Debut Authors Shine on Booker Prize Short List | Book Pulse

The Booker Prize shortlist is announced. It is a diverse and notably new gathering of authors. The Justice Department has opened a criminal inquiry into John Bolton and has subpoenaed his publisher and literary agent. The National Book Festival takes place online and on TV this year. The controversy over J.K. Rowling continues to grow. The October LibraryReads list arrives. A new adaptation of Jane Austen’s Persuasion is on the way and Black Widow gets moved due to the pandemic.

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The Booker Prize Shortlist

The Booker Prize shortlist is announced. Hilary Mantel is out as a debut authors shine. The Guardian, the NYT, and USA Today all have reports. The Guardian also has an overview.

In more award news, The German Book Prize names its shortlist. Publishing Perspectives reports.


The NYT reviews The Selected Works of Audre Lorde by Audre Lorde, edited by Roxane Gay (W.W. Norton): “this is a balanced and representative sampling of Lorde’s writing — inspired, even, where the poetry is concerned.” Also, Silence Is My Mother Tongue by Sulaiman Addonia (Graywolf Press: Macmillan): “By the end, as this story of young, codependent refugees is propelled into a revelatory, formally experimental and ultimately tragic conclusion, the initial depth and beauty Jamal witnessed through his “cinema” curtains has only further blossomed.” Wagnerism: Art and Politics in the Shadow of Music by Alex Ross (FSG: Macmillan): “Ross’s purpose is rather to examine the effect it produced on highly sensitized listeners when combined with the stagecraft, poetry, iconography and deep psychological intuition that constitute Wagner’s unique wizardry.” A Traitor to His Species: Henry Bergh and the Birth of the Animal Rights Movement by Ernest Freeberg (Basic Books: Hachette): “vivid and often wrenching.” Lastly, a dual review of books that explore “The Harsh Realities of Being Indigenous in North America.”

The Washington Post reviews The Awkward Black Man by Walter Mosley (Grove Press): “a collection that meditates on health, aging and life. It’s the type of book that can restore one’s balance without a cane.” Also, Likes by Sarah Shun-lien Bynum (FSG: Macmillan): “a short-story collection you should read slowly, but it’s so good, each story at such a high-wire level, that you’ll wind up tearing through it and wishing for more.” Breaking Bread with the Dead: A Reader's Guide to a More Tranquil Mind by Alan Jacobs (Penguin): “a proponent of difference and distance as a means of increasing perspective.”

The L.A. Times reviews Rage by Bob Woodward (S. & S.): “reflects the lazy thinking that got us into this mess … too ploddingly neutral and enamored of access to make a dent in this fallen age.”

NPR reviews Monogamy by Sue Miller (Harper): “She's one of our most emotionally profound and nuanced writers.”

Briefly Noted

The October LibraryReads list is announced. The October Loan Stars picks arrive as well. has “A Late-Summer SFF Reading List.”

CrimeReads picks “Five Psychological Thrillers You Should Read This September.”

Book Marks selects “11 of the Most Anticipated Poetry Collections of Fall/Winter.”

Lit Hub suggests “19 new titles for your TBR pile.”

The Guardian has a list of the “Top 10 books of autofiction.”

Book Riot has a reading pathway for Louise Erdrich.

The Justice Department has opened a criminal inquiry into John Bolton, The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir (S. & S.). The NYT has a report and NPR writes that “subpoenas have been issued to Simon & Schuster, Bolton's publisher, and Javelin, his literary agency.”

The Guardian weighs in on the controversy over J.K. Rowling and Troubled Blood, writing “we should also be wary of how one review has been reproduced without question by countless newspapers and websites, by journalists who have shown no indication of having read the book themselves.” Time has a summary of reactions thus far.

The National Book Festival takes place online this year, starting on September 25. PBS will have a broadcast on Sept. 27. The Washington Post has a report and an oral history of the festival.

Electric Lit has an interview with Walter Mosley, The Awkward Black Man (Grove Press).

O: The Oprah Magazine interviews Maria Hinojosa, Once I Was You: A Memoir of Love and Hate in a Torn America (Atria: S. & S.).

The NYT interviews Erno Rubik, Cubed: The Puzzle of Us All (Flatiron Books: Macmillan).

Vulture profiles Rumaan Alam, Leave the World Behind (Ecco: Harper).

Vanity Fair profiles Matt Gaetz, Firebrand: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the MAGA Revolution (Bombardier Books: S. & S.).

The L.A. Times features Smith Henderson and Jon Marc Smith, Make Them Cry (Ecco: Harper).

Bitch Media showcases Who I Was with Her by Nita Tyndall (HarperTeen).

The musician Lil Nas X is releasing a children’s book, C is for Country, out on Jan. 5 from Random House. USA Today reports.

S. &. S. and HarperCollins create diversity-focused positions. Publishing Perspectives reports.

Randall Kenan has died. The NYT has an obituary.

Authors on Air

NPR’s Fresh Air interviews Jill Lepore, If Then: How the Simulmatics Corporation Invented the Future (Liveright: W. W. Norton).

NPR interviews Reed Hastings, No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention (Penguin).

Town & Country reports that a new adaptation of Jane Austen’s Persuasion is in the works, starring Sarah Snook as Anne Elliot.

Michael Connelly’s Fair Warning is set for the movies. Also, Iliana Regan’s Burn The Place is headed to TV. Deadline has the news.

Black Widow gets a new premiere date. Variety reports.

Today features Me and Sister Bobbie: True Tales of the Family Band by Willie Nelson & others (Random House; LJ starred review), The Magic Misfits: The Fourth Suit by Neil Patrick Harris (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Hachette), and Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume (Atheneum Books for Young Readers: S. & S.).

Brian Stelter, Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth (Atria/One Signal Publishers: S. & S.), will be on The View today.

The NYT is hosting a free program today featuring Ayad Akhtar, Marlon James, and Rachel Kushner on the question "Can fiction help us make sense of it all and better understand what lies ahead?"

The Mandalorian, season two, gets a trailer. It begins on Dinsey+ on Oct. 30.

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