Tsitsi Dangarembga Wins Pinter Prize, Dave Eggers to Sidestep Amazon With Next Hardcover, 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.

English PEN has awarded the 2021 Pinter Prize, which honors a writer who “casts an ‘unflinching, unswerving’ gaze upon the world,” to Tsitsi Dangarembga. “Tsitsi Dangarembga has had an unusual and exemplary career as a writer, filmmaker, and activist,” says Claire Armitstead, one of the judges for the prize. “Hers is a voice we all need to hear and heed.”

Dave Eggers has unconventional plans for the distribution of his next novel, The Every. The hardcover, which will be published in October by McSweeney’s with thirty-two different cover designs, will not be made available on Amazon and instead only be stocked at independent bookstores and on the publisher’s website. “One of the themes of the book is the power of monopolies to dictate our choices, so it seemed a good opportunity to push back a bit against the monopoly, Amazon, that currently rules the book world,” says Eggers. The paperback edition, however, which is scheduled for publication with Vintage six weeks after the hardcover release, will be available at all retailers, including Amazon. (New York Times)

“As the pandemic winds down here, there are many plans to make: people to visit, people to invite inside, trips that feel like pilgrimages. Still, it’s the unplanned that I miss most—and that I am desperate to get back.” Clare Sestanovich treasures chance encounters with friends and strangers. (New Yorker)

“Morrison’s voice shines through from the beginning. Her books contain vastly different plots and characters, but they all bear the marks of her imagination, style, and insight.” In the process of reading Toni Morrison’s books in publication order, Matthew James Seidel reflects on the author’s first three novels. (Millions)

“I began the novel without thinking about the age of the readers, but as it progressed, I noticed that there was a loneliness in it. Children are familiar with that loneliness, but I think it’s something they don’t need to analyze just yet.” María José Ferrada discusses how her experience writing children’s literature informed her first novel for adults, How to Order the Universe. (Los Angeles Review of Books)

Collecting data from thirty-eight summer reading lists, Emily Temple of Literary Hub has crafted “The Ultimate Summer 2021 Reading List.” Zakiya Dalila Harris’s The Other Black Girl is the top book of the season, having appeared on twenty-one lists across the literary internet.

Akwaeke Emezi recommends four of their favorite queer books, including Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta and How to Find a Princess by Alyssa Cole. (NPR)

Electric Literature highlights seven writing residencies that offer special arrangements for writers with children.