Bob Dylan to Skip Nobel Prize Ceremony, National Book Award Winners, 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:

Bob Dylan has informed the Swedish Academy that he will not attend next month’s ceremony in Stockholm to receive his Nobel Prize for Literature, due to “pre-existing commitments.” (New York Times)

The winners of the 2016 National Book Awards have been announced in the categories of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and young people’s literature. Winners include Colson Whitehead for his novel The Underground Railroad, Daniel Borzutzky for his poetry collection The Performance of Becoming Human, and Ibram X. Kendi for his nonfiction book Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. For a complete list of winners, as well as a recap of last night’s award ceremony in New York City, head over to the Grants & Awards Blog.

A week since the election, Sinclair Lewis’s 1935 political satirical novel, It Can’t Happen Here, has sold out at online retailers including Amazon and Books-a-Million. The novel has been described as “frighteningly contemporary,” and some Trump critics say it predicted his presidential win. (Money)

“The act itself was fervent. Like a brisk tennis game or a summer track meet.” Read (and cringe at) excerpts from the contenders for the Literary Review’s 2016 Bad Sex in Fiction Award. (Guardian)

To commemorate the release of Nocturnal Animals, the film adaptation of Austin Wright’s 1993 novel Tony and SusanVulture lists eleven onscreen romantic relationships that were ruined because “a man decided to write a novel.”

“The way that male critics write about women is part romantic, part corrective, part, ‘now listen young lady.’” In an interview with Slatenovelist Zadie Smith discusses male literary critics, cultural appropriation, and her new novel, Swing Time, which was released Tuesday from Penguin. (Slate)

Author Edmund Gordon, biographer of fiction writer Angela Carter, considers the state of biography in the age of Twitter. (Times Literary Supplement)