Nobel Prize-winning author Doris Lessing passed away last weekend at her home in London. She was 94. Over the course of her career, Lessing wrote more than fifty novels, and won virtually every major literary award available in Europe. Accepting the Nobel in 2007, the year before she published her last novel, Lessing quipped, “I’m 88 years old and they can’t give the Nobel to someone who’s dead, so I think they were probably thinking they’d probably better give it to me now before I’ve popped off.” For more on Lessing, read her 2002 interview with Bookforum.
New Yorkers, if you’re free tonight, we recommend a celebration of Greek poet C.P. Cavafy, on the 150 anniversary of his birth. The event is hosted by the PEN American Center, and “combines performances, personal and scholarly reflections, onstage interviews, ‘live translations,’ musical numbers, and a live dance performance and video works by Greek choreographer/stage director Dimitris Papaioannou, based on Cavafy’s signature poems.” Among those involved will be Andre Aciman, Michael Cunningham, Mark Doty, Olympia Dukakis, Daniel Mendelsohn, Orhan Pamuk, and Kathleen Turner.
The New York Times previews this year’s Miami Book Fair, which, although it started in an neighborhood known for “prostitutes and vagrants” in a city not known for literary culture, has managed to become “the largest and by nearly all accounts the most diverse public literary event in the United States.”
Salon explains why Philip Roth is wrong in his depictions of elderly sex.
New York Magazine excerpts Daniel Menaker’s memoir about his career in publishing, which carries the revealing title My Mistake.
Prolific Italian translator William Weaver died on Sunday at his home in Rhinebeck, New York, at the age of ninety. In addition to translating the works of Italo Calvino, Weaver translated Umberto Eco, Primo Levi, Alberto Moravia, Eugenio Montale, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Italo Svevo, and numerous other well-known writers.