Censorship that targets “diverse” books, Rabih Alameddine’s Twitter feed, and more

September 30, 2016
by WLT

Book with a cup tea and fall leaves

News, Reviews, and Interviews

Via the Boston Review, Rafia Zakaria presents a new series titled Reading Other Women that will focus on “reading as self-making.”

The third annual Festival Albertine, curated by Ta-Nehisi Coates, will take place November 2–6 at Albertine Books in the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York. 

“Is this any different than someone using one of my books to start a fire? I have no idea.” Google has processed 11,000 novels to improve AI’s conversation skills, and writers react to this “commercial use of expressive authorship.” 

Recent Neustadt juror Ananda Devi joins in this interview with her translator Jeffrey Zuckerman to discuss the formative power of place names in fiction and her newest book. The Dallas News has also reviewed the novel titled Eve Out of Her Ruins.

For Banned Books Week, WLT editor in chief Daniel Simon contributes to the Oklahoma Gazette’s Rebel Readers list (see page 24).

Public discomfort with particular ideas have evolved over the last 20 years, and this Time article examines how censors are increasing focusing on books that represent diverse points of view. Flavorwire also lists the top ten challenged books of 2015 that contains LGBTQ and other “diverse” books. 

This Publishers Weekly article examines Canada’s innovative publishing industry and why the world needs more Canada

Literary Hub reviews Ruth Franklin’s new literary biography on Shirley Jackson and requests “more big literary biographies of women, please.”

In this Millions essay, R. J. Hernández writes about the how fashion in fiction can offer a unique lens to view the issues of our time including class, gender, race, and sexuality.


Fun Finds and Inspiration 

The New Yorker points an unexpected spotlight on novelist Rabih Alameddine’s Twitter feed, where he posts pictures of works of art while deep in the creative throes of writing. 

This comic by NSK Prize finalist and cartoonist Lynda Barry is a simple demonstration of the beauty of art

The UK is releasing Agatha Christie-themed stamps that contain hidden mysteries to celebrate the 100th anniversary of her first novel! 

How long did it take some of the world’s authors to write their most popular books? This infographic looks at works by Victor Hugo, Emily Brontë, J. R. R. Tolkien, and more.