Industry & Advocacy News
January 28, 2022
In this edition, awards season gets underway with the ALA’s 2022 Newbery, Caldecott, Prinz, Carnegie Medal winners and PEN America’s 2022 Literary Awards finalists. Novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie talks about why she expects the quality of American literature to decline; the latest banned book by a Tennessee School board is Art Spiegelman’s classic graphic novel Maus; Poland plans to provide pensions, insurance. and other benefits to authors; Democrats push to enact antitrust reform before the mid-term elections derail efforts; and knowing your worth as an author.
Photo: Cover of Art Spiegelman’s Maus, yet another banned book taken out of circulation by a school board.
Tennessee School Board Bans Holocaust Graphic Novel ‘Maus’ – Author Art Spiegelman Condemns the Move as ‘Orwellian’CNBCA Tennessee school board has voted to remove the Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel Maus from an eighth-grade language arts curriculum due to concerns about profanity and an image of female nudity in its depiction of Polish Jews who survived the Holocaust. This is just the latest banned book exploring racism, antisemitism or the treatment of “other” to be removed from public schools by activist school boards.
Efforts to Rein In Big Tech May Be Running Out of TimeThe New York Times“In a significant step forward, a Senate committee voted on Thursday to advance a bill that would prohibit companies like Amazon, Apple and Google from promoting their own products over those of competitors. Many House lawmakers are pressing a suite of antitrust bills to make it easier to break up tech giants. And some are making last-ditch efforts to pass bills meant to strengthen privacy, protect children online, curb misinformation, restrain targeted advertising and regulate artificial intelligence and cryptocurrencies. But with the mid-terms fast approaching, time may be running out.”
Chimamanda Adichie Predicts a Decade of Awful BooksWashington Post Book ClubIn a recent podcast, acclaimed novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie talks with host Jon Favreau about the dangers of social media, the death of nuance and ideological purity pose to writers. “The literary arts that will be produced in the U.S. in the next 10 to 15 years—unless something changes—will be awful. The characters will be terrible mouthpieces because what’s happening now is people are afraid. I really think that people are afraid of not just writing about certain subjects but how they write about it. Art has to be able to go to a place that’s messy, a place that’s uncomfortable,” she states.
Poland’s Authors May Benefit From Pensions, Insurance, Other BenefitsPublishing PerspectivesA newly drafted bill, expected to be approved by the Polish Parliament, creates a new Chamber of Artists to administer a benefits plan for creative workers.
PEN America 2022 Literary Awards FinalistsPEN.orgPEN America just announced its list of 2022 finalists in 11 categories: Jean Stein Book Award ($75,000); Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Short Story Collection ($25,000); Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay ($15,000); Open Book Award ($10,000); Hemingway Award for Debut Novel ($10,000); E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award ($10,000); John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction ($10,000); Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography ($5,000); Voelcker Award for Poetry Collection ($5,000); Poetry in Translation Award ($3,000); PEN Translation Prize ($3,000) See the complete list of finalists.
ALA’s 2022 Youth Media Awards Winners AnnouncedPublishers WeeklyThe American Library Association announced the 2022 Youth Media Awards winners, regarded among the most prestigious honors children’s and YA authors receive. Donna Barba Higuera’s The Last Cuentista won the 2002 John Newbery Medal for outstanding contribution to children’s literature; Jason Chin’s illustrations for Andrea Wang’s Watercress received the 2022 Randolph Caldecott Medal; Angeline Boulley’s Firekeeper’s Daughter won the 2022 Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in YA fiction.
ALA’s 2022 Andrew Carnegie Medal Winners AnnouncedPublishers WeeklyThe American Library Association also announced the winners of the 2022 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction. Tom Lin won the fiction medal for The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu, and Hanif Abdurraqib won the nonfiction medal for A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance.
On the Importance of Knowing Your Worth As a Writer, Down to the DollarLitHubCrime writer Luke Cassidy pens an essay on not settling for the first offer on one’s book, even if it is the first one of the author’s to be published.
States Should Follow New York’s Rejection of Mandatory eBook LicensingCopyright AllianceThis op/ed written by attorney Rachel Kim for the Copyright Alliance, of which the Authors Guild is a member, suggests that U.S. states would save valuable time and resources not proposing new library eBook licensing laws since U.S. copyright law preempts state law.