This week in lit news: VIDA, the organization that’s been counting appearances by women writers in major literary journals since 2010, will expand their 2014 count to include data on race/ethnicity.
"Everyone who’s been reading the manuscript is in tears by the second chapter.” Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, parents of Trayvon Martin, have signed a deal to publish a book titled Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin; its release is scheduled for January 31, 2017. Might we also recommend Ismail Muhammad's piece from earlier this week on Frank Ocean, "looking again," and the black male body – you'll feel more whole for having read it.
Colson Whitehead has some advice: write the book that "scares you shitless." In a recent, wide-ranging interview with John Freeman, the Underground Railroad author talks about why he wrote his latest novel, along with his methods for sussing out good ideas. You could also read our review of The Underground Railroad.
Flavorwire has compiled a list of the best literary criticism of the year, ranging from Rebecca Solnit on Lolita to Elena Ferrante on literary publicity. Also check out this year’s most notable Millions pieces, from our star-studded Year in Reading to a literary reader for Lent.
Harper Lee, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of To Kill a Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman, died this morning in Monroeville, Alabama at the age of 89. Lee won the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 for Mockingbird, which later formed the basis of a film starring Gregory Peck. To learn more about her legacy, you could read our own Michael Bourne on the hidden character of Atticus Finch, or else read Robert Rea on a pilgrimage he took to her home.