Book News Roundup: Huge Cloudy gets some love, American Dirt gets canceled

  • Seattle poet Bill Carty's collection Huge Cloudy has been longlisted for a Believer Book Award, which is no small feat. (Fun fact: The Believer Book Award is how I learned about the novelist Sam Lypsite, as his hilarious novel Home Land was selected in one of the very first years of the award's existence.

  • Elissa Washuta, a former Seattleite who still has strong ties to the Northwest, has announced that her next book of linked essays, White Magic, will be published by Tin House in 2021.

  • Daniel Hernandez at the Los Angeles Times published an amazing piece titled "‘American Dirt’ was supposed to be a publishing triumph. What went wrong?" The piece is an indictment of American Dirt and its ham-fisted approach to the topic of Mexican immigration, but it's also a huge indictment of Big Publishing and its multi-million dollar promotional machine. This kind of stuff is really gross:

    Critics noted a string of similar casual-seeming social posts from famous figures such as Yalitza Aparicio (“Roma”), MJ Rodriguez (“Pose”) and Gina Rodriguez (“Jane the Virgin”). [Salma] Hayek, the Academy Award-nominated Mexican actress, posted her own glowing review for “American Dirt” [on Twitter] later in the week, then deleted it on Friday. “I confess I have not read it and was not aware of any controversy,” she said on Instagram. Each entertainer displayed an e-reader version of the novel and nearly all of them thanked Winfrey for sending the book, hinting at a multiplatform publicity campaign.
  • I don't know why, but Salma Hayek urging people to read a book she didn't even read hurts me deep down in my heart.

  • Meanwhile, American Dirt readings and signings with author Jeanine Cummins in La Jolla and Pasadena have been canceled. At the time that I'm writing this, the February 1st Cummins appearance scheduled for Third Place Books Ravenna has not been canceled.