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2021 Annual Conference Wrap-Up

Though the ongoing pandemic prompted the American Library Association (ALA) to hold its 2021 Annual Conference and Exhibition virtually June 23–29, there was no shortage of enthusiasm or curiosity among the more than 9,100 attendees who gathered online to hear from speakers and authors and share their experiences. Nikole Hannah-Jones Headlining speakers talked about books, […]

Newsmaker: Savala Nolan

Savala Nolan. Photo: Andria Lo As a woman who is mixed race, has experienced elite schools and generational poverty, and has been thin and fat at different times in her life, Savala Nolan has long felt that she occupies in-between spaces in society. The lawyer, speaker, and writer (whose work has appeared in Bust, Time, […]

The Reader’s Road Trip

Illustration: Rebecca Lomax/American Libraries and Anastasia Krasavina/Adobe Stock In 1986, Friends of Libraries USA President Frederick G. Ruffner Jr. had the ambitious idea to start the Literary Landmarks Association, an organization that would encourage the development of historic literary sites across the US. Thirty-five years later, his vision has been realized: 187 Literary Landmarks spanning […]

By the Numbers: Juneteenth

A band celebrates Juneteenth in Austin, Texas, in 1900. Photo: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library 19Date in June when Juneteenth, the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the US, is observed. The holiday is also sometimes called Freedom Day or Emancipation Day. 1865Year that US General Gordon Granger arrived with […]

Newsmaker: Isabel Allende

Photo: Lori Barra Since her first novel, The House of the Spirits, was published in 1982, Isabel Allende has written frequently about the interior lives of women. Her latest book, The Soul of a Woman (Ballantine Books, March), is a collection of essays that follows the trajectory of Allende’s life and evolving approach to feminism—as […]

2021 Midwinter Wrap-Up

Since 1908, the American Library Association’s (ALA) Midwinter Meeting has taken place 107 times, with only a few pauses. Held virtually, this year’s Midwinter was the last in its current format; next year ALA will launch LibLearnX, a learning, networking, and collaboration experience scheduled for January 21–24, 2022, in San Antonio. Though this year’s event […]

Newsmaker: Emmanuel Acho

Emmanuel Acho. Photo: Ali Rasoul After the killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police in May 2020, Fox Sports analyst and former NFL linebacker Emmanuel Acho felt compelled to do something. He, a Black man and son of Nigerian immigrants, was receiving questions from white people asking about racism and how to […]

Newsmaker: Adrian Tomine

Adrian Tomine, self-portrait With everything from New Yorker covers to New York Times–bestselling graphic novels under his belt, cartoonist and illustrator Adrian Tomine has had a more than successful career. But his newest autobiographical book, The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist (Drawn & Quarterly, July), traces a lifetime of humiliations: disastrous book signings, rude reviews, […]

Newsmaker: Yaa Gyasi

Photo: Peter Hurley/Vilcek Foundation When it was published in 2016, Yaa Gyasi’s first novel Homegoing was lauded for its broad historical, geographical, and generational sweep, tracing a sprawling family tree back to two half-sisters in 18th-century Ghana. Transcendent Kingdom (Knopf, September) also explores the Ghanaian-American immigrant experience, this time through the eyes of a neuroscientist […]

Judged by the Cover

The following guest column is a reprint from the rereleased May 1 issue of Booklist. Last week, it came to the attention of the editors at Booklist that there were issues around the magazine’s May 1 cover. After discussing the matter internally and with me, they decided to change the cover to the one you […]

Newsmaker: Julia Alvarez

Julia Alvarez Photo: Bill Eichner Like many Dominican-American writers of her generation, Julia Alvarez has drawn inspiration from the Dominican Republic’s history (such as the legacy of dictator Rafael Trujillo, in her novel In the Time of the Butterflies) and her experience as a newcomer in the US (How the García Girls Lost Their Accents). […]