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50-Cent Harry Potter Proof Just Sold for $14K

Owner had bought first printing from a secondhand bookstore in 1997

(Newser) - The woman hardly knew what she'd bought in paying 40 pence, or about 50 cents, for three books back in 1997. Then 26, the woman "didn't have much money" but liked to browse secondhand bookshops for deals, she tells Hansons Auctioneers . She'd been looking for novels...

Louisa May Alcott May Have Had Another Pen Name

Literary scholar Max Chapnick believes he's uncovered another Alcott pseudonym: EH Gould

(Newser) - Louisa May Alcott was a lot like her Little Women character Jo in that she, too, wrote stories to support her family. Before Little Women was published in two parts in 1868 and '69, the poor Alcott wrote melodramatic thrillers under the pen names AM Barnard, Tribulation Periwinkle, and...

Winner of Nobel Lit Prize: I've 'Cautiously' Prepped for This

Norwegian author Jon Fosse's works 'give voice to the unsayable'

(Newser) - Jon Fosse, a master of spare Nordic writing in a sprawling body of work ranging from plays to novels and children's books, won the Nobel Prize in literature on Thursday for works that "give voice to the unsayable." Anders Olsson, chair of the Nobel Committee for Literature,...

'Impossibly Rare' Books Are Now on the Auction Block

First editions from Walt Whitman, Edgar Allan Poe, and more currently on offer at Christie's New York

(Newser) - Calling all book lovers: Christie's New York is teasing the sale of "the best collection of early American literature to come to market in a generation," per the Wall Street Journal . On offer is the nation's first spy novel, as well as its first bestseller written...

From Garcia Marquez, a 'Final Effort to Continue Creating'

New novel from late author, based on unfinished manuscript, is coming our way in 2024

(Newser) - Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel Jose de la Concordia Garcia Marquez, better known as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, died in 2014. A 150-page, unfinished novel he left behind will be published next year, a decade after his death following a bout with pneumonia at 87, reports NPR . Per the Guardian , the novel...

Sci-Fi Publisher Shuts Down Submissions After AI Spam

'Robot-generated literature' is filling Amazon's Kindle store, too

(Newser) - The Hugo Award-winning magazine Clarkesworld is one of the few paying publishers to welcome open submissions for science fiction short stories from new writers, per the Guardian . But it's now put an end to that practice, at least for a while, after receiving a flood of AI-generated pitches, which...

Roald Dahl's Books Stripped of Words Like Fat, Ugly

Inclusivity is the aim, though Salman Rushdie decries 'absurd censorship'

(Newser) - Adults who revisit Roald Dahl's fictional worlds will now find them a tad bit changed from decades past. With its new editions, publisher Puffin, a division of Penguin Random House, has rewritten some of Dahl's children's books to remove what it sees as offensive language, reports the...

Rookie Novelist Scores a National Book Award

Gunty's 'The Rabbit Hutch' won fiction prize; Imani Perry won for nonfiction for 'South to America'

(Newser) - Tess Gunty's The Rabbit Hutch, a sweeping debut novel set in a low-income housing community in Indiana, has won the National Book Award for fiction. The 30-year-old Gunty was among three writers nominated for their first published books, per the AP . The nonfiction prize went to Imani Perry's...

Author Who Uses Words Like 'a Knife' Wins Nobel in Literature

French author Annie Ernaux, 82, takes home the writing world's big prize

(Newser) - French author Annie Ernaux is the winner of the Nobel Prize in literature. Ernaux, 82, was cited for "the courage and clinical acuity with which she uncovers the roots, estrangements, and collective restraints of personal memory," the Nobel committee said. Mats Malm, permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy,...

Celebrated Literary Agent Dead After 7 Decades in Book Biz

Among his many achievements, Lord brought Jack Kerouac and other Beats to bookstores

(Newser) - Sterling Lord, the uniquely enduring literary agent who worked for years to find a publisher for Jack Kerouac’s On the Road and over the following decades arranged deals for everyone from true crime writer Joe McGinniss to the creators of the Berenstain Bears, has died. He had just turned...

