2022 Gotham Book Prize Finalists Announced | Book Pulse

The 2022 Gotham Book Prize finalists are announced. Many books are being challenged and banned by schools across the southern United States. Interviews abound with insights about Natasha Brown of Assembly, Grace Cho of Tastes Like War: A Memoir, Bryan Washington of Memorial, Kim Fu of Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century, Imani Perry of South to America, Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka of The Roughest Draft, Morgan Thomas of Manywhere, Tamsyn Muir of Nona the Ninth, Jenny Pentland of This Will Be Funny Later, Jessamine Chan of The School for Good Mothers, Jennifer Haigh of Mercy Street, John Darnielle of Devil House, Deesha Philyaw of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, Rachel Krantz of Open: An Uncensored Memoir of Love, Liberation, and Non-Monogamy--A Polyamory Memoir, and Marcial Gala of Call Me Cassandra. Fran Dorricott’s The Lighthouse will be adapted for television.

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Awards & Challenged Book News

The 2022 Gotham Book Prize Finalists are announced.

Art Spiegelman, creator of Maus (Pantheon), speaks about a Tennessee school board banning his work. This story is covered by Entertainment Weekly. Lit Hub features Spiegelman’s response.

Chuck Palahniuk, author of Fight Club (Norton), discusses the recent Chinese censorship of his book’s film adaptation with Entertainment Weekly

LGBTQ+ books have been quietly pulled from a Washington state middle school, according to Book Riot

Salon covers “book banning fever” in Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee.

Page to Screen

January 28:

All of Us Are Dead, based on the webtoon Now at Our School by Joo Dong-geun. Netflix. No reviews | Trailer

February 1:

Raising Dion, based on the comic by Dennis Liu. Netflix. Reviews | Trailer

The Resident, based on the book Unaccountable by Marty Makary. FOX. Reviews | Trailer


The Washington Post reviews Accidental Gods by Anna Della Subin (Macmillan): "depicts a dazzling range of human religious experience, by turns moving and horrifying, familiar and gloriously weird. Subin does not wholly answer the questions she raises but invites a broader investigation of the ways humans make meaning and order out of suffering and chaos." Plus, The Loop: How Technology Is Creating a World Without Choices and How To Fight Back by Jacob Ward (Hachette): "But “The Loop,” like many books that set out to prove that technology is unequivocally bad, has little new to offer. Instead, it continues to clang the bell of anti-tech rabble-rousing, a sound we’ve all heard before and don’t need to hear again." Also, Unthinkable: Trauma, Truth, and the Trials of American Democracy by Jamie Raskin (Harper): "Raskin has taken full measure of his son and his relationship with him. He continues to discover how Tommy’s life has changed his and is willing to share this with all of us. He is extending an invitation for anyone who loves a child to do the same." 

NYT shares short reviews of new thrillers including The Book of the Most Precious Substance by Sara Gran (Dreamland), Road of Bones by Christopher Golden (St. Martin's; LJ starred review), and Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century by Kim Fu (Tin House Books). Also, The Shortlist features books on "the lives of Black women, at home and abroad" with What the Fireflies Knew by Kai Harris (Tiny Reparations), Wahala by Nikki May (Custom House; LJ starred review), and Nobody's Magic by Destiny O. Birdsong (Grand Central).

Oprah Daily reviews The High House by Jessie Greengrass (Scribner): “All over the world, we’re hearing the drumbeat of news signaling the toll climate change is taking on our planet and in our daily lives, from uncontrollable wildfires to extreme weather events to water shortages. Film and television directors, playwrights, and fiction writers have taken up the cry, including British author Jessie Greengrass, whose timely and terrifying second novel, The High House, imagines a cluster of survivors as they confront a looming apocalypse and their own inner pain.”

Locus Magazine reviews Termination Shock by Neal Stephenson (Morrow): “What works so well in Termination Shock is Stephenson’s ability to craft believable-enough characters and stick them in crises that could be lurking just around the corner.”

