Hey there and welcome to this week’s Lez Liberty Lit!
The Nobel Prize in Literature is “fun” now, writes Alex Shephard at the New Republic, and it’s a loss for global literature:
“There is enormous pressure to keep prizes contemporary and to make sure that they make a splash, year after year.
Given its pedigree, the Nobel Prize doesn’t have to keep sponsors happy, which means it doesn’t necessarily face this kind of pressure. And yet it’s also shifted its identify over the last three years, embracing a kind of populism. Obscurity is no longer a virtue, and all literary forms are welcome. But that change has also come at a cost. Despite being dismayingly Eurocentric—a black African writer has not won since 1986, for instance—the Nobel was the premier way for difficult and strange writing of high quality to get a wider audience. With the Nobel edging toward the likes of Dylan and Ishiguro, this is a loss for global literature.”
Most of the National Book Award finalists this year are women.
At Lit Hub, Ottessa Moshfegh writes about how Shirley Jackson makes us lose our minds, noting, “There is a peculiar malfunction in the brain, I think, when something deeply familiar appears in a strange context. And in fiction, this malfunction can turn into a ride through a new dimension of possibility.”
There’s going to be a Joan Didion documentary.
Here’s a guide to poet Rupi Kaur.
Read on public transit.
It would be cool if Sylvia Plath could appear in the author photo on her books in something besides a bikini.
Literature doesn’t really talk about illness.
Read these book recommendations from Dear Coquette. Read these spooky queer women reads. Read these nasty woman books. Read these feminist books. Read these books on contemporary politics, mostly about the UK. Read these books about being socially awkward.