The Making of an Intellectual Woman, told the New York Times why she thinks Beauvoir never finished the book: “Why did she so readily agree with Sartre? I don’t think it’s the prose. . . . She judged it insignificant because it was not political.”

    A look at how daily newspaper cartoonists are handling the

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  • Sarah Manguso. Photo: Joel Brouwer
    April 27, 2020

    Sarah Manguso sells first novel; Benjamin Moser on “How to Write a Biography”

    Today at 12pm EST, as part of Pandemonium U, Benjamin Moser, the author of Sontag and Why This World, will participate in a conversation titled “How to Write a Biography” with author Pamela Druckerman (There Are No Grown-Ups Around). Among the questions he will address: “What’s it like to be a man who writes about women? Why are women’s life stories different from those of men? How does Ben choose his subjects, and what’s it like to spend years immersed in their diaries and emails?” Anyone can “attend” using Zoom.

    Sarah Manguso, author of Ongoingness and 300 Arguments, has sold her first novel

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  • Danez Smith. Photo: Hieu Minh Nguyen
    April 24, 2020

    The Times to print a new lifestyle section for quarantine; Danez Smith on poetry and its opposite

    The New York Times will stop printing the “Travel” and “Sports” sections in their Sunday edition. The paper is starting a new “At Home” supplement, a lifestyle section for the quarantined. A note to staff from executive editor Dean Baquet and managing editor Joseph Kahn said, “The extraordinary nature of this moment has driven remarkable changes in our journalism. . . . It has also caused us to rethink the way we produce traditional elements of the news report and, in particular, the structure of the print newspaper.”

    On Literary Hub’s Fiction/Non/Fiction podcast, V.V. Ganeshananthan and

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  • Barton Gellman. Photo: Robin Davis Miller
    April 23, 2020

    Wired staff unionize; Barton Gellman joins The Atlantic

    The staff of Wired has unionized with NewsGuild of New York, the Daily Beast reports. Employees had been organizing for over a year and decided to move forward with the union after parent company Condé Nast announced cuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “If we can preempt the inevitable cuts by even a matter of days and help get laid off workers better severances, or turn some of these layoffs into cuts that are spread across high paid workers’ salaries, or turn them into furloughs, or at least be able to talk about those options, we have a responsibility to do that for the most vulnerable people

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  • Bernardine Evaristo. Photo: Jennie Scott
    April 22, 2020

    Women’s Prize for Fiction shortlist announced; Small Press Distribution starts GoFundMe

    The Women’s Prize for Fiction shortlist was announced yesterday. The finalists are Bernardine Evaristo’s Girl, Woman, Other, Hilary Mantel’s The Mirror and the Light, Jenny Offill’s Weather, Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet, Natalie Haynes’s A Thousand Ships, and Angie Cruz’s Dominicana. The winner will be announced in September.

    Longtime Random House editor Robert Loomis died earlier this week at the age of 93.

    Small Press Distribution has started a GoFundMe campaign to make up for lost revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Although it’s true that books can’t help materially, we believe that

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