Louise Erdrich's 'The Night Watchman' Wins Pulitzer Prize | Book Pulse

The 2021 Pulitzer Prizes are awarded with The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich winning the top prize for fiction. Wilmington's Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy by David Zucchino, The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X by Les Payne, Tamara Payne, and Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America by Marcia Chatelain are also winners. The Maidens by Alex Michaelides leads holds this week. Overdrive announced it will acquire Kanopy.  One LibraryReads selection and eight Indie Next picks publish this week and People's book of the week is Animal by Lisa Taddeo. Plus, historical fiction is having a moment.



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Awards & News

The 2021 Pulitzer Prizes are awarded with The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich (Harper; LJ starred review) winning the top prize for fiction. Wilmington's Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy by David Zucchino (Atlantic Monthly Press) wins for Best General Nonfiction and The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X by Les Payne, Tamara Payne (Liveright: W. W. Norton; LJ starred review) wins for Biography. Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America by Marcia Chatelain (Liveright: W.W. Norton) takes the Pulitzer in History. The Prizes for Poetry and Drama go to Natalie Diaz, Postcolonial Love Poem: Poems (Graywolf Press: Macmillan) and Katori Hall, The Hot Wing King respectively. The NYT has a guide to the awards and winnersThe LA Times also covers the awards. OprahDaily  has a feature as well. 

According to a press release from the companies, Overdrive will acquire Kanopy. Terms of the acquisition were not announced.

Big Books of the Week

The Maidens by Alex Michaelides (Celadon) leads holds this week.

Other titles in demand include:

The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels by India Holton (Berkley)

Million Dollar Demon by Kim Harrison (Ace: Berkley)

Beyond by Mercedes Lackey (DAW)

The Box in the Woods by Maureen Johnson (Katherine Tegen Books)

Hairpin Bridge by Taylor Adams (William Morrow)

Morningside Heights by Joshua Henkin (Pantheon)

These books and others publishing the week of June 15th, 2021 are listed in a downloadable spreadsheet.

Librarians and Booksellers Suggest

There is one LibraryReads selection and eight Indie Next picks publishing this week:

The Maidens by Alex Michaelides (Celadon)

“Tragedy dogs Mariana’s footsteps as she struggles to recover from the deaths of her husband, sister, brother-in-law, and father. Then, in her beloved Cambridge, young girls are being killed. Fearing for her niece, Mariana is determined to find the murderer, and in a twisted plot discovers that she doesn't know who to believe, including herself. For readers who liked The Sea of Lost Girls and The Secret History.”—Courtenay Reece, Millville Public Library, Millville, NJ

It is also an IndieNext pick:

“Alex Michaelides approaches The Maidens with a skillful hand and an eye for the mystery/thriller novel while expertly intertwining dark academia and psychological influences. This is one that will keep you invested until the very end.”—Maxwell Leaning, Paragraphs Bookstore, Mount Vernon, OH

There are seven additional IndieNext picks:

Morningside Heights by Joshua Henkin (Pantheon)

“I loved this book! The writing is beautiful, and the character development is phenomenal. I was moved by all of the characters in the story, but quirky Arlo stands out as a favorite. I also shed a few tears, so this book has it all. It’s a winner with so much heart! I highly recommend it.”—Sarah Fox, Titcomb’s Bookshop, East Sandwich, MA

The World Gives Way by Marissa Levien (Redhook)

The World Gives Way gave me so many things: a crime novel, a science fiction epic, but also something that explores the beauties of love and the strive to survive through it all. This is an adventure that I won't be forgetting any time soon.”—Christian Vega, The Astoria Bookshop, Astoria, NY

The Sweetness of Water by Nathan Harris (Little, Brown)

“I was holding my breath through this beautifully woven story of love, family, belonging, and loss set in the South at the end of the Civil War. There's so much heart and soul in this book. It is destined for awards.”—Jamie Southern, Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC

Nowhere Girl: A Memoir of a Fugitive Childhood by Cheryl Diamond (Algonquin)

“This was such a deftly paced story; often incredibly touching and funny, yet heavily laced with intrigue and terror. No memoir has gripped me more since Kiese Laymon's Heavy.—Rob Fuller, Seminary Co-Op Bookstore, Chicago, IL

The Natural Mother of the Child: A Memoir of Nonbinary Parenthood by Krys Malcolm Belc (Counterpoint)

“One of the best memoirs I've ever read about the messiness about parenthood, especially as a parent who gives birth both outside of and within ‘motherhood.’ I — we — so needed this book.”—Anna Weber, White Whale Bookstore, Pittsburgh, PA

The Tangleroot Palace by Marjorie Liu (Tachyon)

“These small bites of fantasy and dark magic and even more dangerous characters are the best. Whether you devour it all at once or take those small bites and relish each short story, you will thoroughly enjoy this short story collection.”—Sandi Cararo, The Book Dragon, Staunton, VA

No Hiding in Boise by Kim Hooper (Keylight Books)

“Following three women and their connection to a shooting, No Hiding in Boise is an excellent novel for recognizing growth in difficult circumstances and the human connection that lies beyond tragedy. All the feels.”—Addy Bowman, Wild Geese Bookshop, Franklin, IN

In the Media

The People "Picks" book of the week is Animal by Lisa Taddeo (Avid Reader: S. & S). Also getting attention are Lizzie & Dante by Mary Bly (Dial; LJ starred review) and The Ugly Cry by Danielle Henderson (Viking).

