Fiction in poetry, remembering William Weaver, and Typhoon Haiyan relief

November 22, 2013

Hollywood celebrities pass away in groups of three, they say; in the literary world, this phenomenon seems to happen in pairs. This past week, we said goodbye to two more literary figureheads: first, William Weaver, celebrated translator of Italian authors like Italo Calvino and Umberto Eco, passed away at the age of 90. Then, we said goodbye to Doris Lessing, the 2007 Nobel Prize laureate and champion of the novel. Tributes to both are included in the links below.

Special Note: The WLT staff will be celebrating Thanksgiving next week, and will be taking a break from Friday Lit Links. We will return with our regular roundup on December 6.

News, Reviews, and Interviews

In an effort to sell more books, are publishers to blame for packaging certain books for prejudiced audiences? Marcia Lynx Qualey recaps a presentation by Adam Talib on the subject as it relates to Arabic literature.

A new research study shows that multilingualism can help reduce the onset of dementia.

Following the publication of Zadie Smith’s The Embassy of Cambodia, Philip Hensher hopes that short-story publishing becomes an important conversation for publishers.

Is there a place for fiction in poetry? Would your opinion of a seemingly autobiographical poem change if you were to discover it was not, in fact, autobiographical?

Mahmoud Dowlatabadi is this year’s winner of the Jan Michalski Prize. You can learn more about this prolific Iranian author by reading this profile from English PEN.

Susan Bernofsky paid tribute to William Weaver, her longtime teacher, mentor, and friend, at her blog this week.

Doris Lessing, the oldest author and 11th woman to win the Nobel Prize, passed away in her London home this weekend. Hundreds of her peers paid tribute to her memory and her literary legacy.

The English PEN Awards for Translation were announced this week, with 16 books representing 10 languages receiving the honor.

For Your Calendar

Book Week Scotland, a week-long celebration of books for all ages, takes place November 25 through December 1.

Fun Finds and Inspiration

Is there a single word on the planet that is either spoken or understood among languages?

These new international poetry collections are the perfect way to spend a winter evening.

If you would like to help with relief efforts in the Philippines, the American Library Association is accepting donations to go toward rebuilding damaged and devastated libraries throughout the islands.

English PEN is offering a free download of Enoh Meyomesse’s collection of poetry, Jail Verse: Poems from Kondengui Prison. The organization also encourages you to send a letter of appeal on Meyomesse’s behalf or a letter of support to him while he remains in prison.

We are excited to announce that the Neustadt Prize feather has been named to Book Riot’s Literary Awards Pageant, which highlights striking literary trophies and medals.