Weekly Roundup: Literary Tidbits

Here are six literary headlines that grabbed my attention this week:

  1. The American Book Awards were announced on Monday and there are many new titles and authors I’ll be adding to my “Must Read” list. I want to draw particular attention to one winner though, Ira Sukrungruang, who won for his book Southside Buddhist(University of Tampa Press). Ira is super talented and he came to Florida Tech last year to teach a workshop for our Creative Writing Institute.

  1. Harper Lee’s long-awaited sequel, Go Set a Watchman, has been out for over a week now and it has been causing quite a stir due to the depiction of Atticus Finch. As Slate’s Katy Waldman contends, “The Atticus inTo Kill a Mockingbird is a fortress, a living literary creation.” This makes the older Atticus portrayed in Go Set a Watchman difficult to accept for many readers who are fans of Mockingbird or Gregory Peck’s film version of the character. Jacob Brogan examines this tension in his recent article, arguing that “There’s no reason to think thatWatchman’s Atticus reduces Mockingbird’s, or Gregory Peck’s, for that matter, simply because he arrived later. But the pervasive fear that it does mean something offers a window into today’s critical culture.” You can read the first chapter of the new novel here or listen to Reese Witherspoon narrate it.

    Book Cover from Harper Collins Publishers
    Book Cover from Harper Collins Publishers
  1. The great contemporary American writer E.L. Doctorow died this week. Check out a recent article in The New York Times that examines how he placed his fictional characters within historical contexts and how he experimented with narrative forms.

  1. What are your “literary gaps”? This great piece over at Hazlitt explores the answers from eleven writers discussing which famous books they’ve never read and why. As for myself, I definitely need to read more Steinbeck!


  1. Are you planning to squeeze in a road trip before the fall semester begins? For inspiration, check out this awesome map of American literature’s most epic road trips!

  1. I’ve read my fair share of Dr. Seuss books to my child and on my own, but it looks like there is now one more title to add to our list. The widow of Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss) found another book by her late husband and it will be available next week. If you’re interested in how this lost book got published, read this article by Boris Kachka on how Dr. Seuss’s editor, Cathy Goldsmith, helped to finish it.

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