All News
Hate speech

Public domain photo of Ukrainian flag by Max Kukurudziak on Unsplash

In this week’s issue, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine enters its second week, a Ukrainian author shares his thoughts; why book publishers and sellers shouldn’t censor books using the UN’s definition of “hate speech”; Amazon closing its bricks-and-mortar bookstores; the new “hot” political, cultural and literary mag of choice is The Drift; the winners of the 2022 PEN Lit awards; and more.

The Fallacies of Applying the UN Hate Speech Definition to Literature
Publishers Weekly
Kenny Brechner, who recently resigned from the ABA’s board over its decision to use the United Nation’s definition of “hate speech” to censor the publication of certain books, articulates his reasons for applying the UN’s definition to literature.

Amazon to shut its bookstores and other shops as its grocery chain expands
Amazon announced that it plans to close most of its physical retail locations in the US and UK, including its Amazon Books bookstores. An analyst called it a wise move, stating Amazon’s attempt to attract brick-and-mortar book shoppers a “mismatch.”

A Humorous Ukrainian Writer, With Nothing to Laugh About
The New York Times
Ukrainian novelist Andrey Kurkov talks about what life is like in Kyiv since Russia invaded and his prescient 2018 novel Grey Bees, about two old men living in the neutral zone between the Ukrainian Army positions and those of the separatists supported by the Russian Army.

The Drift Wants You to ‘Examine Your Ideas’
The New York Times
The Drift
, a new literary magazine founded by two young New York women during the pandemic, has quickly become the hot new journal for emerging literary writers and cultural observers, harking back to the intellectual impact of Dissent, Commentary and Partisan Review. Only The Drift is of today.

Hernández, Choi, Renkl, Peters, and Miles Win 2022 PEN Lit Awards
Publishers Weekly
The winners of the 58th annual PEN Lit Awards are as follows: Daisy Hernández’s The Kissing Bug (Jean Stein Book Award); Yoon Choi’s Skinship: Stories (Debut Short Story Collection); Margaret Renkl’s Graceland, at Last (Art of the Essay); Torrey Peters’ Detransition, Baby (Debut Novel); Tiya Miles’s All That She Carried (Nonfiction); Catherine Raven’s Fox & I: An Uncommon Friendship (Literary Science Writing); Divya Victor’s Curb (Open Book Award for Writers of Color); Diane Seuss’s frank: sonnets (Poetry Collection);Rebecca Donner’s All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days(Biography); Julia Sanches for Mariana Oliver’s Migratory Birds (Prose Translation); and Jennifer Grotz and Piotr Sommer for Jerry Ficowski’s Everything I Don’t Know (Poetry Translation).

How Lydia Kiesling Fled to Write Her Next Book
The Atlantic
This compelling Q&A talks about how one author found a way to write in between doing freelance gigs and raising children