Mary Beard and Helen Dunmore : Celebrating British Women Writers | Book Pulse

Author News

Poet Helen Dunmore wins the Costa Book of the Year award for Inside the Wave (Bloodaxe Bks). Dunmore died last year; The Guardian reports she “is only the second posthumous winner of the book of the year category in the prize’s history, after her fellow poet Ted Hughes won for Birthday Letters in 1998, and only the eighth poetry collection to take the top award.”

Celebrated and influential author Kwame Alexander gets his own imprint at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers; it will be called Versify. He tells the NYT, “My inclination is going to be to find books that other people might not view as feasible or doable…. I feel like I’m the guy to do that.”

The Guardian profiles Mary Beard in an extended and glowing piece. The paper also interviews Julian Barnes.

Briefly Noted

NYT reviews Heart Berries: A Memoir by Terese Marie Mailhot (Counterpoint): “Don’t be fooled by the title. Terese Marie Mailhot’s memoir…is a sledgehammer.” Author Bill McKibben reviews The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow’s World by Charles C. Mann (Knopf; LJ stars), writing that readers “will be enlightened and informed. And entertained.”

The Washington Post reviews An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (Algonquin: Workman), saying it “makes a surprising companion to Sing, Unburied, Sing [and that the questions of the novel are] spun with tender patience by Jones…in a story that pulls our sympathies in different directions.” The paper also offers picks for the best poetry collections of the month.

NPR reviews The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert (Flatiron: Macmillan; SLJ stars), lyrically claiming it “is crafted with all the care that goes into spinning nettle shirts for your enchanted swan-brothers and all the agony and beauty of spitting up roses and diamonds.” Also reviewed is Building the Great Society: Inside Lyndon Johnson’s White House by Joshua Zeitz (Viking), writing it “is endlessly absorbing, and astoundingly well-researched…more than worthwhile addition to the canon of books about Johnson.”

Authors on Air:

Glenn Frankel, High Noon: The Hollywood Blacklist and the Making of an American Classic (Bloomsbury USA: Macmillan), featured on NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday. Also on the show, Maureen Corrigan considers three Penguin Classics editions of Harlem Renaissance writers, calling them “a shake up and wake up call, reminding readers of the vigorous voices of earlier African-American writers, each of whom had their own ingenious take on ‘the race problem’ and identity politics.”

The Hollywood Reporter reviews Citizen Rose, writing “you’ll definitely come away from the pilot thinking she’s earned this.” The series debut sent McGowan’s book soaring on Amazon. She will be on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert tonight.

Ant-Man and the Wasp, based on the Marvel comics, gets its first trailer. It is trending on YouTube.

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Neal Wyatt About Neal Wyatt

Neal Wyatt is LJ's reader's advisory columnist. She writes The Reader's Shelf, RA Crossroads, Book Pulse, and Wyatt's World columns. She is currently revising The Readers' Advisory Guide to Genre Fiction, 3d ed. (ALA Editions, 2018). Contact her at

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