In the “Star Picks” section Kevin Bacon suggests The Big Goodbye: Chinatown and the Last Years of Hollywood by Sam Wasson (Flatiron: Macmillan; LJ starred review), Norah O’Donnell suggests Untamed by Glennon Doyle (The Dial Press: Random House), and Daniel Radcliffe suggests How to Invent Everything:  A Survival Guide for the Stranded Time Traveler by Ryan North (Riverhead). The “Picks” section highlights Marvel's Loki, with associated titles, on Disney+. Plus, restaurateurs Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich, Honey & Co: Chasing Smoke: Cooking Over Fire Around the Levant (Pavilion) share a recipe.


The NYT reviews Skye Papers by Jamika Ajalon (Amethyst Editions): “From the rhythmic, riffing, incantatory prose to the novel’s cinematic crosscutting and recursive structure, to the minutiae of Skye and her friends’ daily struggles as artists, we get lost in a world that Ajalon renders with a precision and lyricism that elude her main character.” Also, The Extended Mind: The Power of Thinking Outside the Brain by Annie Murphy Paul (Houghton Harcourt). And, Bath Haus by P. J. Vernon (Doubleday): “a smart, steamy thriller laced with heady questions about control and shame.”

The Washington Post reviews The Maidens by Alex Michaelides (Celadon): “perhaps I’m missing something distinctive about ‘The Maidens,’ which comes out Tuesday. That something would not be the novel’s descriptive passages nor its dialogue. Judge for yourself.” Also, Last Best Hope: America in Crisis and Renewal by George Packer (Farrar): “Packer has a story to tell about our decline, and he tells it well.”  After the Fall: Being American in the World We’ve Made by Ben Rhodes (Random House): “Though the book traverses much of the world, its chief subject is how to make sense of America, whether to love it or hate it or find some stance in between.” Test Gods: Virgin Galactic and the Making of a Modern Astronaut by Nicholas Schmidle (Holt; LJ starred review): “is ultimately less interested in the immortal, inhuman realms above, than in mortal ones. Fatherhood, and the fraught inheritance of masculinity, is the field in which Schmidle roots his investigation.” Rock Me on the Water: 1974-The Year Los Angeles Transformed Movies, Music, Television, and Politics by Ronald Brownstein (Harper): “offers 1974 as a pivotal year in which Los Angeles took center stage as a cultural broker and ‘transformed movies, music, television, and politics.’” Double Blind by Edward St. Aubyn (Farrar): “Although St. Aubyn’s ambition is laudable, his efforts to tie together so many big ideas are made at the expense of plot, character and tone, all of which lack the emotional rigor and tight focus of his best work.”  This Country : My Life in Politics and History by Chris Matthews (S. & S.): “is best read as a snapshot of a certain kind of player in a certain kind of game. He saw his share of plays, he knows the strategy better than anyone, and when history happened, at least he can say he was there.”

Briefly Noted

NYT interviews Quinta Brunson, She Memes Well (Houghton Harcourt) on balancing jokes and serious thoughts in her new autobiography. Also, an interview with Amanda Kloots on her new memoir, Live Your Life : My Story of Loving and Losing Nick Cordero (Harper). USA Today also has a feature story on Kloots, who reveals the hardest part about writing about her late husband.

The Guardian interviews Booker-shortlisted author Brandon Taylor whose short story collection, Filthy Animals (Riverhead: Penguin) comes out June 24th.

The LA Times interviews Michele Harper for the LA Times Book Club. Her memoir, The Beauty in Breaking (Riverhead), gets a paperback release on June 29th.

FoxNews has interviews with actress Elisa Donovan about her new book Wake Me When You Leave: Love and Encouragement via Dreams from the Other Side (Llewellyn Publications) and Ruta Lee, Consider Your Ass Kissed (Briton Publishing) about her friend Debbie Reynolds.

People talks with Tyler James about his friendship with Amy Winehouse and his new book My Amy (Macmillan).

LitHub talks with Rivka Galchen, Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch (Farrar) about writer’s block and her pandemic cat.

Jonathan Lee, The Great Mistake (Knopf), writes an essay about the current historical fiction renaissance at NYT.

Vanessa Riley, Island Queen (William Morrow), writes about accuracy battles in women-centered historical fiction and the uses of the “author’s note”  for The Washington Post.

The San Fransisco Chronicle considers settings and cities as characters in deft hands.

Carnegie Hall announces an Afrofuturism Festival,coming in February 2022. Locus has details.

USA Today picks five books for the week.

CrimeReads suggests 10 books out this week.

The Guardian has the best thrillers of the month.

The LA Times has 10 best books for summer beach reading.

Buzzfeed has “66 LGBTQ+ Paperback Books To Read During Pride, Organized By Spine Color.”

Authors on Air

NPR's Morning Edition speaks with Hakeem Oluseyi about his new memoir A Quantum Life: My Unlikely Journey from the Street to the Stars (Ballantine; LJ starred review).

NPR’s All Things Considered has an interview with Julian Rubinstein, author of The Holly: Five Bullets, One Gun, and the Struggle to Save an American Neighborhood (Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Macmillan).

Amanda Gorman is honored at the WriteGirl Gala. The Hollywood Reporter has the story.

Saoirse Ronan and LaKeith Stanfield will star in adaptation of Iain Reid’s Foe (S. & S.). Tordotcom has more. 

Tiffany Jackson’s Let Me Hear a Rhyme (Katherine Tegan Books) is in development at Peacock. Deadline has more.

Amanda Kloots, Live Your Life: My Story of Loving and Losing Nick Cordero (Harper) is on The Talk today. Stacey Abrams, While Justice Sleeps (Doubleday) will be on with Tamron Hall tomorrow.

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