Adichie Receives PEN Pinter Prize, Knausgaard Devours Himself, and More


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

“Art can illuminate politics. Art can humanize politics. Art can shine the light towards truth. But sometimes that is not enough. Sometimes politics must be engaged with as politics.” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie received the PEN Pinter Prize, given to a writer whose work tells “the real truth of our lives and our societies.” In her acceptance lecture, Adichie called on writers to speak out against political and human rights injustices both within their work and outside of it. (Guardian)

Maggie Gyllenhaal will write, produce and direct a film adaptation of Elena Ferrantes novel The Lost Daughter, which was published in Italy in 2006 and in English in 2008. (Los Angeles Times

Author and activist Nadia Murad, a survivor of the Islamic State–led genocide of the Yazidi people, has received the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize. Her memoir, The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State, was published in 2017. At twenty-five, Murad is the second-youngest winner of the prize, following fellow activist Malala Yousafzai. (Publishers Weekly

“I think what I want to argue is that justice actually should feel like joy. Whatever form justice takes, it should feel like joy.” The Rumpus talks to Lacy M. Johnson about her new essay collection, The Reckonings, published yesterday by Scribner.

At the New York Times Magazine, Ligaya Mishan considers a question of appropriation and creative freedom. Particularly for writers who exist outside the literary canon, Mishan asks, when does literary homage become theft?

“I know more about the Norwegian writer Karl Ove Knausgaard than I do about my parents, my children, my friends, and possibly my husband.” Now that the six-volume autobiographical novel is complete in English, Ruth Franklin writes about how writing My Struggle undid Knausgaard. (Atlantic)

“How do we think about the fact that so many boldface names in publishing and literature are female, that feminist reworkings of ancient myths constitute an industry trend, that spiky, honest meditations on motherhood make for another trend—and, still, we live in a world that hates women?” Katy Waldman on #MeToo and the literary world. (New Yorker)

A new large-scale study conducted across thirty-one nations finds that people who grew up in book-filled homes have higher reading, math, and technological skills. (Pacific Standard)

How many poets does it take to screw in a light bulb? For the next three months at Jacket2, poet Summer Browning will write about funny poetry, funny poets, and the intersections between poetry and humor.