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The Roundup: December 17, 2021

Globe graphic
A literary scholar asks if climate fiction can help stop global warming.
Image by Kai Stachowiak (CCO Public Domain License)

In this week’s issue, LitHub continues its countdown of the 50 biggest literary stories of the year; Penguin Random House challenges the DOJ’s claims that its proposed merger with Simon & Schuster will hurt authors; a compelling art case about the “fair use” doctrine in copyright law has ramifications for the literary world; a literary scholar asks if climate fiction help stop global warming; the latest in the school book-banning battles; and more.

Book Influencer Zibby Owens Launches Zibby Books
Publishers Weekly
Author, book influencer, and Moms Don’t Have Time to Read podcaster Zibby Owens will launch her own press, Zibby Books, in cooperation with Leigh Newman, senior editor-at-large at Catapult. Beginning in January 2023, Zibby Books will issue one fiction or memoir title each month with “a commitment to diverse literary voices”.

Penguin Random House Defends Efforts to Buy Simon & Schuster
The New York Times
Penguin Random House’s counsel argues that the merger in no way would harm authors despite the DOJ’s claims. The Authors Guild sides with the DOJ.

Warhol Foundation Tells SCOTUS Second Circuit’s Fair Use Ruling ‘Threatens a Sea-Change’ in Copyright Law
IP Watchdog
In a copyright infringement case regarding Andy Warhol’s Prince series, the Second Circuit recently ruled that even if a secondary work adds a new aesthetic or new expression to its source material doesn’t always mean it’s “transformative.” The Warhol Foundation asks the Supreme Court to hear the matter as this “fair use” ruling undermines artists’ ability, including authors, to take an established work and create something entirely new and different from it.

Does Climate Fiction Make a Difference?
A literary scholar conducts three studies on whether novels about climate change actually help persuade readers about its deleterious effects and the need to combat them.

Students, Teachers, and Librarians are Fed Up with Books Challenges
Book Riot
Here’s an update on the latest school boards to consider banning certain books and how the students are fighting back.

Being an Author: Expectations vs. Reality
Book Riot
Recognize it is unlikely you will be able to quit your day job and other advice from Y/A author Tirzah Price.

The Tragic Misfit Behind “Harriet the Spy”
The New Yorker
Years after her death, a biography of Louise Fitzhugh introduces readers to a queer, highly political feminist author decades ahead of her time.