There’s a fugitive hiding somewhere in the tiny rust-belt town of Lomath, Pennsylvania. The FBI wants to find him, and they’re not just, like, looking around. They’ve shut down every road in and out of town, turned off electricity and phone lines, and searched houses without warrants. Believe it or not, this is not everybody’s favorite thing.
Rina Garcia Chua is the editor of Sustaining the Archipelago: An Anthology of Philippine Ecopoetry, the first-ever ecopoetics anthology in the Philippines, which will be released later this year by the University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, a Manila-based university press.
For the first time ever, a picture book won the 2016 Newbery Medal for “the most distinguished American children’s book published the previous year.” Also for the first time, a Hispanic writer took home the award—Brooklyn’s Matt de la Peña, author of Last Stop of Market Street. Illustrated by Christian Robinson, it’s the story of an African-American boy and his grandmother finding beauty in their surroundings as they ride a bus through a gritty cityscape.
Three years ago, A Stranger in Olondria firmly established Sofia Samatar as a unique new voice in contemporary fantasy literature. Written in her spare time while she was teaching English in South Sudan, the story of an island boy embroiled in a mercantile empire’s cold war won the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel and was nominated for a Nebula. Not bad for a debut.
In 2011, Saudi Arabian novelist Raja Alem became the first woman to win the International Prize for Arabic Fiction for The Dove’s Necklace. However, the news was met with controversy and skepticism, since Alem was also the first co-winner of the award, along with Moroccan writer Achaari.
On a visit to India, award-winning novelist and editor Githa Hariharan met a local man who, despite living his entire life in the village of Hampi, didn’t know any of the traditional stories immortalized by local statues and shrines to Ganesha, Narasimha, or any of the other gods. He didn’t know about the 16th-century warrior king, Rama Raya, or how the village was built on the site of the ancient city of Vijayanagar. Hariharan did.
Not all comics books are about superheroes and aliens. Some writers and illustrators, like Chicago’s own Lucy Knisley, combine the paneled, visual mode of comic books with memoir, satire, and other creative nonfiction. Perhaps best known for her New York Times-bestselling graphic memoir Relish, a celebration of our relationship with, Knisley’s next book, Something New (May 3), is about her adventures planning a DIY wedding: a feminist vs. the American marriage-industrial complex.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most beloved fictional character—Detective Sherlock Holmes—has been adapted and modified by countless writers, filmmakers, theatre directors, and TV execs over the past century. But until Brittany Cavallaro’s YA novel, A Study in Charlotte, Sherlock had never been a teenage girl.
Finally, more than 75 years after the comics industry as we know it was born in New York City, female writers and artists—while still underrepresented—are becoming more prevalent at major publishers. As a result, fans are seeing new kinds of stories and art that they never would have experienced in the 1980s or 1990s.