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Newsmaker: Mariko Tamaki

Mariko Tamaki’s skill at portraying the queer teenage experience has earned her many awards, including the Michael L. Printz Award and a Caldecott Honor for This One Summer (illustrated by Jillian Tamaki) and Eisner Awards for Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me (illustrated by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell). Her unflinching approach to telling these stories has […]

Newsmaker: Ibram X. Kendi

Photo: Stephen Voss Since the breakout success of his National Book Award–winning Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America in 2017, historian Ibram X. Kendi has continued to research and write about antiracism for new audiences. In early 2020 he partnered with author Jason Reynolds to adapt the book for […]

Newsmaker: Rhone Talsma

Who is Rhone Talsma? On January 26, Talsma earned a spot in Jeopardy! history when he unseated fellow contestant Amy Schneider, who had racked up a 40-game winning streak, the second highest on the iconic game show. Talsma, multimedia librarian at Chicago Ridge (Ill.) Public Library, was the most recent in an impressive line of […]

Newsmaker: Harvey Fierstein

Photo: Bruce Glikas When the coronavirus first arrived in New York City in early 2020 and theaters went dark, actor and playwright Harvey Fierstein—a self-described hermit, though some would say he’s synonymous with Manhattan’s Midtown theater district—retreated to his home in Connecticut and started work on a memoir. I Was Better Last Night (Knopf, March […]

Newsmaker: Padma Lakshmi

Padma Lakshmi. Photo: Anthony Jackson Model, author, and television host and producer Padma Lakshmi is having a productive year: The 18th season of her reality competition show Top Chef concluded this summer, snagging five Emmy nominations; she released a children’s book, Tomatoes for Neela (Viking Books for Young Readers, August), with illustrator Juana Martinez-Neal; and […]

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, […]

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 […]

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: Ziggy Marley

Ziggy Marley When eight-time Grammy Award–winning reggae artist and philanthropist Ziggy Marley released Family Time, a well-received children’s album, in 2009, he didn’t plan to do more projects geared toward youth. But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year, he found himself at home full-time with his own kids and a new puppy. What resulted […]

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 […]

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). […]