Literary Links & News: Karen E. Bender on the National Book Awards Longlist, Stevie Smith, Witch Week, H. G. Wells’s Birthday, & Mary Beard on Epitaphs

Every once in a while I post Literary Links and News.

Karen E. Bender

Karen E. Bender

1. Karen E. Bender’s stunning short story collection, Refund, has made The National Book Awards Fiction longlist. I wrote about it here in January and interviewed her  here.  Refund is one of the best books I’ve read this year, and I certainly hope it wins.  Go, Karen!

The complete longlist is:

Jesse Ball, A Cure for Suicide (Pantheon Books)

Karen E. Bender, Refund: Stories (Counterpoint Press)

Bill Clegg, Did You Ever Have a Family (Scout Press/Simon & Schuster)

Angela Flournoy, The Turner House (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Lauren Groff, Fates and Furies (Riverhead Books/Penguin Random House)

Adam Johnson, Fortune Smiles: Stories (Random House)

T. Geronimo Johnson, Welcome to Braggsville (William Morrow/HarperCollins)

Edith Pearlman, Honeydew (Little, Brown/Hachette Book Group)

Hanya Yanagihara, A Little Life (Doubleday/Penguin Random House)

Nell Zink, Mislaid (Ecco/HarperCollins)

Collected poems and drawings of stevie smith 97805713113092. Will May writes about The Collected Poems and Drawings of Stevie Smith in The Guardian.  He edited the book, which will be published in October.  I covet it!

3. Lory is sponsoring Witch Week at her blog, The Emerald City Review (Oct. 31-Nov. 5). This year’s theme is “New Tales from Old,” fiction derived from fairy tales, folklore or myth, or other old stories.   Post your suggestions for reading at her blog.


H. G. Wells

4. “H. G. Wells Invented Everything You Love” is the title of a brief essay by Leah Schnelbach at Today is his birthday.  Not only did he write great SF, but he slept with many of my favorite writers, among them Rebecca West and Elizabeth von Arnim.  (Okay, that’s a digression, but he did invent much that we love.)

5. At her blog at the TLS, Mary Beard writes a fascinating short piece on Roman memorials and epitaphs.  Beard is a celebrity classicist who has popularized Roman history in her accessible books and often questions our assumptions.