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And while we’re doing the hard, necessary work of mourning, we should avail ourselves of the old formations that have seen us through darkness. We organize. We form solidarities. And, yes: we fight. To be heard. To be safe. To be free.
At a gala ceremony in New York City, the 67th National Book Awards gathered many of literature’s leading lights in celebration of just a few authors: Colson Whitehead, who won in the fiction category; Ibram X. Kendi, in nonfiction; Daniel Borzutzky, in poetry; and Rep. John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell in young people’s literature.
We looked at the gender ratio in eight long-running literary prizes around the world. Since 1950, when the US National Book Awards were established, only one quarter of the prizes in its fiction category have gone to women.