Book News Roundup: Of Whoppers and romance

afrose fatima ahmed, Quenton Baker, Jamaica Baldwin, Ellie Belew, Catalina Marie Cantú, Wancy Young Cho, Calvin Gimpelevich, Steph Kesey, Hera McLeod, D.A. Navoti, Ashlan Runyan, and Brandon Young.
  • Unlike 2016's crop of Jack Straw writers, which featured popular local names including EJ Koh, Robert Lashley, and Shin Yu Pai, 2017's list is mostly unknown to me. (The exception, of course, is Quenton Baker, who is having a phenomenal year including the publication of his first book.) You can learn more about these Jack Straw Writers at their annual reading series, which takes place on the first three Fridays in May.

  • Outgoing Seattle Times Books editor Mary Ann Gwinn reports on the winners of this year's Pacific Northwest Bookseller Awards. It would've been weird had Lindy West and Sherman Alexie not won these awards, to be honest. The big surprise on this list of winners is Portland author Kelly Sue DeConnick's comic book Bitch Planet, which is an exceptional book that falls outside the (generally very comfortable) profile of traditional PNBA winners. If you haven't read Bitch Planet yet, you should; I've written about it several times.

  • Seattle author Tara Atkinson has a terrific essay up at Hobart right now. It's about Burger King and heartbreak. Atkinson read an early version of this essay at the very first APRIL Festival's literary pub crawl while sitting in a little red wagon that was being pulled down Capitol Hill.

  • Speaking of local authors with connections to the APRIL Festival, you can find an excerpt from Richard Chiem's still-in-progress novel at Scramble right now. The opening line is pretty great: "Being able to handle rejection is sexy."

  • Fantagraphics would like you to know that Gilbert Hernandez saw all this coming thirty years ago:

...we, with the help of Savage Minds and the journals American Anthropologist, American Ethnologist, Cultural Anthropology, and Environment and Society are proposing a Read-In on January 20, 2017. We invite all anthropologists and others to come together to read Michel Foucault’s lecture eleven in “Society Must Be Defended” which he delivered on March 17, 1976. This lecture strikes us as very good to think with at this present point: it demands we simultaneously consider the interplay of sovereign power, discipline, biopolitics, and concepts of security, and race. In light of the current socio-political situation where the reaction to activism against persistent racism has been to more overtly perpetuate racism as political discourse, we need to remember and re-think the role of racism as central to, rather than incidental to, the political and economic activities of the state.