The 2021 Scotiabank Giller Prize Longlist Is Announced | Book Pulse

Winning news for the 2021 Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist. Interviews abound with Krystale Littlejohn of Just Get on the Pill: The Uneven Burden of Reproductive Politics, Dr. Yusef Salaam of Better, Not Bitter: Living on Purpose in the Pursuit of Racial Justice, Max Porter of The Death of Francis Bacon, Dr. Bruce Perry of What Happened to You?, YZ Chin of Edge Case, Lauren Groff of Matrix, and Sally Rooney of Beautiful World, Where Are You. New books for Stephanie Grisham, a spokeswoman for former president and first lady Trump, with I’ll Take Your Questions Now, Christine Quinn with How to Be a Boss Bitch, and The Official Alien Cookbook by Chris-Rachael Oseland. Lastly, a short story by Stephen King is being used to raise money for the ACLU.

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Award News







The 2021 Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist is announced.

Naveen Kishore wins the 2021 Ottaway Award for the Promotion of International LiteratureWords Without Borders has the news.

Page to Screen

September 10:

Dragon Rider (Firedrake the Silver Dragon), based on the book by Cornelia Funke. Netflix. Reviews | Trailer

Lucifer, based on the comic book series The Sandman created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth, and Mike Dringenberg. Netflix. Reviews | Trailer

The Smurfs, based on the comic books by Peyo. Nickelodeon. No reviews | Trailer

September 12:

American Rust, based on the book by Philipp Meyer. Showtime. No reviews | Trailer

September 13:

Y: The Last Man, based on the comic book Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra. Hulu. Reviews | Trailer

September 15:

Nightbooks, based on the book by J. A. White. Netflix. No reviews | Trailer

September 16:

The Lost Symbol, based on the book by Dan Brown. Peacock. No reviews | Trailer


NYT reviews The Family Roe: An American Story (W. W. Norton): “If you like your stories the way too many of us now do — pat, with the narrative reverse-engineered to validate your priors — this book is not for you. But it is if you want an honest glimpse into the American soul, into the foul and sometimes fruitful marriage of activism and commerce, into the ways in which people can be and believe contradictory things, into the inner and outer lives of women squelched and tossed by reproductive tyranny.” Also, Shakespearean: On Life and Language in Times of Disruption by Robert McCrum (Pegasus: S. & S.): “McCrum addresses how Shakespeare moves us (from dread to laughter), how his fearless creativity grew out of his tumultuous era and personal history, and how these aspects were not at odds with meeting professional commitments.” And, Survival of the City: Living and Thriving in the Age of Isolation by Edward Glaeser and David Cutler (Penguin): "Written in the midst of a pandemic whose end is not yet in sight, the book explains why cities and their economies were so vulnerable to Covid-19, and offers a blueprint for addressing the vast disparities in health and economic mobility that the events of the past year have thrust into the spotlight."

The Washington Post reviews Say It Loud!: On Race, Law, History, and Culture by Randall Kennedy (Pantheon): "One of the leading authorities on race relations in the United States, Kennedy has a knack for making others’ seemingly sophisticated ideas look immature. And that skill is on full display here." Also, Jane Austen and Shelley in the Garden by Janet Todd (Fentum: Consortium): "It’s as if we readers are taking a trip to Cambridge, Wales and Venice, too, and encounter in the local pubs a few witty, quirky locals who just happen to be literary scholars. They regale us with their favorite lines from poems while they share a glass of wine or a pint of ale, as if we are all friends just enjoying each other’s company in a summer that — in our imagination anyway — can go on as long as we’d like." And, On Freedom: Four Songs of Care and Constraint by Maggie Nelson (Graywolf Press): "For “On Freedom” is ultimately a book that asks us to boldly and generously enter the minefield, to pick up what we find useful, to be pushed and provoked, to polish and discard and reinvent, and then to decide, alone and, ideally, in communion, where to go next." Also, China Coup: The Great Leap to Freedom by Roger Garside (University of California Press): "Sheridan’s narrative has quite a few flaws. He spends the first half of the book bogged down in the weeds of Britain’s diplomatic negotiations with China over Hong Kong’s future, struggling to find ways to make the account colorful without adding much new perspective. The final parts of the book, which cover the past decade of upheavals in Hong Kong, read like a long, repeatedly updated news story." Lastly, Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney (Farrar; LJ starred review): "Novelists rarely fill the role that showrunners, actors and influencers have now assumed in mainstream culture. This is a book designed to be widely read and discussed. Even as another series is being filmed of her work — and so too will this, I imagine — Rooney’s commitment to the beauty of the novel feels old-fashioned and sincere in the best way."

NPR reviews Civilizations by Laurent Binet (FSG): “Civilizations is the rare novel that manages to wear its ethical investigation lightly without minimizing its own questions. Binet seems to genuinely want to know to what extent conquest and the cruelty it inevitably produces are reducible, redeemable, or escapable. He also plainly wants to play around.”

Electric Lit reviews Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney (Farrar; LJ starred review): “In Beautiful World, Where Are You, the emotional beats of the plot are conventionally wrapped up, but the reader is left to come to their own conclusions about the intellectual questions it poses.”

Book Marks has "The Best Reviewed Books of the Week."

