January 31, 2018

Willie Nelson is being inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters. Nelson is the first songwriter to be honored by the group, and joins screenwriter Richard Linklater, novelist Bret Anthony Johnston, and playwright Kirk Lynn among others to be inducted this year. “He’s Willie,” the institute explained in a statement. “Do we need to say anything else?”

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Late author Helen Dunmore has won the Costa prize for her final book, Inside the Wave.

Atria publisher and president Judith Curr is leaving the company after nineteen years. Curr founded Atria books and later took over the expanded Atria Publishing Group.

Kwame Alexander is starting his own imprint. Versify will be part of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers, with its first titles to be published in spring 2019.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has written a Facebook post in reaction to an interview question from a French journalist, who asked if there were book stores in Nigeria. “Bookshops are in decline all over the world. And that is worth discussing and mourning and hopefully changing. But the question, ‘Are there bookshops in Nigeria?’ was not about that,” she wrote. “It was about giving legitimacy to a deliberate, entitled, tiresome, sweeping, base ignorance about Africa. And I do not have the patience for that.”

Vanity Fair reports that Mike Cernovich, “the right-wing lifestyle guru and self-proclaimed journalist,” has bid $500,000 on Gawker.com. Maya Kosoff and Tina Nguyen write that although the offer may represent Cernovich’s desire “to navigate away from the fringes of the Internet . . . in a bid for more mainstream respectability,” his motivation to buy Gawker is more likely related to his “historic feud with the site, which dates back to at least 2014, when he challenged then-Gawker writer Sam Biddle to a boxing match over his coverage of Gamergate.”

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