Publishing saw upheaval in 2020, but 'books are resilient'
(AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File)NEW YORK – Book publishing in 2020 was a story of how much an industry can change and how much it can, or wants to, remain the same. To its benefit and to its dismay, publishing was drawn into the events of the moment. Penguin Random House, among other initiatives, asked all employees to read Ibram X. Kendi’s “How To Be an Anti-Racist.” Kendi later presided over a company town hall. Macmillan CEO Don Weisberg, who cited a wide range of diversity programs at the publishing house that began before “American Dirt,” said he “understands the skepticism." The CEO of Penguin Random House U.S., Madeline McIntosh, noted how well book publishing could meet the public's needs during the pandemic and other events of 2020.
Charles Yu novel, Malcolm X bio win National Book Awards
NEW YORK – Charles Yu's “Interior Chinatown,” a satirical, cinematic novel written in the form of a screenplay, has won the National Book Award for fiction. Tamara Payne and her father the late Les Payne's Malcolm X biography, “The Dead Are Arising,” was cited for nonfiction and Kacen Callender's “King and the Dragonflies” for young people's literature. The traditional dinner ceremony is the nonprofit National Book Foundation's most important source of income and is usually held at Cipriani Wall Street, where publishers and other officials pay thousands of dollars for tables or individual seats. The scholar Manning Marable died right before the 2011 publication of “Malcolm X,” which went on to win a Pulitzer Prize and receive a National Book Award nomination. This is a story you should try to tell.”Winners in each of the competitive categories receive $10,000, and other finalists $1,000, with the money divided equally between the author and translator for best translated book.
Walter Mosley to receive honorary National Book Award
NEW YORK Walter Mosley is receiving an honorary National Book Award, cited for dozens of books which range from science fiction and erotica to the acclaimed mystery series that has followed the life of Los Angeles private detective Ezekiel Easy Rawlins. The National Book Awards are presented by the non-profit National Book Foundation. But like such previous medal winners as Ray Bradbury and Elmore Leonard, he has never been nominated for a National Book Award in a competitive category. Mosley knows well the reason: Crime fiction is usually bypassed when lists for a years best books are considered. In a statement Thursday, National Book Foundation Executive Director Lisa Lucas noted the quantity, and quality, of Mosley's work.
Lisa Lucas, head of National Book Foundation, to join Knopf
NEW YORK The head of the organization which presents the National Book Awards is joining the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Lisa Lucas, executive director of the National Book Foundation since 2016, has been named senior vice president of the Knopf imprints Pantheon and Schocken Books. We just had this really organic conversation about careers and the book world and what I was I good at and what I was interested in. She will remain with the book foundation through the end of the year, and will again oversee the awards ceremony, to be held online because of the coronavirus. We are deeply grateful for Lisas years of leadership at the National Book Foundation, David Steinberger, chair of the foundations board of directors, said in a statement.