New York Public Library Names Best Books of the Year, Hervé Le Tellier’s The Anomaly Lands for U.S. Readers, 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.

The New York Public Library has revealed its picks for the best books of the year. In the adult category, the top ten books include How the Word Is Passed by Clint Smith, who was profiled in Poet & Writers Magazine earlier this year, and Jason Mott’s Hell of a Book, which recently earned the National Book Award for Fiction.

“I am surprised by the book’s success given that it’s so experimental, bizarre and a little crazy.” French writer Hervé Le Tellier reflects on the breakout success of his novel The Anomaly, which won the 2020 Prix Goncourt and was released in English translation in the United States this week. (New York Times)   

“I did keep a small little notebook in my pocket and I wrote down things that would come to my head, usually not in the midst of fighting fire, but I did it secretly so that the rest of the crew didn’t know what I was doing.” Kevin Goodan, the author of Spot Weather Forecast, reflects on how fire has shaped his life and mind. (NHPR)

Salt Lake Community College is hosting several events to mark Native American Heritage Month. For the Salt Lake Tribune, Andrew Christiansen recaps a recent event with Diné poet Tacey M. Atsitt, who read from her debut poetry collection, Rain Scald.

Seeking to determine the best book of the past 125 years, the New York Times Book Review is inviting the public to vote on a shortlist of twenty-five titles, which the editors selected from thousands of reader nominations. The finalists include Beloved by Toni Morrison, Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, and 1984 by George Orwell.

“I’m not hostile toward anything. It’s just I don’t live a normal life. I’ve always been this weird artist, and I’ve never participated in kind of mainstream life or culture—queer or otherwise.” Dennis Cooper discusses his latest novel, I Wished, and his artistic instincts. (Los Angeles Review of Books)

The shortlists for the annual Costas Book Awards, which honor books by authors who reside in the U.K. and Ireland, have been announced. There are four finalists for each of the five categories. (Bookseller)

In celebration of Thanksgiving, staff members of the Chicago Review of Books each consider the question: “What’s a book that you’re thankful for, or return to repeatedly, or has a special connection for you?”