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In this week’s issue, Harper’s profiles the state of the arts as the pandemic slowly comes to an end; sci-fi and fantasy writers and readers rejoice in the rise of African speculative fiction; a light-hearted look at the challenges of being an author and a book reviewer at the same time; Amazon Publishing’s ebooks and audiobooks will now be available for checkout at public libraries; a craft essay from thriller writer Elizabeth Brundage; and more.

Stages of Grief: What the Pandemic Has Done to the Arts
Harpers’ Magazine
A poignant sobering summary of the state of the arts, including authorship, since the pandemic. The Authors Guild’s pandemic survey is mentioned in the second paragraph.

Amazon Publishing, DPLA Ink Deal to Lend E-books in Libraries
Publishers Weekly
“The Digital Public Library of America has signed an agreement to make roughly 10,000 Amazon Publishing e-books and digital audiobooks available to libraries, the first time that digital content from Amazon Publishing will be made available to libraries.”

African Speculative Fiction is Finally Getting its Due
The Washington Post
“Speculative fiction is blossoming across Africa. Major writers like Nnedi Okorafor and Tade Thompson have, between them, won the field’s highest honors, including the Hugo, World Fantasy and Clarke awards.”

Serious Trouble: Writing Character-Driven Thrillers
Thriller writer Elizabeth Brundage pens an essay on how to find the right direction for your novel.

NFTs for Books: How This Emerging Tech Can Reward Authors & Readers
Book Riot
“NFTs for books hold a lot of potential and significance for the publishing industry, both practically and creatively.”

Bertelsmann’s $2.2bn Deal for S&S Cleared by CMA after Investigation
The Bookseller
The UK’s anti-competition bureau said it found no reasons that Penguin Random House’s proposed acquisition of Simon & Schuster shouldn’t go forward. It still must be approved by the FTC in the United States before the deal can go through.

Lionel Shriver v Cynthia Ozick: Hurrah for the New Literary Beef
The Guardian
A light-hearted look at the challenges of being an author and a book critic at the same time shows that literary legends take it in stride (and have a little fun).

How Does a Book Get Adapted for TV or Film?
Literary Hub
A virtual roundtable discussion with three authors and one editor, Laura Van Den Berg, Daniel Torday, Melissa Scholes Young, and Stephanie Beard, on how to adapt a book into a movie script.