Philip Roth Has Died, Olga Tokarczuk Wins Man Booker International Prize, and More

by
Staff
5.23.18

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:

Philip Roth died last night at age eighty-five. Considered one of the major American writers of the twentieth century, Roth explored sexuality and Jewish life in America in his many novels, including Portnoy’s Complaint and American Pastoral. Roth won almost every major literary award, including two National Book Awards, two National Book Critics Circle awards, a Pulitzer Prize, and the Man Booker International Prize. (New York Times)

“His work had more rage, more wit, more lust, more talk, more crosscurrents of thought and emotion, more turning over of the universals contained in the Jewish-American experience, as if tending meat over a fire, than any writer of his time.” Dwight Garner remembers the legendary writer and considers how his death marks “the end of a cultural era as definitively as the death of Pablo Picasso did in 1973.” (New York Times)

Writers Hermione Lee, Jonathan Safran Foer, Joyce Carol Oates, and Gary Shteyngart remember Roth and his impact on literature. (Guardian)

Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk has won the 2018 Man Booker International Prize for her novel Flights, translated from the Polish by Jennifer Croft. Tokarczuk and Croft will split the £50,000 prize.

Lawyer, former state legislator, and romance novelist Stacey Abrams has won the Democratic primary in Georgia’s gubernatorial race, making her the first black woman to be a major party nominee for governor in the United States. (Wall Street Journal)

The Crown Books for Young Readers imprint at Random House will publish an anthology of essays and stories about and by the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School; We Say #NeverAgain: Reporting From the School That Inspired the Nation will come out in October. (Publishers Weekly)

New Delta Review interviews the poet Douglas Kearney about the relationship between the body and text, the visual techniques of the Italian Futurist movement, and puns.

“But I am here to tell you: most people in your family will never buy your book. Most of your friends won’t either.” Tom McAllister on the realities of publishing a book. (Millions)

Kelly Coyne makes a case for how Sylvia Plath’s undergraduate thesis on doppelgängers in Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novels influenced her famous novel, The Bell Jar. (Atlantic)