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Weekly Roundup: February 1, 2019

Our round-up of key news affecting authors. In this week’s edition: Man Booker prize looks for a new sponsor, the most magical little library, and more…

Another cartoonist loses his job. This does not bode well for the future of newspaper cartooning.
The Washington Post
“‘This is a worrisome trend,’ Benson said. ‘Cartoonists are canaries in the coal mine—and we draw darned good canaries. This is a foreshadowing of more to come.’”

It’s Not the Stuff of a Playful BuzzFeed Quiz
The New York Times
“Since BuzzFeed’s chief executive, Jonah Peretti, and its managers started delivering the bad news, the company has faced criticism for dragging out the firing process, and employees who were let go have publicly criticized their severance packages.”

The Unadaptable Me
The New Yorker
What happened to the dream of writing a novel for the novel’s sake rather than to sell it to Hollywood? “I am left wondering about the future for myself, and for others like me, the unadaptable, who grew up under the delusion that the best thing they could do with their lives was to write a novel,” writes Juliet Lapidos.

Citing Social Media Controversy, Debut Author Delays Publication of YA Novel
Publishers Weekly
Others on social media posted their concerns regarding the book’s content and themes, particularly that a slave auction scene in Blood Heir was insensitive to POC readers due to the history of slavery in the U.S.”

Booker Prize Trustees Search for New Sponsor After Man Group Exit
The Guardian
“The Man Booker prize is searching for a new sponsor after the hedge fund company Man Group announced it was ending its 18-year relationship with Britain’s most prestigious literary award.”

Russian Booksellers Say Online Retail Competition Is Gaining Fast
Publishing Perspectives
“The share of online sales of books could be as high as 35 percent in the Russian market within five years, according to one executive.”

Penguin Random House Closes the Prestigious Imprint Spiegel & Grau
The New York Times
The division published best-selling books by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Trevor Noah, and more. Its closing is the latest move by Penguin Random House to streamline operations.

The Most Magical ‘Little Free Library’ Is Built Right Into a Tree Stump
Atlas Obscura
“In the city of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, known to many as a sleepy lakefront resort town, a woman named Sharalee Armitage Howard has turned a dying 110-year-old black cottonwood tree into a magical library.”

Behrouz Boochani: Detained Asylum Seeker Wins Australia’s Richest Literary Prize
The Guardian
“The winner of Australia’s richest literary prize did not attend the ceremony. His absence was not by choice.”