'The Only Good Indians' and 'Mexican Gothic' Among 2020 Bram Stoker Awards Finalists | Book Pulse

The Horror Writers Association announced the 2020 Bram Stoker Awards finalists, which include The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones, Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, True Story by Kate Reed Petty, and many more. The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Dark Fantastic by Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, and DIE by Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans are among the winners of the British Fantasy Society's 2020 British Fantasy Awards. The Committed by Viet Thanh Nguyen is getting a lot of buzz in reviews this week. Plus, adaptation news about the Eternity Springs series by Emily March, The Real All Americans by Sally Jenkins, Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll, and more.

Want to get the latest book news delivered to your inbox each day? Sign up for our daily Book Pulse newsletter.

Award News







The Horror Writers Association announced the 2020 Bram Stoker Awards finalists, which include The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones (Gallery/Saga: S. & S.; LJ starred review), Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Del Rey: Random House), True Story by Kate Reed Petty (Viking: Penguin), and many more.

The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates (One World; LJ starred review), The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to the Hunger Games by Ebony Elizabeth Thomas (NYU), and DIE by Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans (Image) are among the winners of the British Fantasy Society's 2020 British Fantasy Awards.

David A. Robertson wins Canada's 2021 Freedom to Read Award. The CBC has details.

Martina Cole wins the Crime Writers’ Association Diamond Dagger, the highest honor in British crime writing.

National Book Award winner Charles Yu, with TaiwaneseAmerican.org, announced the inaugural Betty L. Yu and Jin C. Yu Creative Writing Prizes, “intended to encourage and recognize creative literary work by Taiwanese American high school and college students, and to foster discussion and community around such work.”


The Washington Post reviews The Committed by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove): "Just as 'The Sympathizer' transformed the hulk of an old spy novel, 'The Committed' does the same with a tale of noir crime."

The New Yorker also reviews The Committed by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove): "It’s the voice of the novels that matters, that ramifies, that keeps one reading: the anger, the indictment, the deep, questioning cynicism."

The NYT also reviews The Committed by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove): "This novel doesn’t hold together, but it’s more serious and more entertaining than nine-tenths of the novels that do." Also, Animal, Vegetable, Junk: A History of Food, from Sustainable to Suicidal by Mark Bittman (HMH): "...a comprehensive treatise on humanity’s relationship to food, matches our moment — evincing a necessary sense of urgency but also making no bones about the challenge before us." Assume Nothing: A Story of Intimate Violence by Tanya Selvaratnam (Harper; LJ starred review): "In methodically describing how a successful artist and activist can fall into a dark relationship with a controlling man, she is performing a rare and valuable service." The Slaughterman's Daughter by Yaniv Iczkovits (Schocken: Random House): "If the Coen brothers ever ventured beyond the United States for their films, they would find ample material in this novel, which offers a familiar mix of dark humor and casual brutality — and an ultimately hopeful search for small comforts and a modicum of justice in an absurd and immoral world." The Blizzard Party by Jack Livings (FSG: Macmillan): "...a raucously inventive tale of loss and erasure told with an authorial assurance uncommon in a first novel." Gladius: The World of the Roman Soldier by Guy de la Bédoyère (Univ. of Chicago): "...pretty much every fact known about what it was like to be in the military arm of the Roman Empire." Eagle Down: The Last Special Forces Fighting the Forever War by Jessica Donati (PublicAffairs: Hachette): "...a memorable but choppy portrait of Americans fighting in Afghanistan over the last six years, which is notable because there have been few good accounts of the war there." The Bone Fire by György Dragomán and translated by Ottilie Mulzet (Mariner: HMH): "That this slippery narration — a risky choice — not only propels the story forward but also resonates with the book’s themes of instability and skewed perception is a testament to Dragomán’s powers." Tangled Up in Blue: Policing the American City by Rosa Brooks (Penguin): "Her style recalls the work of immersion journalists like George Plimpton, Ted Conover and Barbara Ehrenreich — who happens to be Brooks’s mother." We Own This City: A True Story of Crime, Cops, and Corruption by Justin Fenton (Random House): "...the overall effect is to capture the disorienting, churning quality of a city where the good guys and bad guys aren’t easily distinguished." Plus, brief reviews of new true-crime books. Raceless: In Search of Family, Identity, and the Truth About Where I Belong by Georgina Lawton (Harper Perennial): "Lawton’s discussion of racial passing, transracial adoption, mixed-race identity and the health implications of being misidentified are freshly fascinating." Surviving the White Gaze by Rebecca Carroll (S. & S.): "Carroll writes with the urgency and persuasiveness of someone whose life is hanging in the balance, and the result is raw and affecting."

