Believer Book Awards Longlists, Akutagawa and Naoki Prizewinners, and More

by Staff

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 editors at the Believer have announced the longlists for the annual Believer Book Awards, which honor the “best written and most underappreciated” books of the year. In addition to the usual fiction, nonfiction, and poetry prizes, the editors debuted a new category for graphic narrative.

The Japanese literary community is celebrating two award announcements this week. Rin Usami has been selected for the Akutagawa Prize, which honors emerging writers, while Naka Saijo is due to receive the Naoki Prize for popular fiction. (Japan Times)

“As we move into this new era, post-Trump, as we look around this landscape and try to make sense of it in art, it is worth thinking about what you need your art to do and why.” Alexander Chee writes on the power and limits of art. (Medium)

“I wonder who will say Kaddish for the art we lost this year and may continue to lose. Who will sanctify the loss of our independent publishers and booksellers, the darkened theatrical stages, or the echoes of now-vacant concert halls and galleries?” MacDowell executive director Philip Himberg reflects on loss and hope.

“I find Amanda inspiring because art is everything to her, and she won’t stop making it despite the many violent impositions and failures of the world.” Yxta Maya Murray discusses the origins of the protagonist from her latest novel, Art Is Everything. (Rumpus)

“I like the idea of a ‘shelf.’ Books plentiful enough that there’s an effect like pictures in a gallery: They’re all talking to each other, there’s cumulative meaning.” Jonathan Lethem considers his latest novel, The Arrest, in the context of his previous books. (Los Angeles Review of Books)

“The questions Le Guin asked were big, and her answers to them were subtle.” Colin Burrow writes on the legacy of Ursula K. Le Guin. (London Review of Books)

Garth Greenwell answers the Book Marks Questionnaire, recommending Henri Cole’s Blizzard, among other titles.