Damon Galgut Earns the Booker Prize, Prix Goncourt Goes to Mohamed Mbougar Sarr, 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.

Damon Galgut has earned this year’s Booker Prize for The Promise, his third book to make the shortlist for the distinguished prize. South Africa now boasts three winners: J. M. Coetzee, Galgut, and Nadine Gordimer. (New York Times)

The 2021 Prix Goncourt, France’s preeminent literary prize, has been awarded to La plus secrète mémoire des hommes by Mohamed Mbougar Sarr. “I feel, quite simply, enormous joy,” said Sarr. Hailing from Senegal, Sarr is the first winner of the prize from sub-Saharan Africa. (Guardian)

Deep Vellum Publishing is at work revitalizing Dalkey Archive Press, which it purchased a year ago. The effort to “restructure and rebrand” will include a robust frontlist and a series dedicated to reissues from the Dalkey Archive backlist. The relaunch of the press is scheduled for April 2022. (Publishers Weekly)

“What can we do to make sure the progress around inclusion, specifically when it comes to disabled individuals, doesn’t get lost?” Journalist Lydia Wilkins calls upon the publishing industry to make a sustained commitment to inclusion. (Bookseller)

NPR profiles the legendary poet Sonia Sanchez, who recently received the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, on the Morning Edition. Fellow artists, such as Honorée Fanonne Jeffers and Reginald Dwayne Betts, speak to Sanchez’s legacy and express how her writing has touched them.

The Brooklyn Public Library has created a self-guided walking tour through which readers can learn more about local literary locations, including Jacqueline Woodson’s elementary school and Richard Wright’s former residence. (Time Out)

“The wear on these books, their elegant ownership signatures, the scraps of paper stuck between their pages all pulsed with life. I longed to reanimate their history—and my own. The project reveals you to yourself.” Investigating and cataloguing a collection of old schoolbooks, Kim Beil reflects on the benefits of setting oneself a project. (Literary Hub)

Elif Shafak’s The Island of Missing Trees has been selected for Reese’s Book Club, the popular book club curated by actress and producer Reese Witherspoon, who praised the novel on Instagram: “Let me start by saying that this book moved me to tears.” (Kirkus)


Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the U.S. edition of Damon Galgut’s The Promise was forthcoming from Europa Editions in April next year. It was published by Europa Editions this past April.