The Alternative Lord of the Flies, Best Translated Book Awards Finalists, and More

by Staff
5.12.20

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.

“I began to wonder: Had anyone ever studied what real children would do if they found themselves alone on a deserted island?” Skeptical of the “cynical image of humanity” advanced in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, historian Rutger Bregman went looking for a real-life story of castaway children that could prove more hopeful. (Guardian)  

The Best Translated Book Awards announced the finalists for its fiction and poetry awards. The fiction shortlist of ten titles features works translated from eight different languages, while the poetry shortlist of five books includes works translated from four languages. The winners will be announced on May 27. (Millions)

The winners of this year’s 92nd Street Y Discovery Poetry Contest are Asa Drake, Luther Hughes, Ana Portnoy Brimmer, and Daniella Toosie-Watson. Each poet receives $500, publication in the Paris Review Daily, a two-night booking at the Ace Hotel, and the opportunity to give a reading at the center this fall. 

“She found the extra wear in old forms like the sonnet and rummaged for new forms in everyday material, like aptitude tests, medical reports, and want ads.” Dan Chiasson writes in praise of Wanda Coleman’s inventive and subversive poetry. (New Yorker)

“I never thought about comparing my journey with my fictional characters. I realize that when a Kurdish woman writes a novel about a Kurdish woman, everyone thinks it’s autobiography.” Ava Homa, the author of Daughters of Smoke and Fire, discusses the differences between fiction and reality. (Chicago Review of Books)

Dalia Sofer, the author of Man of My Time, talks with her editor, Ileene Smith, about the ripple effects of individual actions and publishing a book mid-pandemic. (FSG Work in Progress) 

Lydia Millet talks to Literary Hub about her new novel, A Children’s Bible, and the perils of cultural narcissism among American liberals.   

Apple Books has launched a new website that helps guide writers through the process of writing and publishing a successful e-book. (Publishers Weekly)

And the Daily Shout-Out goes to the children’s librarians at the New York Public Library for their ongoing remote reading series, NYPL Storytime.