Arguably the most important thing swirling round most people’s minds this week has been the shock outcome of the US election, the triumph of Trump and the staggering Democractic loss for Clinton. Many authors have, since Wednesday, spoken out about what this result means for them and for society:
- Philip Pullman, author of His Dark Materials, has voiced frustration at the political events of 2016 and the failure of democracies to prevent the shifts to the far right.
- George R. R. Martin, in a short Livejournal blog post, repeated those three words he’s so famous for writing: ‘Winter is Coming.’
- J. K. Rowling tried to offer a message of hope to worried followers on Twitter, saying ‘We challenge bigots. We don’t let hate speech become normalised. We hold the line.’
- Irvine Welsh called the outcome for America ‘abominable’.
- Stephen King, outspokenly anti-Trump, had this to say on Twitter: ‘No more book recommendations, politics, or amusing dog pictures for the immediate future. I’m shutting down.’
- Neil Gaiman called on his Twitter followers to help inspire others in order to forge change for the future.
- BookRiot have compiled a list of 22 female and POC authors’ responses to Trump’s win.
- Whilst the New Yorker has also published sixteen writers on Trump, including Hilary Mantel and Junot Diaz.
- And Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was invited on BBC Newsnight last Friday, along with conservative Trump supporter R. Emmet Tyrrell Jr, a magazine editor-in-chief, to discuss the Trump victory and answer the question: Is Donald Trump racist? – the video is available to watch here.
In other book news:
Emma Watson spent time last week leaving copies of Maya Angelou’s autobiography in public spaces, such as train terminals on the London Underground and the New York subway. The book is the November selection for her feminist reading book club.
The first Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them film adaptation has only just arrived (or will arrive, 18 November) in cinemas, but already production is underway for the sequel, and the casting team have revealed that they are on the lookout for an actor to play the young version of Albus Dumbledore.
Michael Morpurgo, author of more than 100 books, one of the most well-known stories being War Horse, was awarded the annual J. M. Barrie Prize last week for his contribution to children’s literature.