Skeptic: This 'Fabrication' Shaped American Culture

But full story of 'Go Ask Alice' is more complicated than anyone realized, according to Rick Emerson

(Newser) - Published in 1971 and attributed only to “Anonymous,” the book Go Ask Alice was presented as the authentic diary of a teenage girl—the cautionary remnant of a life cut short by sex, drugs, and perhaps even rock ‘n’ roll. It broke boundaries with a raft of...

Most Ancient and Medieval Literature Is Long Gone

There's little chance of recovering any of it, but we can estimate how much there was

(Newser) - For three centuries, the Ptolemaic Dynasty worked to gather all the books ever written into one library in Alexandria, Egypt. Then it all burned down. By one account, the untold thousands of manuscripts smoldered for six months. As Laura Spinney explains in the Guardian, nobody today even knows the library'...

Assistant Principal Fired for Reading Butt Book Isn't Giving Up

School district upholds Toby Price's termination, but he'll appeal to Mississippi's Chancery Courts

(Newser) - Update: Toby Price remains fired for what his district says was poor judgment in storytime choice. The assistant principal had appealed his termination for reading I Need a New Butt to second-graders at Gary Road Elementary School near Jackson, Miss., but on Monday, his legal team let him know the...

Poet and Author Who Sparked 1990s Men's Movement Dies

Robert Bly, best known for Iron John , was 94

(Newser) - Robert Bly, one of the most prominent American poets of the last half century and author of the best-selling men’s movement classic Iron John, has died. He was 95. His daughter, Mary Bly, said her father died Sunday at his home in Minneapolis after suffering from dementia for 14...

'Uncompromising' Writer Takes Home Nobel for Literature

Abdulrazak Gurnah of Tanzania began writing as a 21-year-old refugee in exile

(Newser) - The 2021 Nobel Prize for literature was announced Thursday, an award that has in the past honored poets, novelists, and even a songwriter, Bob Dylan. The AP reports that Tanzanian writer Abdulrazak Gurnah took home the top award, with the Swedish Academy noting the Nobel was in recognition of Gurnah'...

COVID Has Ruined One More Thing
COVID Has Ruined
One More Thing

COVID Has Ruined One More Thing

The Bad Sex in Fiction Awards will not take place this year

(Newser) - The year 2020 giveth, and it taketh away. Mostly taketh away, even in the world of literature, where an honor doled out annually for nearly 30 years has been nixed due to the coronavirus. The Guardian reports that the Literary Review has canceled its Bad Sex in Fiction Awards, which...

Her 'Unmistakable' Voice Just Earned Her a Nobel

American poet Louise Glueck wins Nobel Prize in Literature

(Newser) - The Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded Thursday after several years of controversy and scandal for the world's preeminent literary accolade. American poet Louise Glueck was the recipient of the $1.1 million prize "for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal,"...

Eminent Critic Harold Bloom Dead at 89
Anxiety of Influence
Author Dies at 89

Anxiety of Influence Author Dies at 89

Eminent critic Harold Bloom was still teaching days ago

(Newser) - Harold Bloom, the eminent critic and Yale professor whose seminal The Anxiety of Influence and melancholy regard for literature's old masters made him a popular author and standard-bearer of Western civilization amid modern trends, died Monday at age 89. Bloom's wife, Jeanne, said that he had been in...

Author Wins Lit Prize From School Where She's a Cleaner

Author Caitriona Lally once attended Trinity College Dublin, where she's now been honored

(Newser) - An emerging Irish author has been awarded a major literary prize by the university where she works as a cleaner. Per CBC , Caitriona Lally has won the 2018 Rooney Prize for Irish Literature for her debut novel, "Eggshells." Lally won the honor from Trinity College Dublin, where she...

Copy of Lady Chatterley's Lover Could Fetch Obscene Cash

The paperback was used by the judge in a landmark obscenity trial against the publisher

(Newser) - A paperback copy of Lady Chatterley's Lover used by the judge in the UK obscenity trial of the novel's publisher is expected to sell at auction for up to $20,000, auctioneer Sotheby's said Wednesday. Penguin Books was prosecuted in 1960 for publishing DH Lawrence's book...

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