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How Oscar Wilde evolved from poet and playwright to symbol of martyrdom and individualism

Oscar Wilde’s birthday is Oct. 16 — he was born on that day in 1854 — and there’s a simple way to both celebrate it and give yourself a present: Pick up a copy of “Oscar Wilde: A Life,” by Matthew Sturgis, an authority on the 1890s whose previous works focused on the artists Walter Sickert and Aubrey Beardsley. Without supplanting Richard Ellmann’s beautifully written “Oscar Wilde” — which a young reviewer bearing my name enthusiastically reviewed in 1988 — Sturgis’s biography is now the fullest one-volume account of the iconic fin-de-siècle writer, aesthete, wit and gay martyr. Read more

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Three Men Win Million-Euro Literary Prize Having Posed as Female Author

Speculation on the identity of one of Spain’s most prominent crime thriller writers, who wrote under the name Carmen Mola, ended on Friday when three men rose to accept the 2021 Premio Planeta literary prize — worth one million-euros — for Mola’s currently unreleased work “The Beast.” Read more

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Hanif Abdurraqib wins the Gordon Burn prize for A Little Devil in America

Abdurraqib’s book is a meditation on Black performance in the modern age, moving from Beyoncé’s Super Bowl half-time show to Aretha Franklin’s funeral. It is inspired by Josephine Baker’s words: “I was a devil in other countries, and I was a little devil in America, too.” It topped a six-strong shortlist featuring titles including Jenni Fagan’s Luckenbooth and Salena Godden’s Mrs Death Misses Death, to win the prize, which celebrates “literature that is fearless in both ambition and execution”, in honour of the late writer Gordon Burn. Read more

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Sally Rooney Declines to Sell Translation Rights to Israeli Publisher

The Irish novelist Sally Rooney said on Tuesday that she would not allow the Israeli publishing house that handled her previous novels to publish her most recent book, “Beautiful World, Where Are You,” because of her support for Palestinian people and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. Read more

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I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness by Claire Vaye Watkins

In the spirit of Edward Abbey, Hunter Thompson, and Joy Williams, Watkins has forged a desert tale of howling pain and a chaotic quest for healing mythic in its summoning of female power in a realm of double-wides, loaded dice, broken glass, and hot springs. Read more

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