Literary Escapists, Booker International Prize Longlist, 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:

The Man Group has announced the longlist for the 2017 Man Booker International Prize, a £50,000 prize given annually for a book of fiction translated into English and published in the previous year. The list includes Danish author Dorthe Nors, Israeli writers David Grossman and Amos Oz, and Chinese writer Yan Lianke.

In other award news, the finalists for the 29th annual Lambda Literary Awards have been announced. The finalists were selected from nearly nine hundred submissions from more than three hundred different publishers.

“You might call them the last escapists: If their books still resonate, it is not because they reflect the zeitgeist, but because they run so profoundly against it.” At the New Republic, Sam Sacks considers five leading contemporary fiction writers who made their name in the nineties—Michael Chabon, Dave Eggers, Jonathan Lethem, George Saunders, and Colson Whitehead—and whether “they take for granted a vision of the past that no longer adequately accounts for the present.” 

The New York Times covers the fortieth anniversary of Bloodroot, the feminist bookstore and vegetarian restaurant in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

In light of the Europe’s ongoing refugee crisis, Michael Frank examines the depiction of the Venetian ghetto and Jewish refugees in Shakespeare’s The Merchant in Venice. (Boston Review)

Eleanor Catton, the youngest writer to even win the Booker Prize, has sold the rights to her new novel, Birnam Wood, to Victoria University Press in New Zealand and Farrar, Straus and Giroux in the United States. A psychological thriller, the novel tells the story of an American billionaire facing off with a local leftist group in rural New Zealand. (Guardian)

“Those in positions of power in the literary community need to begin to be willing to give up their seats and give them to people who are not middle class, to people who don’t have access to them.” At VIDA, Cynthia Cruz makes a case for how to fight inequalities in the literary world.

A Reddit user has created a literary map of the world where each country is represented by one of its most famous books—Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird for the United States, Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace for Russia, and Cao Xueqin’s Dream of the Red Chamber for China.