Penguin Random House Faces Antitrust Lawsuit Over Simon & Schuster Deal, New Prize for Books in Translation, and More

by Staff
11.3.21

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 Justice Department has filed an antitrust lawsuit that seeks to stop Penguin Random House’s acquisition of Simon & Schuster. In a statement, attorney general Merrick Garland warned the proposed deal, first announced last November, would grant Penguin Random House “unprecedented control,” and claimed, “American authors and consumers will pay the price of this anticompetitive merger—lower advances for authors and ultimately fewer books and less variety for consumers.” Penguin Random House intends to defend the merger. (New York Times)

With the ambition to “highlight the artistic merit of literature in translation and recognize translators’ valuable work,” the National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) has established the Gregg Barrios Book in Translation Prize, which will honor “the best book of any genre translated into English and published in the United States” each year, beginning in 2022. Poet, playwright, and critic Gregg Barrios, the prize’s namesake, was a longtime NBCC board member who died earlier this year.

Shelly Oria reflects on curating works that address a spectrum of reproductive issues in the forthcoming interdisciplinary anthology I Know What’s Best for You: Stories on Reproductive Freedom. “My hope is that we fight the terrible symptom while keeping in mind the larger illness that produces it: a system in which certain bodies hold inherent power over other bodies.” (Rumpus)

The Guggenheim in New York City is seeking a poet-in-residence for 2022, who will collaborate with the museum’s public programs department. Established in partnership with the Academy of American Poets, the position will include a $20,000 honorarium. (Publishers Weekly)

Entertainment Weekly has revealed the cover of Lisa Taddeo’s third book, a short story collection titled Ghost Lover, which is due out in June from Avid Reader Press. “When I read Lisa’s brilliant manuscript, I knew immediately how the cover should look,” said designer Alison Forner.

“I filled in the gaps where I could, and where there was no historical record I allowed the gaps to show, the silences to resonate.” Rebecca Donner discusses the research and revision process behind her new nonfiction book, All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days, which tells the story of Mildred Harnack, her great-great-aunt who resisted Nazi rule. (Guernica)

The editorial staff at the Chicago Review of Books recommend twelve new titles out this month, including The Perishing by Natashia Deón and Pity the Beast by Robin McLean.

Books by Marcel DuChamp, Karl Marx, and Jean-Paul Sartre stand out in the reading life of renowned artist and activist Ai Weiwei. (Elle)