I asked the authors of five buzzy novels to select one important look they’ve created for a specific character and dissect what the ensemble means to the character. How does she choose to dress herself, and what does that signify about who she is? The outfits themselves vary wildly from a disheveled 1940s ostrich feather ball gown to a worn-out Lilly Pulitzer tank top, but each author emphasized the same point: Their choices were intentional. Nothing was accidental or poorly thought-out. One author went on an online shopping frenzy to dress her character for a wedding; another even brought in an outside stylist to ensure the clothes were up to date.
The next time you pick up a novel, pay special attention to what each character wears — every outfit is a road map of their values, tastes, history, and insecurities. Below, five authors reveal how they use fashion as a tool in fiction.
BookPeople Embraces “Cli-Fi” Movement With Display Promoting Climate Change Fiction (American Booksellers Association)
“I coined the term ‘cli-fi’ as a wake-up call and a PR tool for climate novelists and media writers, bookstore categories and shelving, and for novelists and literary critics,” Bloom told Bookselling This Week. Over the years, he said, he has used the term to alert reporters to writing about the topic for publications including The New York Times, The Guardian, the BBC, CNN, and more. Bloom told BTW via e-mail that Foyles and Waterstones in the U.K. have also created cli-fi end caps like BookPeople’s, and he hopes that more bookstores will do the same.
A new government study finds that fiction reading is down, poetry is up and adult Americans are renewing their interest in museums, arts festivals and the performing arts.
On Wednesday, the National Endowment for the Arts published “U.S. Trends in Arts Attendance and Literary Reading: 2002-2017.” According to the NEA, the percentage of adults reading fiction dropped from 45.2 percent in 2012 to 41.8 percent last year. Meanwhile, poetry reading surged from 6.7 percent to 11.7 percent, with the numbers especially strong among those aged 18-24.
Science Fiction’s New Reality (The 1A)
This pushback isn’t limited to the world of novels. The fans behind this year’s “Comicsgate” have launched a coordinated effort to blacklist “left-leaning” comics writers – nearly all of whom are women or people of color. The directors and actors behind the latest Star Wars films have received a torrent of abuse, some of which was vitriolic enough to force actresses Daisy Ridley and Kelly Marie Tran off of social media. There was even an uproar over the character design in Netflix’s upcoming reboot of “She-Ra: Princess of Power” (specifically, the complaint that She-Ra isn’t sexy enough).
French booksellers have called on literary judges to “defend books and not those who threaten them”, after one of France’s most prestigious prizes selected a self-published novel available only via Amazon.
Among the 17 titles in contention for this year’s Prix Renaudot is Marco Koskas’ Bande de Français, which was self-published on Amazon’s CreateSpace platform. According to the Syndicat de la librairie française, which represents French booksellers, the jury have put them in an impossible position.
The French-Israeli author, who has published more than a dozen books via more traditional routes, told the Guardian he was forced into put out an edition of Bande de Français himself after no French publisher picked it up.