Dear Sugars, Zadie Smith, Denis Johnson & more! Your Weekly Lit News Roundup by Laurel Dowswell

Dear Sugars Podcast & Column Debuts

On Saturday, July 15, Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, and short story and essay writer Steve Almond introduced their new podcast and column with The New York Times, Dear SugarsThe “radically empathic advice column” is borne out of the previous Dear Sugar column at The Rumpus started by Almond and continued by Strayed that became very popular. Strayed also published her book, Tiny Beautiful Things, from the column. In the first episode, they speak about the power of saying “no” and interview — Oprah Winfrey. Congratulations!

Writers are Making Big Bucks in China

Online literature is wildly popular in China. According to this article in Global Times, “The top 10 online literature writers in China have created franchises worth a staggering 1 billion yuan ($150 million) each.” !!! Many of the authors’ works have been adapted into television shows and movies, which is also included in the franchise value reported by the Hurun Research Institute and domestic IP management agency Mopian.

The Prize for American Fiction Goes to Denis Johnson (RIP)

The Library of Congress announced the 2017 award on July 11. Johnson, who died in May of this year, is the renowned author of such works as Tree of Smoke, a National Book Award winner and Pulitzer finalist, and the story collection Jesus’ Son. The award will be accepted on September 2 by Cindy Johnson, his widow, during the National Book Festival in Washington.

Zadie Smith Digs Into Historical Fiction

Smith, author of the acclaimed and bestselling contemporary novels Swing Time and White Teeth is writing a historical novel set in the 1800s. The Fraud is based on real events from the 1830s to the 1870s surrounding the London highwaymen and will be published by Penguin imprint Hamish Hamilton. The pub date is yet to be determined. Smith has another book coming in 2019— a collection of her best short fiction over the last twenty years.

But wait! There’s more!

The classic science fiction mag Galaxy Magazine is now online – and free to read!

Former FBI Director James Comey is writing a book.

Graham Swift wins “secret” literary prize.

Quidditch, hurling, and their ties to literature.

For our Video of the Week: Summer’s Better with a Book! A fun video from Penguin Books UK celebrating summer reading. What exciting reads are you into this summer? Feel free to start a conversation below. We would love to hear from you! Happy Reading!



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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