Literary News

AWP Tackles Politics, Serial Fiction, a Rare Book Heist & More! Your Weekly Lit News Update by Laurel Dowswell

AWP and #Politics

Thousands of writers, publishers, and teachers descended upon Washington, D.C., this week for the annual AWP Conference and Book Fair — with more than books on their minds. From supporting the NEA to lobbying Congress and bringing multitudes of letters from constituents, conference attendees took advantage of this year’s location to voice their opinions on many contentious issues.

Saturday, 2/11, culminated in a candlelight vigil and protest in front of the White House.

Patti Smith, I think, would approve:

“And the people have the power

To redeem the work of fools

From the meek the graces shower

It’s decreed the people rule”  — from the song “People Have the Power” by Patti Smith

Sondheim Honored With Pen Literary Award

The 2017 PEN/Allen Foundation Literary Service Award winner is Stephen Sondheim. He is the first composer-lyricist to win the honor. Per Andrew Solomon, the president of PEN America, “His work points to the significance of living a moral life, and that’s never felt more urgent than right now.” The award will be presented to him on April 25 at the American Museum of Natural History by Meryl Streep. She received an Oscar nomination for her starring role in the film adaptation of Into the Woods. 

Serial Fiction – Following in the Footsteps of Cable TV

Startup Serial Box is launching a second season of its Cold War fantasy spy thriller The Witch Who Came in From the Cold. Readers get both audio and written episodes delivered weekly directly to devices. If you don’t want to subscribe ($1.59 per episode), you can download them individually from the site, or wherever e-books are sold. Simon & Schuster is set to release the series in print in June 2017. This is the latest creation, but if you love it — you can find even more selections on their site.

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Abseiling Thieves Steal Books Worth £2 Million 

Over 160 rare books have been stolen from a warehouse near Heathrow airport in Feltham, Middlesex, UK, including a 1566 edition of De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium by Copernicus (the most valuable book), and a 1506 edition of Dante’s Divine Comedy. The books were temporarily in storage before being shipped for the California Book Fair. Reported here, on the evening of January 29 the gang of thieves cut through the skylights, rappelled down into the building, placed the treasured books in holdalls, and pulled them up through the roof.

The International League of Antiquarian Booksellers has widely published a detailed list of the books. Contact information is included in the alert for all booksellers in case of contact and/offers.

But wait, there’s more!

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie speaks on politics, race, and writing at Johns Hopkins University.

Senator Elizabeth Warren is publishing a book in April titled This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America’s Middle Class.

Literary translator and Soviet dissident Lev Navrozov dies at age 88.


laurelsunshineLaurel Dowswell is the Features Editor at Change Seven. Her short story “I Am theEggman” was nominated for the 2016 Pushcart Prize. She was a copy editor for an independent feminist newspaper in Santa Fe, NM, after being raised and educated in Florida. She lives and writes in Georgia, just outside of Atlanta with her son. She is currently working on a novel filled with oil paintings, family drama, and the spectrum of sexuality. Follow her on twitter @laurels_idea.

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