Philanthropies eagerly back journalist Hannah-Jones
Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones is using major philanthropic donors to build her future as a tenured professor at Howard University, just as other major donors sought to stymie the Pulitzer Prize-winning Black investigative reporter at the University of North Carolina.
Winfrey chooses four Marilynne Robinson novels for book club
Oprah Winfrey announced Tuesday that she has selected Robinsons acclaimed quartet of Gilead narratives for her next book club selection. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)NEW YORK – Besides working on her newsmaking interview with Meghan and Prince Harry, Oprah Winfrey has been busy with the novels of Marilynne Robinson. Winfrey announced Tuesday that she has selected Robinson's acclaimed quartet of “Gilead” narratives for her next book club selection. I am looking forward to going on this journey with our Book Club community over the coming months," Winfrey said in a statement. Apple customers wishing to learn more about why Winfrey chose Robinson's books can now do so by asking Siri “What’s Oprah reading?” and hearing a recording of Winfrey.
American Academy of Arts and Letters expands, diversifies
(AP Photo)NEW YORK – One of the country's oldest cultural instititutions, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, is undergoing some of its biggest changes in more than a century. AdHarjo, the first Native American to be appointed U.S. poet laureate, said she looked forward to having an influence on future academy choices. “There are so many incredible Native visual artists,” she told the AP, while also citing such authors as N. Scott Momaday and Leslie Marmon Silko. But the academy will still call itself an academy, while working to make itself more accessible to artists and to the general public. Besides choosing members, the academy also gives dozens of prizes and grants each year, totalling more than $1 million.
Ta-Nehisi Coates to write new 'Superman' film
FILE - Author Ta-Nehisi Coates speaks during the Celebration of the Life of Toni Morrison in New York on Nov. 21, 2019. Coates, the acclaimed essayist and novelist who expanded the world of Wakanda in Marvel comics, will write the script for a new Superman film from Warner Bros. The studio announced Friday that Coates will pen the screenplay for an upcoming Superman film thats early in development. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)NEW YORK – Ta-Nehisi Coates, the acclaimed essayist and novelist who expanded the world of Wakanda for Marvel comics, will write the script for a new “Superman” film from Warner Bros. The studio announced Friday that Coates will pen the screenplay for an upcoming “Superman” film that's early in development.
Jay-Z's Roc Nation forms book publisher with Random House
NEW YORK – A decade after publishing his memoir “Decoded,” Jay-Z is forming a more lasting partnership with the book industry. Roc Nation, the entertainment company founded by the rapper, is starting an imprint with Random House called Roc Lit 101. In a joint announcement Tuesday, Random House and Roc Nation promised “books at the dynamic intersection of entertainment and genre-defying literature." Future releases will include a book by Meek Mill on “criminal justice and survival,” memoirs by rappers Yo Gotti and Fat Joe and fantasy fiction from rapper Lil Uzi Vert, along with everything from cookbooks to children's stories. Roc Lit 101 will be led by Chris Jackson, the publisher and editor-in-chief of the Random House imprint One World and a recent recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the Center for Fiction; and Jana Fleishman, executive vice president of Roc Nation.
James McBride among those honored by Center for Fiction
NEW YORK – Author James McBride and editor Chris Jackson were among those honored Thursday night by the Center for Fiction. Jackson, whose authors range from Ta-Nehisi Coates to Bryan Stevenson, was given the Medal for Editorial Excellence Award. Jackson runs the One World imprint of Penguin Random House. The Center for Fiction awarded its First Novel Prize to Raven Leilani for “Luster,” the story of a young Black woman's affair with a married, middle-aged white man. Finalists included this year's Booker Prize winner, Douglas Stuart's “Shuggie Bain.”
`The books that see her through': Winfrey suggests seven
NEW YORK – With Election Day approaching and the pandemic ongoing, Oprah Winfrey is setting aside her usual book club recommendations and instead citing seven personal favorites, ranging from James Baldwin's landmark essays in “The Fire Next Time” to Mary Oliver's poetry collection “Devotions.”Winfrey is calling her choices “The Books That See Me Through," works she values for “their ability to comfort, inspire, and enlighten.”"It’s a mix of fiction, poetry, non-fiction and spirituality, books I know and trust and revisit time and again,” she said in a statement Monday. Winfrey had planned a new choice every two months; her previous selection, Isabel Wilkerson's “Caste,” was announced in early August. Winfrey spokesperson Chelsea Hettrick said the seven books announced Monday would serve as “a bridge between selections,” and that no firm timeline had been set for future choices. “This year has brought such unprecedented change overall. We will re-evaluate in the coming weeks the selection plan and timing for the remainder of 2020,” she said.
