“The clash of genre values is fundamental to the novelistic experience. That’s how we ought to be thinking about our books. Instead of asking whether a comic book could be “as valuable” as King Lear, we ought to ask how the values of tragedy and romance might collide.” Joshua Rothman writes about the coming “collapse of the genre system” and our own Emily St. John Mandel‘s National Book Award short-listed Station Eleven for The New Yorker.
"It is not normal for the President of the United States to refuse to offer even passing respect to the idea that telling the truth matters. It is not normal for the President to pretend that any news coverage he dislikes is 'fake news' that has been fabricated by the reporters who made up the story as well as their sources."Because this is where we are, PEN America has issued Trump the Truth, a report on free expression during the President's first 100 days. And in case you missed it, you must read our own Adam Boretz's review of Mark Lamont Hill's Nobody.
Dwight Garner, writing in the current issue of The New York Times Magazine, laments that so many high-end American novelists seem to be working on "the nine-year plan," delivering a new novel roughly once a decade. He cites Jeffrey Eugenides, who will be out soon with The Marriage Plot, his third novel in 18 years, along with such slow cookers as Jonathan Franzen, Donna Tartt and Michael Chabon. One name Garner neglected to mention is the Pulitzer Prize-winner William Kennedy, who will be out next month with Chango's Beads and Two-Tone Shoes, the eighth installment in his Albany cycle and his first novel since Roscoe appeared nine years and nine months ago. Look for our review of it here next month.
July is the month of revolutions and upheavals, as Tom Nissley has asserted, so maybe you’ll want to change gears from reading literature and literary non-fiction to instead investigate some of the summer’s best comics. On this journey, Kevin Nguyen will be your guide.
Did you know there was such a thing as the Prime Minister's Literary Awards? It's true. Since 2007, Australia has named winners annually in six categories (fiction, non-fiction, poetry, children's fiction, young adult fiction, and Australian history) – and the prize money's pretty good, too. Speaking of prizes, you might also want to check out the list of U.S. National Book Awards finalists here.