From London’s first Young People’s Laureate to the author Elena Ferrante’s alleged true identity, here are last week’s biggest literary headlines:
- London’s first “Young People’s Laureate” is Caleb Femi, who is a 26-year-old teacher and poet. He will work with Spread the Word to engage young people with poetry and the arts. He was chosen by a panel of representatives from organizations such as The Roundhouse, Apples and Snakes, Forward Arts Foundation, and the Poetry Society. Of his role, Femi said, “Poetry is one of the purest forms of conversation there is. At its best, it allows us to communicate from an honest and safe place. And young people deserve to be included in such spaces.”
- The National Book Foundation named its 5 under 35 honorees. The list includes Brit Bennett, author of The Mothers; Yaa Gyasi, author of Homegoing; Greg Jackson, author of Prodigals; S. Li, author of Transoceanic Lights; and Thomas Pierce, author of Hall of Small Mammals. The judges this year were Jacqueline Woodson, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Lauren Groff, Karen Bender. and Amity Gaige.
- The identity of author Elena Ferrante has allegedly been uncovered. Investigative journalist Claudio Gatti claims that financial and real estate records point to Anita Raja, an Italian translator, as the real author. The revelation has been met with criticism and backlash from members of the literary community. Ferrante is the author of several books, including The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, and The Story of the Lost Child.