Wednesday, August 09, 2023

Connecticut Literary News

I have barely been keeping up on what's going on in-state since the beginning of the year. That's an exaggeration. No, it's an outright lie. I haven't been keeping up at all. 

Here are a couple of items that turned up on my radar this morning.

The Big News... that the Connecticut Center for the Book, the state affiliate of the national Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, is "on hiatus" and there will be no Connecticut Book Awards this year. I think the Connecticut Book Awards disappeared for a few years a while back and then returned, so maybe this is not as bad as I think it is. However, I can't help thinking this has the same feel as The Connecticut Children's Book Fair. That disappeared for a year or two in the teens, came back in an unenthusiastic manner for a while, and hasn't been held since 2018. That's pre-pandemic, people. I'm not accepting the Big P as a cause of that.

The Intriguing News... that the Connecticut Center for the Book, which I guess isn't all that on hiatus, has named two books as Library of Congress Reads From Great Places Selections. What is that? you may well ask. Well, the Library of Congress has a Roadmap to Reading Project at this Saturday's National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. The books were chosen as being representative of Connecticut's literary heritage and they both won Connecticut Book Awards last year. You will recall, because I just told you, that there will be no Connecticut Book Awards this year.  Hmmm.

The Connecticut books selected for Read From Great Places are:

Soul Food Sunday by Winsome Bingham with illustrations by C.G. Esperanza. A picture book! I was aware of this book, because it's a children's book and that has been my beat in Connecticut. And elsewhere.

Goliath by Tochi Onyebuchi Science fiction set in Connecticut!!! This book I wasn't aware of, because last year, when I was covering the Connecticut Book Awards, I was only interested in the children's categories. This year, remember, I'm focusing on adult work, my own and everyone else's. The big draw for me with this book is that it is, as I've already said, science fiction set in Connecticut. Now, perhaps there is a subgenre of Connecticut-based science fiction that I don't know about, because I'm not that knowledgeable about scifi. But now I know there is this one.

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