Briefly Noted

Salon interviews Krystale Littlejohn, author of Just Get on the Pill: The Uneven Burden of Reproductive Politics (University of California Press), on “how emphasis on the pill lets condom etiquette and safety slide.”

Dr. Yusef Salaam, Better, Not Bitter: Living on Purpose in the Pursuit of Racial Justice (Grand Central: Hachette) chats with Ebony about “his life experiences and lessons learned.”

Dr. Bruce Perry talks about “how to heal from trauma” and co-authoring What Happened to You? (Flatiron: Macmillan) with Oprah on Shondaland. Also, YZ Chin, Edge Case (Ecco), discusses “the inspiration behind her darkly humorous new novel.” 

Chicago Magazine features an interview with Sandra Cisneros, author of Martita, I Remember You (Vintage), who "reflects on her roots and her new novella's not-so-perfect portrayal of the city [of Chicago]."

Liane Moriarty talks to The Washington Post about how she has no problem writing "women's fiction."

NYT interviews Tarana Burke, founder of the #MeToo movement and author of Unbound: My Story of Liberation and the Birth of the Me Too Movement (Flatiron; LJ starred review) about telling her own story. Also, a discussion with Max Porter, author of The Death of Francis Bacon (Strange Light: Random House), about how he “imagines the last days of a painter who shares his obsession with mortality.”

Ann Pachett, These Precious Days (Harper), “finds that misfortune in small doses can cast a glittering light on the rest of life” for a piece in NYT.

Vanessa Hua, author of River of Stars (Ballantine: Random House), writes about 9/11, “dread and hope over new catastrophes” for Datebook

CrimeReads features a piece by Lindsay Marcott about "finding Gothic beauty and danger on the California coast" for her book Mrs. Rochester's Ghost (Thomas & Mercer: Amazon; LJ starred review).

Stephanie Grisham, a spokeswoman for former president and first lady Trump, is publishing a memoir I’ll Take Your Questions Now (HarperCollins) to come out Oct 5. People has the news. Also, a cover reveal and interview for Selling Sunset star Christine Quinn’s new memoir, How to Be a Boss Bitch set to come out May 2022.

Gizmodo announces the upcoming The Official Alien Cookbook by Chris-Rachael Oseland and gives a first look.

Electric Lit shares an excerpt from Happy Hour by Marlowe Granados (Verso Fiction).

Jessica Dulong, Saved at the Seawall: Stories from the September 11 Boat Lift (Three Hills: Longleaf), remembers "the Marine workers who ferried New Yorkers to safety on 9/11" for Lit Hub. Also, Ellen Feldman shares "how the history of German-Jewish refugee soldiers during WWII shaped [her] novelThe Living and the Lost (St. Martin's). Plus, Dawn Turner, Three Girls from Bronzeville: A Uniquely American Memoir of Race, Fate, and Sisterhood (S. & S.; LJ starred review), explores "finding safety in [her] mother, grandmother, and aunt."

Lit Hub shares an excerpt of Shaun Usher's Letters of Note: Sex (Penguin: Random House). Also, an excerpt of For Brown Girls with Sharp Edges and Tender Hearts: A Love Letter to Women of Color by Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodríguez (Seal Press).

Lauren Groff, Matrix (Riverhead), fills out Elle’s Shelf Life literary survey. Also, she has an interview with Shondaland about “creating poet Marie de France’s story from scratch.” Plus, a discussion about “love and fierce feminism in Medieval England” with Popsugar.

Lit Hub explores controversy around a Judith Butler interview published by The Guardian

Marvel has launched an app with access to “exclusive” Infinity Comics. Entertainment Weekly has more.

A short story by Stephen King is being used to raise money for the ACLU. Lit Hub has the scoop.

The Root’s It’s Lit shares PageTurners “new releases include tales of trauma, family and coming of age, essays about Jim Crow and a girl trying to survive in New Rochelle at the start of the pandemic.”

CrimeReads lists “Five Books That Examine the American Penal System.”

Book Riot gives “10 Genre-Blending Fantasy Books,” “Top Books 2021: The Most Highly Ranked and Widely Read on Goodreads This Year” and “10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Alexandre Dumas.”

Electric Lit provides “A Literary Guide to Understanding Afghanistan, Past and Present.” has “5 Books That Treat Friendship as Seriously as Romance” and “Must-Read Speculative Short Fiction: August 2021.”

NYT provides "New in Paperback" featuring The Best of Me by David Sedaris (Little, Brown, & Co.) and Piranesi by Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury USA: Macmillan; LJ starred review) among others.

Bustle shares “10 Must-Read Books Out This Week.”

Esquire lists “The 40 Best Books of 2021 (So Far).”

Authors on Air

Sally Rooney, Beautiful World, Where Are You (Farrar; LJ starred review), speaks to Terry Gross for NPR’s Fresh Air about the “themes of sex, friendship and life’s dark uncertainty.”

Bustle shares spoilers about the BBC Two adaptation and ending of Ian McGuire’s The North Water (Picador: Macmillan).

S. Qiouyi Li of In the Watchful City ( Macmillan) talks about "surveillance technology, experimental narratives, and neopronouns" with Rob Wolfe on the New Books Network podcast.

Robert O’Brien’s Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh (S. & S.) will receive an updated television adaptation with Fox. Gizmodo has more. Deadline also covers this news.

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