Tor.com reviews How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu (Morrow; LJ starred review): “At times, this is a movingly lived-in story about grief, focusing in many parts on people whose lives intersect with the pandemic but are not themselves infected with it. But that’s not entirely accurate; Nagamatsu’s novel also has bold and metaphysical streak, which ultimately takes the narrative to some unexpected places.” The Seattle Times also reviews this book: “Literary fiction meets speculative fiction in each vignette, and as heavy as the accumulated material comes to be, Nagamatsu punctuates the tragedy with moments of humor.”

Datebook reviews In the Shadow of the Mountain by Silvia Vasquez-Lavado (Holt & Co.): “has all the elements a great memoir requires — a strong voice, cinematic prose, a hero to root for — in essence, an extraordinary story about an extraordinary woman’s life.”

Book Marks has "The Best Reviewed Books of January."

Briefly Noted

Natasha Brown talks about “writing with fewer limitations” and her book Assembly (Little, Brown; LJ starred review) with The Millions

Grace Cho chats with People about her mother developing schizophrenia at 45 and how she hopes her book Tastes Like War: A Memoir (The Feminist Pr. at CUNY) will help push for better treatment of mental illness.

Bryan Washington, Memorial (Riverhead), discusses “care and craft” with The Atlantic

The Rumpus interviews Kim Fu, author of Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century (Tin House Books), about celebrating “the pleasures of the writing process, regardless of external goalposts.”

Tamsyn Muir, Nona the Ninth (Tor: Macmillan), talks with Vox about why she “turned her fantasy trilogy into a quartet halfway through.”

Imani Perry, South to America (Ecco), chats about “American identity, home, and dreaming a future of freedom” with Shondaland. Also, Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka talk about “the complexities of creative partnerships” and their book The Roughest Draft (Berkley). Plus, Morgan Thomas, author of Manywhere (MCD), discusses their “fascination with genderqueer lineages.”

Vogue interviews Jenny Pentland about her new “harrowing (and hilarious) memoirThis Will Be Funny Later (Harper).

Jessamine Chan, The School for Good Mothers (S. & S.; LJ starred review), and Jennifer Haigh, Mercy Street (Ecco), discuss writing their timely novels as a “colossal accident.”

Spice Girl Melanie Chisholm will be coming out with a memoir, Who I Am, due to be released in September, according to Bustle

Kellyanne Conway will publish a book Here’s the Deal (S. & S.) to be released in May about her time in Trump’s White House, according to People

Electric Lit shares “Genderqueer Short Stories About the Ways We Mythologize Our Identities.”

Book Riot gives “24 Interracial and Black Romance Books to Add to Your TBR List in 2022.”

Vogue provides “7 LGBTQ+ Books We Can’t Wait to Read This Year."

Lit Hub has "The 12 Best Book Covers of January" and a reading list recommended by Wajahat Ali, author of Go Back to Where You Came From: And Other Helpful Recommendations on How to Become American (Norton).

NYT lists “12 New Books We Recommend This Week" and "New in Paperback."

Authors on Air

John Darnielle, Devil House (MCD), discusses “the crisis of conscience in true crime” with Maris Kreizman on The Maris Review podcast.

Deesha Philyaw, author of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies (West Virginia Univ.), talks about “why her book should not have succeeded” on the Book Dreams podcast.

Rachel Krantz chats about “navigating the mental frameworks of non-monogamy” and her book Open: An Uncensored Memoir of Love, Liberation, and Non-Monogamy--A Polyamory Memoir (Harmony) with Brad Listi on Otherppl podcast.

Lit Hub interviews Marcial Gala, Call Me Cassandra (FSG), on his writing about Cuba through the lense of The Illiad

Fran Dorricott’s The Lighthouse (Avon: HarperCollins) will be adapted for television by The Lighthouse Film and Television company, according to The Bookseller.

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