Two Nobel Prizes in Literature, New Manuscript for The Tale of Genji, and More


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.

Polish author Olga Tokarczuk and Austrian author Peter Handke have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for 2018 and 2019, respectively. They will each receive 9 million Swedish krona (approximately $915,000). Tokarczuk is the fifteenth woman to receive the Nobel for literature, and receives the 2018 prize a year after misconduct scandals within the academy caused the postponement of the award. (Poets & Writers)

Literary Hub has published a conversation with John Freeman and Nobel laureate Olga Tokarczuk, which took place onstage earlier this year. The pair discuss travel, water, and obsessions, in the context of Tokarczuk’s Flights

An early transcription of a chapter of The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu has been found in Tokyo, and attributed to the poet Teika. Considered the world’s first novel, original manuscripts of the fifty-four-chapter epic do not exist, but the oldest extant chapters are attributed to Teika. The newly unearthed manuscript is one of only five chapters to be associated with Teika, while for the remaining sections, researchers must still depend on later versions. (Guardian)

Leigh Bardugo discusses her latest novel—and debut for adult readers—Ninth House. She talks representing violence on the page and the double standards faced by women writers. “I’m disturbed by the performances we require of women authors. There’s this wall that drops where people feel like you have, by writing a book, given them permission to bring out into the open the deepest parts of yourself.” (Bustle)

Helen Phillips considers genre distinctions and the inspiration behind the “horror” in her latest novel, The Need. “I was trying to describe what some aspects of motherhood feel like and, I guess without trying to use elements of horror, they slipped in naturally.” (Rumpus)

The New Yorker profiles Irish novelist Edna O’Brien. Now eighty-eight, O’Brien published her first story in 1955, while her nineteenth novel, Girl, was published this year. 

A short story author who shifted gears to television, Jim Gavin discusses his AMC show, Lodge 49, and shares what it’s like inside the writers’ room. (Los Angeles Review of Books)

In the latest installment of the New York Times By the Book series, John Green recommends young adult titles for all ages, and shares why he writes for teenagers.