Expanding the Canon | Book Pulse

Literary Canon







The Times Literary Supplement polled critics and writers in order to define a new canon of British and Irish authors. The top ten are Ali Smith, Hilary Mantel, Zadie Smith, Kazuo Ishiguro, Eimear McBride, Colm Tóibín, Nicola Barker, Alan Hollinghurst, Anne Enright, Sebastian Barry, and Jon McGregor (the last two tied for tenth place). The next grouping, from 11 to 20 include David Szalay, Kevin Barry, Deborah Levy, Tom McCarthy, Sally Rooney, Kamila Shamsie, Rachel Cusk, Gwendoline Riley, Sarah Waters, and Claire-Louise Bennett.

Time offers a 101 course on Octavia Butler.

The Atlantic features Nikki Giovanni.


Lev Grossman reviews Aetherial Worlds: Stories by Tatyana Tolstaya (Knopf) for the NYT, writing that “it’s more than worth sifting through a little dross for the pleasure of seeing the world through the corrective lens of Tolstaya’s vision.” The paper also reviews 1947: Where Now Begins by Elisabeth Åsbrink, translated by Fiona Graham (Other Pr.), calling it “an extraordinary achievement.” It is part of the “Shortlist.”  There is also a set of books on money—reminding all to do their taxes. Mike Wendling’s Alt-Right: From 4Chan to the White House (Pluto) is “an important guide to one of the most disturbing political developments of our time.” Author Terese Svoboda says of Gun Love by Jennifer Clement (Hogarth: Random), “the writing is crisp and the images sharp.” Finally, John Ashbery: They Knew What They Wanted: Collages and Poems by John Ashbery (Rizzoli Electa) is “an entire oeuvre of fantasy landscapes.”

The Washington Post issues its newest SFF column.

The L.A. Times reviews Sharp: The Women Who Made an Art of Having an Opinion by Michelle Dean (Grove) writing, it “deftly and often elegantly traces these women’s arguments about race, politics and gender, making a kind of narrative of the ideas at play in the pages of the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, the New York Review of Books, the Partisan Review and other publications.”

NPR says that The Chandelier by Clarice Lispector, translated by Benjamin Moser and Magdalena Edwards (New Directions: Norton), is “a shaggy stop-motion masterpiece, plotless and argument-less and obsessed with the nature of thought.”

Briefly Noted

The May Indie Next list is out, with A Lucky Man: Stories by Jamel Brinkley (Graywolf: Macmillan) leading the way.

The Graywolf Press Africa Prize announces its first winner.

The Paris Review names Emily Nemens as its new editor.

Entertainment Weekly interviews Eloisa James, Born to Be Wilde: The Wildes of Lindow Castle  (Avon: Harper).

PBS interviews Dan Egan, The Death and Life of the Great Lakes (Norton).

Jenny Offill interviews Joe Dunthorne, author of The Adulterants (Tin House: Norton) for Slate.

The NYT reports on the use of reading in criminal sentencing.

Entertainment Weekly discusses how Stephen King and Steven Spielberg failed to connect.

The NYT features a Seder performance (with music clip) and how it relates to a new book The Fox Hunt: A Refugee’s Memoir of Coming to America by Mohammed Al Samawi (William Morrow: Harper).

Authors on Air

Black Panther will be the first film released in Saudi Arabia in 35 years,” reports Shadow and Act.

A first look is out featuring Meryl Streep in Big Little Lies, season 2.

The comic series Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra, and Jose Marzan Jr. (Vertigo: DC Comics) is headed for TV.

The comic The Boys by Garth Ennis (Dynamite Entertainment) is also planned for TV.

Hidden Figures, based on the book of the same name by Margot Lee Shetterly, is headed to cable, in a new series by National Geographic.

CBS Films is planning to turn Michael Isikoff and David Corn’s Russian Roulette into a film.

Tom Hanks will star in Greyhound, based on C.S. Forester’s The Good Shepherd, says The Hollywood Reporter.

The forthcoming To Die in Vienna by Kevin Wignall (Tomas & Mercer, out June 14) just got optioned, with Jake Gyllenhaal attached to star. The film project will be renamed Welcome to Vienna.

A first look image is out for BBC’s adaptation of H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds.

Disney might remake High Fidelity, which was based on the book by Nick Hornby.

Vanity Fair goes behind the scenes to look at the new adaptation of Howards End.

Benedict Cumberbatch has bought TV rights to Ambrose Parry’s The Way of All Flesh (Canongate).

The full trailer of Fahrenheit 451 is out

The trailer for Terry Gilliam’s Don Quixote adaptation is out. The AV Club has the story.

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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 nwyatt@mediasourceinc.com.

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