News & Notes is a weekly Saturday post featuring book- and publishing-related news, links to interesting articles and opinion pieces, and other cool stuff
- The Newbery, Caldecott, Printz, Coretta Scott King, and Alex awards were announced at the ALA’s Midwinter Meeting in Seattle this week, along with a number of less well-known literary prizes for books for children and teens. (ALA) Meg Medina’s Merci Suárez Changes Gears won the Newbery Medal; the Caldecott went to Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall; and The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo won the Printz award. You can see the runners-up, plus the various King, Alex, and other award winners, on the ALA website.
- Young adult author cancels [or postpones] own novel after race controversy. (The Guardian) Amélie Wen Zhao’s fantasy novel, Blood Heir, was scheduled for publication in June, but the author has asked Delacorte Press not to release it “at this time.” The book came under criticism for tone deafness regarding slavery. The author, a Chinese-American immigrant, says that she was writing from her own cultural perception, critiquing indentured labor and human trafficking in Asia. In her apology, Zhao acknowledged, “The narrative and history of slavery in the US is not something I can, would, or intended to write, but I recognize that I am not writing in merely my own cultural context.” She has not said whether she will rework the book in light of the criticism. (Publishers Weekly also covered this story.)
- Polar Vortex Slams Midwestern Booksellers This Past Week. The arctic cold (literally!) discouraged shoppers from going out and caused some businesses to close for a day or more. (Publishers Weekly)
- Amazon’s 2018 Sales Topped $232 Billion in 2018. That includes sales from third-party vendors (at least 50% of holiday sales) and Amazon’s cloud services. (Publishers Weekly)
- New England vs. Los Angeles: A Battle of Words: A Super Bowl-inspired look at east coast/west coast regionalisms (Merriam-Webster)
- Matt Salinger: ‘My father was writing for 50 years without publishing. That’s a lot of material. J.D. Salinger’s son says that his father’s work will be published eventually, but it will take time for him to pull it together and edit it as the author requested him to. (The Guardian)
- You: the hit Netflix show exposing the creepiness of romcoms (The Guardian) Food for thought, especially for those of us who read or watch a lot of romance novels and romcoms.
- Writing Myself Into Existence with Fan-Fiction (Rebecca Wei Hsieh, for Book Riot)
Book & Movie Announcements
- Stephen King reveals his next novel, ‘The Institute,’ will be published this September (Los Angeles Times)
This was me, most of the week.
That’s it for this week!