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July 2010
Latest News

Librarian of Congress Appoints W.S. Merwin Poet Laureate

The Folding Cliffs

The Library of Congress has named W.S. Merwin our country's next poet laureate for 2010-2011. During a 60-year writing career, Merwin has received many major literary awards, including two Pulitzer Prizes. Collections of poetry available from Knopf include The Pupil, The River Sound, The Vixen, Travels, and Rain in the Trees. His translations include Purgatorio, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and The Song of Roland.

Barbara Demick wins 2010 Samuel Johnson Non-Fiction Prize

Nothing to Envy

Journalist and author Barbara Demick has won the 2010 BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction, the richest non-fiction prize in the U.K., for her book Nothing to Envy: Real Lives in North Korea.

Evan Davis, chair of the committee of judges, said: "It is the personal detail in Nothing to Envy that makes it both gripping and moving. Nowhere will you find a better account of real life in North Korea, a society that is all too easily comically typecast by massive parades of co-ordinated flag-wavers. I think we knew this book had something when we found ourselves reading it out loud to spouses and partners. And it is a real testament to Demick's writing, that a book on such a grim topic can be so hard to put down."

Currently available in hardcover, Nothing to Envy will be published in paperback this October.

In Brief
Comic book writer Harvey Pekar, creator of the autobiographical series American Splendor, has died at the age of 70.
Ann Waldron, author of biographies of Southern writers including Eudora Welty: A Writer's Life (Anchor), has died at the age of 85.
China Witness (Anchor) by Xinran has been short listed for the Asia Society's annual Bernard Schwartz Book Award.

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