2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction Shortlist, Editor Fred Jordan Has Died, and More

by Staff
4.29.21

Every day Poets & Writers Magazine scans the headlines—publishing reports, literary dispatches, academic announcements, and more—for all the news that creative writers need to know. Here are today’s stories.

The shortlist for the 2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction, which honors outstanding novels by women writers published in the U.K., has been revealed. The six finalists are The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett, Piranesi by Susanna Clarke, Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller, Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi, How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones, and No One Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood. The winner of the £30,000 prize will be announced on July 7. (Guardian)

Esteemed editor Fred Jordan, who helped champion work by Kathy Acker, Jack Kerouac, and Art Spiegelman, among many others, died on April 19 at age ninety-five. A survivor of the Holocaust, Jordan arrived in the United States in 1949. He worked for three decades at Grove Press, serving for a time as editor in chief. He later moved to Pantheon Books, where he worked as publisher and editor in chief. (Publishers Weekly)

“When a book contract does finally arrive, it can be tempting to do the briefest scan of the legalese before signing and sending it right back.” Nancy Reddy unpacks the key components of a poetry book contract. (Millions)

“It was very strange to go back to something I had already written and think about it so intensely. It becomes an interior dialogue between you and another part of yourself.” Jhumpa Lahiri discusses translating her own work and weighs in on recent debates over the selection of translators for Amanda Gorman’s poetry. (TIME)

“Just as Black Lives Matter builds on movements of the past, the rise of Black comics is more of a revival.” Dorany Pineda writes about groundbreaking Black comics and comics artists, past and present. (Los Angeles Times)

“My hope is that if you’ve already got an idea that you’re kind of noodling, then the workshop will help you make a better world for that story to take place in.” Entertainment Weekly teases some of the takeaways from N. K. Jemisin’s course on MasterClass and talks to the author about her next book.

“The twice-mixed grandchild of three different kinds of refugees, I am nothing if not a coincidence of opposites.” Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley turns to the art of powerlifting and his family history to explain his poetics. (Harriet)

“I tried to write this as a short story for a few years before I capitulated to the scale that the story needed.” Lauren Groff discusses the writing of her new novella, What’s the Time, Mr. Wolf? (New Yorker)