The end of a literary presidency, end-of-year reading lists, and more

December 16, 2016
by WLT

A stack of five red books with a warm glow around it

News, Reviews, and Interviews 

Obama administration speechwriter Jonathan Reiber writes about “the end of a literary presidency” in this Literary Hub article. 

Guernica interviews Krys Lee about accidental activism, LA’s Koreatown, and why books about North Korea are unpopular in South Korea.

Jacqueline Woodson describes her 2016 “Year in Reading” for the Millions. Her list includes many of the books she read to her eight-year-old, “anything Ann Patchett puts a pen to,” and more. 

Miguel Syjuco pens another op-ed for the New York Times, providing a firsthand look into what’s happening in the Philippines as thousands of young Filipinos protest the clandestine burial of dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the Cemetery of Heroes. 

Via the Atlantic, Ta-Nehisi Coates delves into President Barack Obama’s profound legacy and takes the pulse of our current political environment.

In the latest installment of Guernica’s Female Fighter Series, Valeria Luiselli shares the story of Sandra, a Colombian ex-combatant of the FARC waiting to see how her life would be redefined after the peace accords were signed. 

The Times Literary Supplement looks into the evolution of Romanian literature from the rule of Communism where reading for pleasure was forbidden to present day where annual Romanian book fairs flourish.

Bob Dylan sent Patti Smith with a “wry but gracious speech” to accept the award on his behalf at the Nobel Prize ceremony in Sweden. 

The Tournament of Books has released its 2017 long list.


Fun Finds and Inspiration 

Still looking for more end-of-year reading lists? Electric Literature lists its 25 best novels of 2016, the New Yorker shared its “Books We Loved in 2016,” or if you missed it, be sure to peruse WLT’s “75 Notable Translations of 2016.” 

“But as 2016 mercilessly pressed on, 2016 stopped being an object and became a subject.” Slate proposes that the word of the year isn’t a word, but a number.