As a child, Xiaolu Guo hunted birds and toads to survive. Now, as a writer in Britain, she’s written a memoir about her difficult childhood, which you can read more about in this review in The New Statesman. Sample quote: “Perhaps it is no coincidence that the reason that Guo gives for deciding to write in English is to be free of Chinese government censorship, a process that she describes as the wearing down of a rock’s sharp edges to a smooth pebble.”
World Book Night is scheduled for this Tuesday, and 25,000 volunteers will gather to distribute free books to “light and non-readers across America.” Last year, our own Edan Lepucki participated in the event and wrote about it for our site. However this year, if you’d like to participate on your own, you can enter the organization’s book giveaway to receive “5 free WBN editions to share with others.” Get out there and spread some literary love.
Recommended reading: The Awl takes a look at the “attempt to create a completely logical, absolutely universal language,” which goes about as well as you’d expect (read: not very).
Attention Sassy and Jane fans: Infant savant/fashion blogger Tavi Gevinson and Jane Pratt (founder of Sassy and Jane) are starting a new magazine. The publication’s a bit of a mystery right now (no name or website yet), but if you want to be notified when the project launches, click here to get on the e-mail list.
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New this week: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr; American Innovations by Rivka Galchen; The Snow Queen by Michael Cunningham; The Temporary Gentleman by Sebastian Barry; An Untamed State by Rumpus editor and Year in Reading alum Roxane Gay; Wonderland by Stacey D’Erasmo; The Painter by Peter Heller; and Friday Was the Bomb by Millions contributor Nathan Deuel.
February 1st is the application deadline for the Cleveland State University Poetry Center Anisfield-Wolf Fellowship in Writing and Publishing. It’s a two year post-graduate fellowship that offers $40,000 per year while you work on completing a second book or starting a first. Apply now!
The Millions turned nine years old this past weekend. I want to thank the writers, editors, and interns for another great year. And I especially want to thank our smart, passionate, and engaged readers for continuing to make The Millions such a fulfilling project for all of us.