Murphy ekes out win in NJ, GOP's Youngkin upsets in Virginia
Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey narrowly won reelection in his reliably blue state while a Republican political newcomer delivered a stunning upset in the Virginia governor’s race, sending a warning to Democrats that their grip on power in Washington may be in peril.
Karen Tei Yamashita to receive honorary National Book Award
The National Book Foundation announced Friday that Karen Tei Yamashita has been awarded its medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, a $10,000 honor previously given to Toni Morrison, Robert Caro and Isabel Allende among others.
American Academy of Arts and Letters expands, diversifies
(AP Photo)NEW YORK – One of the country's oldest cultural instititutions, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, is undergoing some of its biggest changes in more than a century. AdHarjo, the first Native American to be appointed U.S. poet laureate, said she looked forward to having an influence on future academy choices. “There are so many incredible Native visual artists,” she told the AP, while also citing such authors as N. Scott Momaday and Leslie Marmon Silko. But the academy will still call itself an academy, while working to make itself more accessible to artists and to the general public. Besides choosing members, the academy also gives dozens of prizes and grants each year, totalling more than $1 million.
Women's Hall of Fame honors Aretha Franklin, Morrison, Lacks
The National Women's Hall of Fame was founded in 1969 in Seneca Falls, the site of the first women’s rights convention. She won 18 Grammy awards and, in 1987, became the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She was 75 years old when she became the first Black woman to set foot on the North Pole, and stood on the South Pole five years later. Born during the Civil War, Terrell was a dedicated suffragist whose civil rights activism continued up until her death in 1954 at the age of 90. Terrell was the first Black woman in the United States appointed to the school board of a major city, the District of Columbia.
`The books that help her through': Winfrey suggests seven
NEW YORK – With Election Day approaching and the pandemic ongoing, Oprah Winfrey is setting aside her usual book club recommendations and instead citing seven personal favorites, ranging from James Baldwin's landmark essays in “The Fire Next Time” to Mary Oliver's poetry collection “Devotions.”Winfrey is calling her choices “The Books That Help Me Through," works she values for “their ability to comfort, inspire, and enlighten.”"It’s a mix of fiction, poetry, non-fiction and spirituality, books I know and trust and revisit time and again,” she said in a statement Monday. Winfrey had planned a new choice every two months; her previous selection, Isabel Wilkerson's “Caste,” was announced in early August. Winfrey spokesperson Chelsea Hettrick said the seven books announced Monday would serve as “a bridge between selections,” and that no firm timeline had been set for future choices. “This year has brought such unprecedented change overall. We will re-evaluate in the coming weeks the selection plan and timing for the remainder of 2020,” she said.
Alexie, Pilkey books among most 'challenged' of past decade
FILE - In this Oct. 10, 2016 file photo, author and filmmaker Sherman Alexie appears at a celebration of Indigenous Peoples' Day at Seattle's City Hall. Alexie is included in a list of authors who wrote books that were among the 100 most subjected to censorship efforts over the past decade, as compiled by the American Library Association. All wrote books that were among the 100 most subjected to censorship efforts over the past decade, as compiled by the American Library Association. The association does not formally count the number of times books are actually removed from a library shelf or from a school reading list. “There are actually two lines of objections to the Anne Frank diary,” Caldwell-Stone says.
Walter Mosley to receive honorary National Book Award
NEW YORK Walter Mosley is receiving an honorary National Book Award, cited for dozens of books which range from science fiction and erotica to the acclaimed mystery series that has followed the life of Los Angeles private detective Ezekiel Easy Rawlins. The National Book Awards are presented by the non-profit National Book Foundation. But like such previous medal winners as Ray Bradbury and Elmore Leonard, he has never been nominated for a National Book Award in a competitive category. Mosley knows well the reason: Crime fiction is usually bypassed when lists for a years best books are considered. In a statement Thursday, National Book Foundation Executive Director Lisa Lucas noted the quantity, and quality, of Mosley's work.
New literary prize is $50,000 honor for best New York story
NEW YORK A new literary award with a $50,000 cash prize will honor those best at telling a New York story. Wolfson and Tusk are funding the prize themselves and have committed to at least 10 years. Starting next spring, the award will be presented to a book, fiction or nonfiction, published in a given calendar year that is about New York City or takes place there. Celebrated works of the past that would have fit that category include Robert Caro's The Power Broker, Tom Wolfe's The Bonfire of the Vanities and Toni Morrison's Jazz.Jurors for the Gotham prize include filmmaker Ric Burns, poet Safina Sinclair and former New York City schools chancellor Dennis Walcott. The deadline for submissions for the 2020 prize is Nov. 1.
Library of Congress to honor author Colson Whitehead
NEW YORK Colson Whitehead keeps winning awards. Already this year's recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the Orwell Prize for political fiction, Whitehead is now being honored by the Library of Congress. On Monday, it announced that he had won the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction. Whitehead, 50, is the youngest winner of the lifetime achievement prize, which the library has previously given to Toni Morrison, Philip Roth and Denis Johnson, among others. He is the first author to win Pulitzers for consecutive works of fiction The Underground Railroad and The Nickel Boys, for which he won in April.
Black History Month
Nora Neale HurstonEatonville, FLConsidered one of the pre-eminent writers of twentieth-century African-American literature, Hurston was closely associated with the Harlem Renaissance and has influenced such writers as Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison, Gayle Jones, Alice Walker, and Toni Cade Bambara.