Author Elizabeth Wurtzel Has Died, Jan. 8, 2020 | Book Pulse

Elizabeth Wurtzel, the author of Prozac Nation, has died. A new flurry of best of 2020 lists appear. Zora creates The Zora Canon: The 100 greatest books ever written by African American women. Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made gets a trailer.

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A Notable Passing

Elizabeth Wurtzel, the author of Prozac Nation, has died.

The NYT has an obituary, as do NPR, Entertainment Weekly, The Guardian, and USA Today.

The NYT writes "Her startling 1994 memoir won praise for opening a dialogue about clinical depression and helped introduce an unsparing style of confessional writing that remains influential."

Wurtzel's death is getting wide coverage across a range of media.


The NYT reviews Homie: Poems by Danez Smith (Graywolf: Macmillan): “I’d like to invent or order up new adjectives to describe the startling originality and ambition of Smith’s work. I’d like to unwrap some brand-new words, oddly pronged words, to convey their wary intelligence and open heart.” Also, Wilmington's Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy by David Zucchino (Atlantic Monthly Press): “brilliant.” The Age of Illusions: How America Squandered Its Cold War Victory by Andrew J. Bacevich (Metropolitan Books: Macmillan): "a trenchant critic of American foreign policy.” The paper also runs the Children’s column, on interactive books, and looks at the “little flurry of self-help books on basic human decency and what it will do for you.”

NPR reviews Topics of Conversation by Miranda Popkey (Knopf): “slim but potent.” Also, Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez (Page Street Kids: Macmillan): “What beings as a clear-cut tale of a girl seeking revenge and restoration for a generation of wrongs soon blossoms into something much more quicksilver and subtle.”

Entertainment Weekly reviews “3 buzzy new novels find humanity (and healing) in the bizarre.” The titles in the piece, which already featured in the print issue, are: Follow Me to Ground by Sue Rainsford (Scribner: S. & S.; LJ starred review), which gets a B+ and the comment, “You’ve never encountered a father-daughter story like Rainsford’s slim debut.” Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano (The Dial Press: Random House), which gets a B-, and the note that “You’ll sob to the end. That’s the idea, right?” Oligarchy by Scarlett Thomas (Counterpoint), earning a B+ and the line, “has a perfectly pitched ear for human cruelty and self-delusion … and all the wild tortures young girls subject themselves to just to feel pretty in the world.”

Briefly Noted

Isabel Allende, A Long Petal of the Sea (Ballantine: Random House), talks books with Entertainment Weekly.

BuzzFeed selects its “Most Highly Anticipated Books of 2020.”

The Washington Post has graphic novel suggestions for 2020.

Bitch Media lists “25 YA Novels Feminists Should Read in 2020.”

LitHub names “15 of the Most Anticipated Books by LGBTQ Authors For the First Half of 2020.”

BookRiot suggests “12 Romance Authors to Add to Your TBR List in 2020” as well as “January 2020 YA Releases to TBR.”

Barbara Hoffert updates Prepub Alert for July titles with Picks and Police Procedurals.

Zora creates “The Zora Canon: The 100 greatest books ever written by African American women.”

Electric Lit declares “It’s Time to Fall Back in Love with Zora Neale Hurston.”

CrimeReads has a piece entitled “Reviving the Traditional Mystery for a 21st Century Audience” with this great RA tip: “Traditional mysteries used to be all about restoring the status quo. Now, they're just about good people, striving.”

In forthcoming book news, Entertainment Weekly has an early look at the character designs for the forthcoming Dune graphic novel. The three part series begins this October, from Abrams. People highlights a new children’s book by Jonathan Van Ness, Peanut Goes For The Gold (Harper).

People features Rachel Bertsche, The Kids Are in Bed: Finding Time for Yourself in the Chaos of Parenting (Plume: Penguin).

The Guardian interviews Kate Allinson, Kay Featherstone, Pinch of Nom: 100 Home-Style Recipes for Health and Weight Loss (St. Martin’s Essentials), the cookbook that has become “a global phenomenon.”

PW and BookBrunch have launched a new book award for self-published authors in the U.S. The award will be called The Selfies and offer the winner $1,000. The award will be administered by PW’s self-publishing arm, BookLife. The first shortlist will be announced on May 29, and the winner will be named at ALA Annual on June 27.

The NYT reports that Robert Caro’s papers will go to the New-York Historical Society.

Authors on Air

NPR’s Fresh Air features Peggy Orenstein, Boys & Sex: Young Men on Hookups, Love, Porn, Consent, and Navigating the New Masculinity (Harper).

Deadline reports that The CW has renewed a number of shows, including season two of both Batwoman and Nancy Drew, season three of Legacies, season four of Black Lightning, season five of Riverdale, season six of both DC’S Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl, and season seven of The Flash. Additionally, the brand new Katy Keene gets an order for 13 additional scripts. Also, Melissa McCarthy will star opposite Nicole Kidman in Hulu’s Nine Perfect Strangers, based on the book by Liane Moriarty.

Today featured A New Way to Age: The Most Cutting-Edge Advances in Antiaging by Suzanne Somers (Gallery: S. & S.) and Martha Stewart's Organizing: The Manual for Bringing Order to Your Life, Home & Routines by Martha Stewart (HMH).

Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made gets a trailer. It will premiere on Disney+ on Feb. 7, 2020 and is based on the Timmy Failure series by Stephan Pastis.

Jamie Oliver, Ultimate Veg:  Easy & Delicious Meals for Everyone (Flatiron: Macmillan; LJ starred review), will be on The View today. His spot on Colbert last night sent book sales soaring.

Bryan Stevenson, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption (Spiegel & Grau: Random House; LJ starred review) will be on with Ellen today.

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