Smuggled Fiction, Costly Tweets, Powerful Poetry & More! Your Weekly Lit News Round Up by Laurel Dowswell


First Known English Publication of Fiction Out of North Korea Lands in U.S.

The Accusation

The Accusation, a collection of short stories by the pseudonymous North Korean writer Bandi, was just released in the English language in the UK (Serpent’s Tail) on March 2, and in the US on March 7 from Grove Atlantic. Deborah Smith is the translator, the co-winner of the Man Booker prize for Han Kang’s The Vegetarian.

The stories give a voice to those living under the legendary dictatorship. According to the afterword, Bandi smuggled the manuscript to a North Korean refugee activist in China, and it was subsequently published in South Korea in 2014. The author continues to reside in North Korea.


Writer Wins £24,000 after Suing for Defamation of Character from Tweets

Jack Monroe, a UK writer/blogger, won the case in a High Court in London against newspaper columnist Katie Hopkins. From The Telegraph, “Monroe took legal action over what her lawyer told the judge was a ‘widely published allegation’ that she had ‘either vandalised a war memorial or approved of such an act’, an allegation that would ‘inevitably cause serious damage to reputation.'”

Crown Publishing Group Publishing Books by Barack and Michelle Obama

The manuscripts of the Former (sigh) President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama were recently acquired by Penguin Random House, and it was just announced that its division, Crown Publishing Group, will publish the books in the US and Canada. The Obamas plan on donating a “significant portion” of their proceeds to charity, and will also donate 1 million books to the Obama Foundation’s partner First Book.

Palestinian Writer Detained by Israeli Forces After Weekend Raid

Khalida Ghusheh is the author of the upcoming novel, The Jackal’s Trap, which “explores Palestinian collaborators with the Israeli occupation.” She was detained by Israeli forces over the weekend after a raid at her home and has requested legal counsel.


I would like to now introduce a new feature to the weekly news with brand new YouTube videos we would love for you to discover. Starting off, here is poet Aranya Johar with her piece, “A Brown Girl’s Guide to Gender,” published on March 10th.



Want more?

You may have something in common with J.K. Rowling and Joan Didion.

An examination of the power of the protest novel. 

John le Carré, spy thriller extraordinaire, is writing a new novel. 

Dan Rather is writing a new book too.

Award winning Ojibway writer, Richard Wagamese, passes away at 61.

The New Yorker Poetry Bot

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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