Center for Fiction First Novel Prize Longlist, Parul Sehgal to Move to the New Yorker, 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.

Twenty-seven books have been longlisted for the 2021 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, including The Prophets by Robert Jones Jr., No One Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood, and Animal by Lisa Taddeo. The Center will announce the shortlisted authors, who will each receive $1,000, in the fall. The winner, to be revealed in December, will receive $15,000.

Parul Sehgal is leaving her post as a book critic for the New York Times to join the New Yorker as a staff writer. The recipient of the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing from the National Books Critics Circle, Sehgal has been widely lauded for her criticism and is known as a literary tastemaker. She will start at the New Yorker in September. (Publishers Weekly)

“Rose Lanam is the name of my alter ego. I conjured her up in order to write my new novel, The Startup Wife, my fourth book and my first comedy.” Tahmima Anam writes about using an alter ego to set her writing free from the expectations foisted upon writers of color. (Literary Hub)

“Spending time with Alice, you get the sense that people make of her what they want.” Anna Russell visits a new exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, which surveys the enduring cultural influence of Lewis Caroll’s Alice books. (New Yorker)

“For the first time, I trust that whatever hardships we encounter, we will be able to grow around them.” Author Melissa Febos writes about how she knew she wanted to marry poet Donika Kelly. (Elle)

A profile of Febos appeared in this year’s March/April issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

A limited series based on Ayad Akhtar’s most recent novel, Homeland Elegies, is in development. Akhtar will serve as an executive producer and collaborate with the series director, Oren Moverman, to write the script. (Deadline)

Writer and editor Don Wallace has founded the Hawai’i Review of Books. In a segment on Hawai’i Public Radio, he says the goal is to publish “a lot of voices, a lot of subject matter, and stories that are a lot deeper than people are used to.”