Friday Lit Links: Week of January 26

January 26, 2018
by WLT


News, Reviews, and Interviews

The 2017 National Book Critics Circle Awards finalists are out and congratulations are in order! Kapka Kassabova has been nominated for her book Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe, reviewed in WLT’s September 2017 issue. Kassabova’s essay “Border Ghosts” is also featured in the Puterbaugh Essay Series of the current issue of WLT. Edwidge Danticat, 2018 Neustadt Prize winner, was nominated for her book The Art of Death: Writing the Final Story, and former Neustadt juror Valeria Luiselli was nominated for her book Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions.

Congratulations to Elisabeth Jaquette, whose translation of Basma Abdel Aziz’s novel The Queue has been shortlisted for the inaugural TA First Translation Prize. Jaquette’s translation of Aziz’s story “Scenes from the Life of an Autocrat” appears in WLT’s Dystopian Visions issue (March 2017).

The Mystery Writers of America announced the nominees for their 2018 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, and Minato Kanae’s book Penance is on the list. Minato’s novel Confessions was reviewed in WLT’s May 2015 issue. Lawrence P. Jackson’s Chester B. Himes: A Biography has also been nominated and will be discussed in WLT’s March 2018 Crime & Mystery column.

The latest issue of Prooftexts, the premier journal in Jewish literary studies, is a double issue devoted to Jewish literature and world literature. Contributor Adriana X. Jacobs helped guest-edit the “New Hebrew Writing” issue of WLT in 2015.

The only female translator of The Odyssey, Emily Wilson, explores how gender impacts the way translators engage with texts in an interview with the Chicago Review of Books.

The Whiting Awards will be announced March 21, with Toni Morrison as the guest speaker.


Best to Come in 2018

From Fatimah Asghar to Aleksandar Hemon to David Mamet: Adam Morgan of the Chicago Review of Books surveys the books by Chicago authors forthcoming this year and concludes that “2018 is a behemoth.”

BookBub places the spotlight on new voices, providing a list of breakthrough debut novels of 2018.

Plan ahead with the Guardian’s literary calendar for the new year, featuring the top books being published in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and children’s literature each month.

The Millions compiles a list of nearly 100 books, creating an exclusive literary preview of what to look out for during the first half of 2018.

Just in case, here are some more lists for your literary guide to the new year!


Fun Finds

Wishing for an unconventional Italian cookbook? The Paris Review’s “Eat Your Words” series draws culinary inspiration from an unlikely source: Giambattista Basile’s sixteenth-century Italian fairy tales.

How does Margaret Atwood approach cookbooks? Explore this and one of her recipes at the Paper and Salt blog.

Flannery O’Connor and heavy metal? Electric Lit spins “The Eleven Best Metal Songs about Literature.”

Book thieves steal rare first-edition books worth thousands, escaping into the night with the “Holy Grail” of Harry Potter collections, Winnie the Pooh, and friends.