Astra Publishing House Launches, NYPL Young Lions Fiction Award Finalists, and More

by Staff
5.19.20

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.

Ben Schrank, the former president of Henry Holt, has launched Astra Publishing House (APH). The APH group includes Astra House, a new literary imprint; Astra Quarterly, a new literary journal; and two established children’s imprints, mineditionUS and Boyds Mills & Kane. Schrank writes that APH will collectively seek to “build bridges between readers and writers from all corners of the world.” (Publishers Weekly)

The New York Public Library has announced the finalists for its twentieth annual Young Lions Fiction Award, which honors “an American writer age thirty-five or younger for either a novel or a collection of short stories.” The five finalists are Steph Cha’s Your House Will Pay, Julia Phillips’s Disappearing Earth, Kiley Reid’s Such a Fun Age, Xuan Juliana Wang’s Home Remedies, and Bryan Washington’s Lot

“People, at the moment they’re realizing their own physical vulnerability, are also having an extreme realization of interconnection.” Olivia Laing talks to Vulture about her latest book, Funny Weather: Art in an Emergency and searching for a better world amid catastrophe.  

Frances Goldin, a prominent literary agent whose clients included Dorothy Allison, Barbara Kingsolver, and Adrienne Rich, died on May 16 at age ninety-five. In addition to her literary successes, Goldin was celebrated for her dedication to political activism. (Publishers Weekly)

“Reality seeps into our dreams undertow-like or explicit, turning us into nocturnal hand-sanitizer thieves, or, more surreally, the makers of face masks out of shrunken chairs.” S. D. Chrostowska reflects on dreaming during the pandemic. (Literary Hub)

Curtis Sittenfeld talks to NPR about writing Rodham, a work of speculative fiction told from the perspective of Hillary Clinton. “I realized that the question was not, what do the American people think of Hillary Clinton, but what does Hillary Clinton think of the American people?” 

Harper’s Bazaar highlights twenty-seven new and forthcoming books, including Kate Zambreno’s Drifts, Yaa Gyasi’s Transcendent Kingdom, and Ottessa Moshfegh’s Death in Her Hands

Kate Zambreno features in this week’s installment of Ten Questions from Poets & Writers Magazine

Rebekah Frumkin analyzes different visual renderings of the coronavirus, and reflects on how art can help make sense of science. (Paris Review Daily)

And the Daily Shout-Out goes to Publishers Lunch for Buzz Books Presents, a benefit for the Book Industry Charitable Foundation in which a virtual panel of six top editors will present on one of their forthcoming titles. The panel will take place via Zoom on May 20 at 7:00 PM EDT. Publishers Lunch will donate $10 for every bookseller who registers.