O'Farrell's 'Hamnet' wins book critics award for fiction
FILE - Author Maggie O'Farrell poses for the media at the Costa book awards in London on Jan. 25, 2011. O'Farrell's "Hamnet," an imagined take on the death of Shakespeare's son from the bubonic plague, has won the National Book Critics Circle prize for fiction. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)NEW YORK – Maggie O'Farrell's “Hamnet,” an imagined take on the death of Shakespeare's son from the bubonic plague, has won the National Book Critics Circle prize for fiction. “Hamnet,” an unfortunately well timed story for the current pandemic, explores the impact of the boy's illness and death on his family. The book critics circle was founded in 1974 and has hundreds of members around the country.
Penguin Random House, PEN America team up to Book the Vote
NEW YORK – Neil Gaiman, Anita Hill and Ann Patchett will be among the contributors to Book the Vote, an online initiative to provide information on the electoral system, voting registration and civic topics. Book the Vote is a collaboration among Penguin Random House, PEN America, the non-profit organization When We All Vote and the literary retailer Out of Print, which is owned by Penguin Random House. One feature is called “How America Works” and covers four topics: the right to vote, voting for the president, the Supreme Court and the electoral college. “Truth, facts, press freedom, and the future of open discourse are all on the ballot this November,” PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel said in a statement. Noseel and Penguin Random House U.S. CEO Madeline McIntosh said they were pleased to be working together to provide credible and authoritative information about the U.S. election and voting rights.
Survey: In Hollywood, few believe harassers will be punished
But that doesn’t mean workers in Hollywood have faith that other harassers and abusers will be similarly punished. Instead, three years after the explosive Weinstein scandal launched the #MeToo movement, a survey by the Hollywood Commission, chaired by Anita Hill, finds a strong belief in the industry that sexual harassers will not be held to account. “People don't believe their complaints will be taken seriously, they don’t believe that something will happen to people who are found to be harassers. — Few people are reporting sexual harassment or misconduct, because there is little confidence something will be done about it. Hill said she was also struck by the fact that the respondents “really believe in this industry.
Former US Ambassador to Ukraine to be honored by PEN America
Ambassador to Ukraine who was forced out of her job last year by the Trump administration, is being honored by PEN America. The alleged attempt to make a foreign government investigate a political opponent led to Trump's impeachment in December on two counts by the Democratic-run House. “At a time when, for government officials, standing on principle can spell an end to a professional career, Ambassador Yovanovitch did not flinch or falter,” said Suzanne Nossel, CEO of PEN America, said in a statement. She will be among the guests Dec. 8 at PEN's annual gala, to be held online because of the coronavirus pandemic. Others receiving awards will include author and musician Patti Smith and Chinese dissident Xu Zhiyong.
Biden under pressure to unveil list of potential court picks
ATLANTA – Joe Biden is resisting calls from President Donald Trump and even some fellow Democrats to release his list of potential Supreme Court picks seven months after he pledged to name the first Black female justice. A Supreme Court nomination is certain to amplify those dynamics. He’s since nominated Justices Neil Gorsuch, who appeared on a preelection list in 2016, and Brett Kavanaugh, who appeared on a post-election list. There is some irony in Supreme Court politics being such a potentially prominent variable in Biden’s presidential hopes. Even a 5-4 Supreme Court majority deciding the 2000 presidential election in favor of Republican George W. Bush over Democrat Al Gore did little to shift campaign dynamics concerning the court.
2 female firsts at the Supreme Court announce retirements
WASHINGTON The Supreme Court said Tuesday that the first-ever women to hold two prominent positions at the court, handling the justices' security and overseeing publication of the court's decisions, are retiring. She served as the court's general manager and chief security officer, managing approximately 260 employees, including the Supreme Court's police force. The courts third and fourth female justices, Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Justice Elena Kagan, joined the court in 2009 and 2010 respectively. As marshal, Talkin was responsible for ensuring the justices security when they attended events, including the State of the Union, inaugurations and state funerals. All persons having business before the Honorable, the Supreme Court of the United States, are admonished to draw near and give their attention, for the Court is now sitting," she said in calling the court to order more than 700 times, even when she was hoarse with a cold.