Oprah holds conversation with 'Caste' author on Apple TV+
LOS ANGELES – Oprah Winfrey will have an in-depth conversation with famed author Isabel Wilkerson as part of the next episode of her “Oprah’s Book Club.”Winfrey’s episode will focus on Wilkerson’s book “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents,” which will air free on Apple TV+ on Friday. The detailed discussion will explore context of the book that delves into Wilkerson’s exploration of race and hierarchy in the U.S. In the episode, Winfrey will also ask the reason behind writing “Caste” for Wilkerson, who won a Pulitzer Prize for her book “The Warmth of Other Suns.”In August, Winfrey picked Wilkerson’s “Caste” for her book club. Winfrey will dig deeper to discuss themes of the book in a two-part episode on Apple TV+ on Oct. 9. “Caste” continues Winfrey’s book club partnership with Apple that began last fall.
Winfrey picks Isabel Wilkerson's 'Caste' for her book club
And on Tuesday, Winfrey announced she had chosen Isabel Wilkerson's exploration of race and hierarchy in the U.S., Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, as her latest book club pick. Wilkerson's book, Winfrey said in a telephone interview, could change the way we see each other, how we see our humanity and the structure of our world." Caste continues Winfrey's book club partnership with Apple that began last fall and includes such previous picks as Ta-Nehisi Coates' novel The Water Dancer and the nonfiction Hidden Valley Road, by Robert Kolker. Winfrey said many details in Caste were revelatory for her, such as the Nazis' admiration for the Jim Crow system. She read Caste a few months ago, before bound, printed copies were available.
HBO to adapt Ta-Nehisi Coates' 'Between the World and Me'
Author Ta-Nehisi Coates speaks during the Celebration of the Life of Toni Morrison, Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019, in New York. A stage production of Ta-Nehisi Coates' "Between the World and Me," his prize winning book about racism and police violence against Blacks, is being adapted by HBO for a special this fall. HBO announced Thursday that the program will feature readings from Coates' book and will be directed by Apollo Theater Executive Producer Kamila Forbes. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)NEW YORK A stage production of Ta-Nehisi Coates' "Between the World and Me," his prize winning book about racism and police violence, is being adapted by HBO for a special this fall. Ive been working with Kamilah for almost as long as Ive been a writer, Coates said in a statement.
Cosby invokes systemic racism as he fights #MeToo conviction
___Constand knew Cosby from her job at Temple University, where Cosby was a booster, alumnus and longtime trustee twice her age. (She thought she was taking a homeopathic supplement; Cosby later said it was Benadryl, while acknowledging he once gave a 19-year-old Quaaludes before sex.) A decade later, Black comedian Hannibal Buress took Cosby to task for his scolding. You rape women, Bill Cosby, so turn the crazy down a couple notches," he said onstage in 2014. She also believes that racial bias exists in the criminal justice system.
Oprah picks James McBride's 'Deacon King Kong' for book club
This cover image released by Riverhead Books shows "Deacon King Kong," a novel by James McBride. Oprah Winfrey has chosen McBrides Deacon King Kong for her book club. (Riverhead Books via AP)NEW YORK Oprah Winfrey has chosen James McBride's Deacon King Kong for her book club. But it also pays tribute to community and to McBride's own childhood in a Brooklyn project. Then she said she liked Deacon King Kong' and had been a fan of my previous work.
Ta-Nehisi Coates' debut novel among Carnegie Medal finalists
NEW YORK, NY Ta-Nehisi Coates' first novel, "The Water Dancer," is among the nominees for an Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence. Coates' narrative of an enslaved person's journey to freedom is a fiction finalist, along with Valeria Luiselli's "Lost Children Archive" and Myla Goldberg's "Feast Your Eyes." The finalists were announced Monday by the American Library Association, which presents the awards. Winners in each category receive $5,000, made possible in part by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. The winners will be announced Jan. 26.