Earlier this year, the Swedish academy announced that it would not issue a prize for literature. The announcement prompted a flurry of handwringing within the literary community, and the creation of an alternative award to ensure that a literary prize would still be issued in 2018. Today, the organization behind the alternative award announced that authors Maryse Condé, Haruki Murakami, Kim Thúy, and Neil Gaiman have been selected as the four finalists for the 2018 New Prize in Literature. This year has been a difficult one for the Swedish Academy. The organization behind the literary prize was rocked by a sexual assault scandal involving the husband of one of its members, and in May, it announced that it would not issue a Nobel for literature as a result, instead awarding two prizes in 2019. In response to this year’s cancelation, a number of members of Sweden’s cultural establishment set up The New Academy, which would issue an award in place of the Nobel Prize for literature, The New Prize in Literature. This summer, the organization consulted the country’s librarians, who produced a long list of nominees, which included a number of well-known speculative fiction authors, including Neil Gaiman, Joyce Carol Oates, Nnedi Okorafor, J.K. Rowling, and others, which was then voted on by the general public. Condé, Murakami, Thúy, and Gaiman were the public favorites, and a jury will now select a final winner from that shortlist. That two authors known for their genre fiction are included on the list… [Read full story]
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