Lit Fests, Dystopian Fiction, a Parthenon of Banned Books & More! Your Weekly Lit News Roundup by Laurel Dowswell

Printers Row Lit Fest Held in Chicago

The outdoor literary festival took place over the weekend, bringing readers, writers, editors, collectors and more to the historic Printers Row neighborhood. Hosting such authors as poet and Harold Washington Literary Award Winner Rita Dove, as well as trans activist and writer Janet Mock, discussions covered the importance of representation and race in America. Illinois native Samantha Irby, who wrote the bestseller, We Are Never Meeting in Real Life, joined a panel on finding humor in everyday life. And much more!

The Winner of the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction is…

The Power

Naomi Alderman! She won the £30,000 prize for her novel, The Power. Described by Margaret Atwood as “Electrifying!” Alderman’s dystopian fiction gives women the ability to harm, or even kill men with a single touch. Wow…Congrats, Naomi!

Books in Bloom Celebrated in Downtown Columbia, MD

On Sunday, June 11, the city was filled with writing talent at Maryland’s inaugural book festival including Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and David Ebershoff as the Chrysalis Stage authors. Other highlights included panels on race in America, feminism in young adult fiction, and a media panel on summer reading.

Earlier in the week, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, winner of One Book, One New York, spoke with BuzzFeed Books editor Isaac Fitzgerald at the New York Public Library.

documenta 14 Debuts a Parthenon of Banned Books

documenta 14The centerpiece of the biggest contemporary art exhibit in Germany is a life-sized model of the Parthenon. It is covered with banned books donated from all over the world and stands in the city of Kassel, right where Nazis once burned forbidden books. The creator is Argentine artist Marta Minujin. This is a dual exhibit, held with Athens, and it includes work by 160 artists from more than 50 countries. Find out more information for the exhibition here.

But, wait! There’s more…

Anjali Enjeti, writer/critic/Change Seven contributor, reviews Arundhati Roy’s new novel.

Bob Dylan gives his Nobel lecture.

Albuquerque transit system is helping kids read more books.

Colombian sanitation worker creates a huge library from 20,000 “trashed” books.

Our video of the week comes from the Poetry Foundation. This exceptional piece uses illuminative paper cut puppetry, and portrays Gwendolyn Brooks’ experience that inspired her to write her grand poem, We Real Cool.  Enjoy!


Laurel Dowswell is the Features Editor at Change Seven. Her short story “I Am the Eggman” 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, a lot of red wine, and the spectrum of sexuality. Follow her on Twitter @laurels_idea

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