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News Roundup: September 12, 2022

In this week’s edition: The 2022 literary awards season is upon us, starting with the winners of the Hugo Awards and the finalists for the Booker Prize; a book critic examines what it takes to write thoughtful reviews; Sterling Lord, the longest-working literary agent ever, dies at 102; a journalist asks whether unions are the answer to disparities in the publishing industry; and Amazon loses another appeal to stop its Staten Island warehouse from unionizing.

The Words “I Wanted” Do Not Belong in Book Reviews
Book Riot
Book critic Laura Sackton argues that thoughtful reviewers must separate the kinds of books they want to read from those they do read in order to evaluate books on their own merits.

Hugo Awards Winners Announced
Book Riot
The winners of the 2022 Hugo Awards, the most prestigious award in science fiction, are Arkady Martine’s A Desolation Called Peace (Best Novel); Becky Chambers’s A Psalm for the Wild-Built (Best Novella); Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children (Best Series); N.K. Jemisin’s Far Sector (Best Graphic Novel or Comic); and Naomi Novik’s The Last Graduate (Best Young Adult Book).

Alan Garner Becomes Oldest Author Shortlisted for Booker Prize
The Guardian
At 87, British author Alan Garner has become the oldest novelist to be shortlisted for the Booker Prize for his novel Treacle Walker. Among the other 2022 finalists are two Americans, the Authors Guild’s own Elizabeth Strout for Oh William! and Percival Everett for The Trees. Zimbabwean writer NoViolet Bulawayo’s Glory; Sri Lankan novelist Shehan Karunatilaka’s The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida, and Irish author Claire Keegan’s Small Things Like These round out the shortlist. The winner, who will receive £50,000, will be announced on October 17.

Labor Board Tosses Amazon Objection to Union Vote
The Hill
The National Labor Relations Board has thrown out Amazon’s objection to the vote to unionize its Staten Island warehouse, saying it found no objectionable conduct by worker organizers that would affect the results of the election. Though workers voted overwhelmingly to unionize in March, Amazon has been challenging the results and plans to appeal this latest ruling as well.

Is the Publishing Industry Broken?
Publishers Weekly
Women in publishing still earn nearly $20,000 less a year than their male counterparts, imprints are slow to promote workers of color to leadership roles and struggle to retain them when they do, and publishing houses have become increasingly corporatized, demanding longer and longer hours from junior staffers. Is unionization the solution?

Sterling Lord, Literary Agent Who Shepherded ‘On the Road,’ Dies at 102
The Washington Post
Legendary literary agent Sterling Lord, who worked for five years to secure a publisher for Jack Kerouac’s On the Road (eventually selling it to Viking and securing Kerouac a $1,000 advance), passed away earlier this week at the age of 102. He continued to work as an agent well into his nineties, representing well-known authors like Ken Kesey, Amiri Baraka, Nicholas Pileggi, Joe McGinniss, Robert McNamara, and Stan and Jan Berenstain.