National Book Foundation Program to Spotlight Books on Science, Alex Torres Remembers Anthony Veasna So, 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.

Science + Literature, a new initiative of the National Book Foundation funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, will spotlight outstanding books on science and technology. Three books will be selected by a committee every year and each author will receive a prize of $10,000. (Publishers Weekly)

“I started realizing that the sensitive, introspective Anthony, who emerged most forcefully when it was just us, was easiest to see in his art, and studying it taught me how to understand his emotional world.” Alex Torres recalls having a rocky first date with the late Anthony Veasna So, the author of Afterparties, but growing together through art. (BuzzFeed News)

Torres wrote an essay on Afterparties and So’s literary legacy for the First Fiction feature in the latest issue of Poets & Writers Magazine. An excerpt from Afterparties is also online.

“Anthony is not joining a pantheon of American greats so much as he is posthumously helping build a brand-new pantheon, a whole new canon.” Danny Thanh Nguyen writes about his friendship with So and celebrates the late author’s contributions to the building of a Cambodian American literary community. (GQ)

Meron Hadero has become the first Ethiopian writer to win the AKO Caine Prize for African Writing. She earned the £10,000 prize, which was founded in 2000 to honor outstanding short stories by African writers, for “The Street Sweep.” (Literary Hub)

“You get stuck upfront when you first meet people. Like here’s how they’re presenting themselves to you, or here’s how I present myself to people I haven’t met before. But then through the course of actually getting to know a person, there are these layers that are underneath.” Kristen Arnett, the author of With Teeth, explains how people (and fictional characters) are like onions. (Creative Independent)

“I knew it had to be set during the early days of the Internet, back when the Web bordered on magical, when it seemed like a benign tool or a new kind of toy.” Sarah Braunstein discusses the time and setting of her story “Superstition,” which recently appeared in the New Yorker.

“I’ve tried to write about horses so many times. But the thing about a horse is, it’s never about the horse.” T Kira Māhealani Madden writes about loving, leaving, and coming back to horses. (Refinery29)

Katie Kitamura, the author of Intimacies, and Ashley Nelson Levy, the author of Immediate Family, trade questions about their recently released books. (BOMB)