Book News Roundup

Hunter S. Thompsonäó»s Weed, Booker Prize Turmoil, and Other Literary News

hunter-thompson_gonzo_foundationIn an interview with Hunter S. Thompsonäó»s widow, Anita Thompson, The Aspen Times reveals that Thompson will launch a line of äóìGonzoäó branded cannabis, based on strains that the writer actually used. Anita Thompson recently regained legal control of the äóìGonzoäó trademark and the hard-partying writeräó»s likeness, as well as ownership of his Owl Farm property, both of which had been held by a legal trust.
 
The winners of the 67th annual National Book Awards were announced in mid-November. The two big winners were Colson Whiteheadäó»s The Underground Railroad for fiction and Ibram X. Kendiäó»s Stamped From the Beginning for nonfiction, while Daniel Borzutzky took the poetry prize for The Performance of Becoming Human. You can find a full list of nominees at Electric Literature.
 
Meanwhile, a major controversy continues to brew across the pond. In October, Paul Beatty became the first American writer to win the traditionally British Commonwealth-only Man Booker Prize. That has led a series of British authors, including A. S. Byatt, to condemn the opening of the prize to Americans.
 
The Guardian is putting out a series of comprehensive äóìBest of 2016äó lists. Its Best Fiction list (that is, literary fiction) highlights Zadie Smithäó»s Swing Time and Margaret Atwoodäó»s Hag-Seed. Thereäó»s also a Crime and Thriller list and a Science Fiction listäóñ all excellent places to catch up with anything you might have missed in your favorite genre.
 
Thereäó»s another notable award set to round out the year. The Literary Reviewäó»s Bad Sex in Fiction AwardŒæhas become a strangely beloved institution, and this yearäó»s nominees include Ethan Caninäó»s A Doubteräó»s Almanac and Gayle Formanäó»s Leave Me. The winner is set to be announced this week.

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