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Book News: Pulitzer 'Winner' Takes on A Whole New Meaning

Sharon Olds'  poses on the porch of her home in Pittsfield, N.H., on Monday, when it was announced that her poetry collection titled <em>Stag's Leap</em> had won a Pulitzer.
Jim Cole
Sharon Olds' poses on the porch of her home in Pittsfield, N.H., on Monday, when it was announced that her poetry collection titled Stag's Leap had won a Pulitzer.

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

  • Monday's Pulitzer awards news has led to an immediate sales spike for the winners. Sharon Olds' poetry collection Stag's Leap is already sold out on Amazon, and Adam Johnson's The Orphan Master's Son was at Amazon's No. 8 spot Monday morning — up from No. 2,025 on April 9. Lacey Dunham, the marketing director of D.C. bookstore Politics & Prose, said that with the Pulitzer, more than any other award, "the impact on sales is huge."
  • In Virginia, a charmingly pre-digital project called "The People's Library" allows residents to check blank books out of the library, take them home, and write personal histories in them before returning them as records for the Richmond Library.
  • "Contemporary covers can be rancid things. Littered with sales copy and discount stickers. They crumple, they tear, they smudge, they catch on things when you dump them in your bag. Once you embrace the serenity of coverless books you can never go back." — Five designers on the art of book covers, in The Virginia Quarterly Review.
  • Literary critic Germaine Greer writes in The New Yorker about Shakespeare's love of April: "Shakespeare's favorite month would seem to be April, when 'wheat is green, when hawthorn buds appear.'... No other month is mentioned half as often in his works as showery, windy, sometimes unforgettably exquisite April."
  • Anne Carson published a new and characteristically cryptic poem in the latest issue of The London Review of Books: "4.0. Mirrors led the Cycladic people to think about the soul and to wish to quiet it."
  • George Orwell's birthplace in India is being turned into a memorial park in honor of Mahatma Gandhi, the Agence France-Presse reports. Meanwhile, Flavorwire's Emily Temple discovers that the birthplaces of Edith Wharton, Eugene O'Neill and Jack London are now ... Starbucks locations. Obviously.
  • Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Annalisa Quinn is a contributing writer, reporter, and literary critic for NPR. She created NPR's Book News column and covers literature and culture for NPR.
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