PEN awards, plantable books, and more

May 15, 2015
Maaza Mengiste. Photo by Shevaun Williams
2013 Puterbaugh Fellow Maaza Mengiste. Photo by Shevaun Williams.

News, Reviews, and Interviews

The PEN literary award winners were announced, and several WLT authors received recognition. Denise Newman won the 2015 PEN Translation Prize for her translation of Naja Marie Aidt’s Baboon. Read a WLT interview with Newman, along with one of Aidt’s short stories. Burton Watson received the 2015 PEN/Ralph Manheim Medal for translation. WLT has an interview with Watson about his work in translation and translucence.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie closed the PEN World Voices festival with powerful remarks, highlighting censorship, the Bring Back Our Girls campaign, and how to break cultural silence.

In conjunction with the documentary Girl Rising (a film centered on global education for girls,) the Girl Rising team has released a set of curriculum for educators and students. WLT featured the Oklahoma premiere of the film in 2013 when one of its nine collaborating writers, Maaza Mengiste, visited WLT as the 2013 Puterbaugh Fellow.

The New York Review of Books is giving life to 300 books by publishing new editions. The mix includes an eclectic sampling of nineteenth-century established classics, cult favorites, and forgotten novels.

Bengali writer and women’s rights advocate Suchitra Bhattacharya died last week, but left behind an impressive legacy. Here are five of her best-loved works. 

The finalists for the Man Booker International Prize give insight into their inspiration, work, and literary heroes.

The American Society of Magazine Editors announced its magazine cover winners and finalists, including the Readers’ Choice Awards, voted on through social media. View the entire selection of winners.

The Nepal earthquake damaged the Kaiser Library in Kathmandu, with an estimated 9000 books caught in the aftermath.

Fun Finds and Inspiration 

Martin Salisbury recently published a new book surveying children’s picture-book design from around the world. The collection highlights artwork that’s innovative, original, or beautifully designed.

If you purchase a copy of the Argentine children’s book Mi Papá Estuvo en la Selva, you also have the chance to plant a tree. The eco-friendly book is made from acid-free paper lined with jacaranda tree seeds. Part of a new project called Tree Book Tree, this plantable book aims to teach kids where books come from as well as giving them a tangible way to give back to the environment.

The Guardian highlights 10 authors who are giving others a run for their money by excelling on the Internet. From Neil Gaiman to Haruki Murakami, these writers have successfully amassed a following by establishing a connection with readers through social media.