Lit Links: Most Popular Books (by State), Bailey’s Prize Longlist, Carl Sagan Is a Golden God

The Most Popular Books in Each of the 50 States
E-library service Scribd compiled a list of the most popular books per state. New York? The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption and Pee by Sarah Silverman. We approve.

The Funniest Literary Narrators
John Warner of McSweeney’s Internet Tendency argues that Fred “Bogus” Trumper in John Irving’s The Water-Method Man is one of the five funniest narrators in literary fiction. Do you agree with his list? (We’d add Charles Hythloday from An Evening of Long Goodbyes.)

Diaspora and Literature: Zimbabwe
What happens to a nation’s literature when  the country becomes too hostile, unstable or difficult for artists to live there? Recent internationally acclaimed novels from Zimbabwean authors  (We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo, Harare North by Brian Chikwava, Many Rivers by Christopher Mlalazi)  bring attention to the tricky issue of diaspora and national identity.

Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Literature Longlist Announced
Eleanor Catton, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Margaret Atwood, and Jhumpa Lahiri all made the longlist. By including both Eimear McBride’s experimental, postmodern novel  A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing and Elizabeth Gilbert’s popular historical romp The Signature of All Things the Bailey’s judges are proving to have broad tastes. Who should take home the grand prize?

Carl Sagan: the OG of Science Populism
While we count down for the Neil deGrasse Tyson/Seth MacFarlane (yes, the creator of Family Guy — and no, that is not a typo) relaunch of Cosmos this Sunday, let’s remember that “no one has ever explained space, in all its bewildering glory, as well as (Carl) Sagan did.”

Check back each Friday for new Lit Links, a roundup of some of the best literature news from across the interweb.

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