Piranesi Wins the Women’s Prize for Fiction, Ada Limón Hosts the Slowdown, and More

by Staff
9.10.21

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 winner of this year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction is Piranesi by Susanna Clarke. In a speech at the award ceremony in London, Clarke reflected, “Piranesi was nurtured, written, and publicized during a long illness. It is the book that I never thought I would get to write—I never thought I’d be well enough. So this feels doubly extraordinary.” The prize comes with a purse of £30,000. (Guardian)

The Poetry Foundation has announced that the third season of the poetry podcast the Slowdown, which is produced by American Public Media in partnership with the foundation, will be hosted by Ada Limón. A new episode will be posted every weekday starting September 21. Limón succeeds Tracy K. Smith, who helmed the first two seasons of the podcast.

In an interview with the New York Times, lifelong activist Tarana Burke, the founder of the Me Too movement, discusses telling “the full story” in her memoir, Unbound. “I had to tell myself what I tell survivors, which is that my responsibility is to survive.”

“Do we not grow tired, after so many rounds of this sentimental journey to the weepy, fantastical core of human experience? Might we not celebrate instead a more horizontal outlay of sincerity, mania, irony, horror, meanness, humor?” Paul McAdory questions the primacy and popularity of sincerity in gay fiction. (Gawker)

“There’s a second question hidden inside your question: Has becoming a mother made writing too painful? Is having a greater awareness of the preciousness—and therefore the precarity—of life a liability? I’d say the opposite is true.” Sarah Elaine Smith uses tarot cards to advise a writer on how to cope with darkness in life and in fiction. (Don’t Write Alone)

Philip Swayze has found a buyer for his bookstore, the Provincetown Bookshop, which has been in his family since 1963. Barbara Clarke, who will be the new owner of the Provincetown, Massachusetts community mainstay, is the president of a venture capital and philanthropic fund. (Shelf Awareness)

Danielle Lazarin writes about enduring a protracted submission period for a novel manuscript. “I wanted to write this essay before the book’s fate was sealed, from the mucky and often-silent middle we like to skip over in favor of how it ends.” (Literary Hub)

Book Marks features a selection of recent books that have received notable reviews coverage. Sally Rooney’s Beautiful World, Where Are You tops the chart, having already received twenty-two rave reviews.