Award-Winning Poet Samiya Bashir Named Executive Director of Lambda Literary | Book Pulse

Lambda Literary announces award-winning poet and writer Samiya Bashir as its new Executive Director. Dopesick, based on the book by Beth Macy, garners an Emmy win for Michael Keaton. Romance drives sales in this week's NPD Book Scan. Lessons by Ian McEwan gets buzz and a 4-star review from USA Today. Interviews arrive with Andrew Sean Greer, Ian McEwan, Rachel Aviv, Meghan Gilliss, and Kate Beaton. EW has a first look at Samantha Irby's forthcoming Quietly Hostile, due out in May 2023. Emma Straub pens a remembrance of her late father Peter Straub. Plus, a preview of Netflix’s forthcoming film, The School for Good and Evil, based on the book by Soman Chainani.

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Awards & News

Lambda Literary announces award-winning poet and writer Samiya Bashir as its new Executive Director.

Dopesick, based on the book by Beth Macy, garnered an Emmy win for Michael Keaton in the category lead actor in a limited or anthology series or movie. Deadline has a complete list of winners.

Publishing Perspectives analyzes this week’s NPD Book Scan Data. In the U.S., romance leads growth. "While nothing is certain, we expect the romance category will continue to see elevated sales through 2023,” said Kristen McLean, books industry analyst for NPD. “Readers are buying more escapist fiction, combined with more shelf space dedicated to romance and BookTok titles across book retailers, will help contribute to the category’s continued success.”


USA Today reviews Lessons by Ian McEwan (Knopf), giving it 4 out of 4 stars: “McEwan, who is steeped in the sounds and rhythms of English literature, and for whom novels and poems practically assume the importance of characters, has written a masterpiece of a novel that is simultaneously about the business of growing up and getting old, and the business of writing fiction.”

NYT reviews The Mosquito Bowl: A Game of Life and Death in World War II by Buzz Bissinger (Harper: HarperCollins; LJ starred review): “If the author bemoans that the term Greatest Generation has become a 'tired bromide,’ the mission of his book is to restore the hard-won honor of that designation by focusing at length on what these men endured and how so many lived and died.” And, The Storm Is Here: An American Crucible by Luke Mogelson (Penguin Pr.): “The storm is here, Mogelson’s important book warns us, in the threat of public violence and at the ballot box.”  Also, Jollof Rice and Other Revolutions: A Novel in Interlocking Stories by Omolola Ijeoma Ogunyemi (Amistad): “Each of the 10 chapters that make up this novel can stand on its own, but together they tell a beautiful story of sisterhood, family and love.” And, Flush: The Remarkable Science of an Unlikely Treasure by Bryn Nelson (Grand Central): “Nelson’s overarching message is that humans must become comfortable with what’s inside them in order to accept its massive potential to do some planetary good.” And, Blood & Ink: The Scandalous Jazz Age Double Murder That Hooked America on True Crime by Joe Pompeo (Morrow): “Flourishes aside, Blood & Ink is an addictive whodunit and a vivid depiction of a crime that gripped a generation of newspaper readers.” Also, Two Nurses, Smoking: Stories by David Means (Farrar): “the 10 pieces here might compose his storiest collection yet, deriving a twitchy, knowing power from their creative transparency.” Plus, Dinners with Ruth: A Memoir on the Power of Friendships by Nina Totenberg (S. & S.): “Without reaching too hard to draw parallels, Totenberg weaves the story of her own coming-of-age in journalism, at a time when women in the field were still underrepresented, with the rise to power of Ginsburg, who, likewise, faced sexism, exclusion and unequal pay as she pursued her legal career.” Lastly, there is a paired of review of two novels: First Love and My Phantoms by Gwendoline Riley (NYRB).

NPR reviews The Backstreets by Perhat Tursun, tr. by Darren Byler and Anonymous (Columbia Univ. Pr.): “Tursun's writing is extremely spare, and much of its depth might be missed without knowing the historical and political context of China's control over Xinjiang.”

Datebook reviews Less Is Lost by Andrew Sean Greer (Little, Brown): “is perfectly balanced; sad and joyful, honest and hilarious, wonderfully strange and very real. Greer is a great chronicler of our times, and his vision of America celebrates the best of it while also showing its dark side, and that makes this novel required reading.”

Briefly Noted

NYT has a feature interview with Andrew Sean Greer about his forthcoming book, Less Is Lost (Little, Brown), a follow-up to his Pulitzer Prize winning novel Less.

LA Times talks with Ian McEwan about his new book, Lessons (Knopf), "why this novel feels so personal, as well as his ‘duty to optimism’ about the future.”

Rachel Aviv discusses her new book, Strangers to Ourselves: Unsettled Minds and the Stories That Make Us (Farrar), “the challenges of reporting on sensitive topics, her thoughts about modern psychiatry, and the stories we tell ourselves to make sense of who we are,” with Shondaland.

ElectricLit speaks with Meghan Gilliss about her novel, Lungfish (Catapult), “self-definition in parenthood, culturally imposed isolation, and how her book addresses substance use disorder.”

Kate Beaton talks to Wired about her new graphic memoir, Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands (Drawn & Quarterly), and “teaching readers about life in the oil sands of Canada.”

The Rumpus highlights Linea Nigra: An Essay on Pregnancy and Earthquakes by Jazmina Barrera, tr. by Christina MacSweeney (Two Lines Pr.).

Polaris Prize finalists, duo Ombiigizi, recommend Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice (ECW Pr.: Baker & Taylor) at CBC.

NPR’s Life Kit shares lessons from Platonic: How the Science of Attachment Can Help You Make--and Keep—Friends by Marisa G. Franco, PhD (Putnam).

Entertainment Weekly has a preview, cover reveal, and short interview with Samantha Irby about her forthcoming book of essays, Quietly Hostile (Vintage), due out in May 2023.

The Chicago Tribune reports on the popularity of a Chicago area book club for Black menVisible Man Review.

LitHub highlights 24 new releases for the week.

The Millions shares notable new books for the week.

BookRiot has the best books out this week.

CrimeReads shares the best psychological thrillers of the month.

The Takeout recommends “8 Must-Read Food Books Coming This Fall.”

At Vulture, Emma Straub pens a tribute to her late father, author Peter Straub.

Authors On Air

NPR’s Morning Edition talks with David Ambroz about his new book, A Place Called Home: A Memoir (Legacy Lit: Hachette).

Ian McEwan drops by Barnes & Noble’s Poured Over podcast to talk about his new book, Lessons (Knopf), “aging, writing a novel in lockdown, what kinds of books make us cry,” and more.

PBS Canvas explores Benjamin Franklin’s legacy and the longest-running lending library in the United States.

Entertainment Weekly has a first-look at Netflix’s forthcoming film, The School for Good and Evil, based on the book by Soman Chainani.

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