The Sylvia Plath Bikini Book Cover Debacle: Critical Linking, October 4

Sponsored by The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo


This month sees the publication of The Letters of Sylvia Plath, a new collection of unpublished letters from the late poet and novelist. As is often the case, the book came with two different covers for its U.S. and U.K. editions — but that difference has sparked some outrage in the literary community. While the U.S. cover features Plath clad in a coat looking thoughtful, the U.K. version is emblazoned with a photo of a blonde Plath smiling in a bikini.

Long sigh.


Excited as we are over the release of the Black Panther movie next year, we’re all trying to get our fill of fantastic Wakandan stories. We’ve been spoiled in the last year with great books by Ta-Nehisi Coates and Roxanne Gay, but today we can exclusively reveal that we have another incredible Black Panther story coming our way from World Fantasy-, Hugo-, and Nebula Award-winning novelist Nnedi Okorafor!

I don’t know how she gets it all done, but I can’t be happier she does.


This year, despite betting firm Unibet offering odds on everyone from George RR Martin to Kanye West to take the award, the academy is expected to plump for a safer choice. At Ladbrokes, which found last year that 91% of the time, the eventual laureate had odds of 10/1 or less when betting was suspended, the field was topped by perennial contenders, Kenya’s Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, at 4/1, and Japan’s Haruki Murakami, at 5/1. The last black writer to win the Nobel was the American novelist Toni Morrison in 1993, and the last black winner from Africa was Wole Soyinka in 1986.

We’ll find out who’s named this year’s Nobel laureate in literature on October 5.

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