From a feminist book club to a petition for the naming of a new element, a look at some of last week’s literary headlines.
- On January 6, Emma Watson took to twitter to announce she was starting a feminist book club, and asked her followers for name recommendations. The actor, UN ambassador, and gender equality activist ultimately decided on the name “Our Shared Shelf.” The chosen book for this inaugural month is My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem. Readers can join the group on Goodreads.
- Iranian poet Hila Sedighi, who was an active supporter of the reformist candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi in the 2009 presidential election, was arrested at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini Airport on January 7. Since October, several artists, activists, and journalists have been arrested in “an apparent crackdown on free expression and dissent ahead of next month’s election to parliament and the assembly that will choose Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s successor.” Sefighi has been released on bail. In 2012, Sedighi was awarded a Hellman-Hammett grant by the organization Human Rights Watch.
- Four new elements have been discovered and will be named in the coming months. In honor of the late author Terry Pratchett, a petition has been started to name element 117 “Octarine.” The name comes from Pratchett’s The Colour of Magic, where “octarine” is described as “the King Colour.” Over 42,000 people have signed the petition.