USA Today reviews Blood Gun Money: How America Arms Gangs and Cartels by Ioan Grillo (Bloomsbury: Macmillan), which earns 3 stars: "Grillo approaches the issue of proliferating firearms from myriad angles."

Briefly Noted

Bustle chooses its favorite books out this week.

Lit Hub recommends 14 new releases.

The Millions also selects the best books of the week.

Book Riot suggests "10 Speculative Short Story Collections To Enjoy In 2021."

Esquire lists "16 of the Most Essential Books on Black History to Read Before, During, and Well After Black History Month."

Bevy Smith shares Black History Month book recommendations with Amazon.

Destroyer author Victor LaValle is working on EVE, a five-issue comic series from Boom! Studios with art by Jo Mi-Gyeong. The first is due out in May. Black Nerd Problems has details. 

Tor.com has an excerpt from The Stolen Kingdom by Jillian Boehme (TorTeen: Macmillan), which is due out March 2.

The Rumpus interviews Dinty W. Moore, To Hell with It: Of Sin and Sex, Chicken Wings, and Dante’s Entirely Ridiculous, Needlessly Guilt-Inducing Inferno (Univ. of Nebraska).

The NYT Magazine features Kazuo Ishiguro, Klara and the Sun (Knopf: Random House; LJ starred review).

Poet Baba Badji discusses Ghost Letters (Parlor) with Electric Lit.

No One Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood (Riverhead: Penguin) is a novel of the internet, so Lit Hub explains 51 memes that are referenced in the book. Plus, she's interviewed by Elle.

Tori Telfer discusses Confident Women: Swindlers, Grifters, and Shapeshifters of the Feminine Persuasion (Harper Perennial) with Shondaland, which also has an interview with Alex Tresniowski, The Rope: A True Story of Murder, Heroism, and the Dawn of the NAACP (S. & S.).

The NYT covers the new graphic novel Muhammad Ali, Kinshasa 1974 by Jean-David Morvan an illustrated by Rafael Ortiz (Titan). Also, the paper's "Group Text" column features The Smash-Up by Ali Benjamin (Random House; LJ starred review). Plus, "New & Noteworthy" books.

"I’ve never found a model of the perfect romantic lover in real life," says Isabel Allende, The Soul of a Woman (Ballantine: Random House), in an interview with Datebook.

The Washington Post speaks with Kliph Nesteroff about We Had a Little Real Estate Problem: The Unheralded Story of Native Americans & Comedy (S. & S.). Also, a look at the Star Wars High Republic comics and novels series.

Brandon Hobson, The Removed (Ecco: HarperCollins; LJ starred review), does a Q&A with Kirkus.

Te-Ping Chen talks withLit Hub about Land of Big Numbers: Stories (Mariner: HMH).

R.O. Kwon, Kink: Stories (S. & S.), writes about disentangling abuse from kink at The Cut.

Yesterday's Google Doodle celebrated the 145th anniversary of the birth of Zitkala-Sa, activist and author, reports ARLnow. It renewed interest in her books, including American Indian Stories and My Life: Impressions of an Indian Childhood; The School Days of an Indian Girl; Why I Am a Pagan.

The L.A. Times reports on Undocupoets, a “group fighting to end citizenship-based discrimination in poetry publishing and contests.”

Authors on Air

The Real All Americans: The Team That Changed a Game, A People, A Nation by Sally Jenkins will be the first adaptation from Standing Arrow Productions. Variety reports.

Phylicia Rashad will executive produce and potentially star in the series adaptation of the ongoing Eternity Springs series by Emily March. Authors Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge are launching the podcast Saints, Sinners & Serial Killers, which will include episodes covering topics stem from their books, Hunting Whitey: The Inside Story of the Capture and Killing of America’s Most Wanted Crime Boss and The Last Days of John LennonMila Kunis will star in the feature adaptation of Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica KnollDeadline has the news.

Skyhorse, which published the Woody Allen memoir Apropos of Nothing, says the audiobook was used without permission in the new HBO documentary series Allen v. Farrow, and it's considering a copyright-infringement lawsuit. The L.A. Times has details. 

Joseph Henrich, The WEIRDest People in the World: How the West Became Psychologically Peculiar and Particularly Prosperous (FSG: Macmillan), is on the Keen On podcast.

The Ezra Klein Show features Hélène Landemore, Open Democracy: Reinventing Popular Rule for the Twenty-First Century (Princeton).

Want to get the latest book news delivered to your inbox each day? Sign up for our daily Book Pulse newsletter.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing