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Around the Web: Rise of the Author Photo, Banned Books, Jane Austen, and YA Writers

Happy Friday, dear readers. I hope your October is off to a good start. We just celebrated the release of our fall titles, so it’s an exciting time for the CDP team. We can’t wait to hear what you think of them, but in the meantime, we welcome you back to our weekly web content recap.

This week, we’re sharing a history of the author photo, ALA’s list of the decade’s top 100 most banned and challenged books, a unique new edition of Pride and Prejudice, and some news about YA writers of colour.

Rise of the Author Photo

Author photos can add professionalism to a printed book, but when did they become so popular? Writer Cornelia Powers asks this question and goes back to the first-century BC and traces the history of the author portrait to answer it. If you’re into literary or art history, you might want to check it out.

The Decade’s Most Banned and Challenged Books

This week was Banned Book Week, and the American Library Association celebrated by releasing the top 100 most banned and challenged books from the last decade. There’s plenty of familiar titles including The Hunger Games and To Kill A Mockingbird, but you might find a few that give you pause. The whole list is available on ALA’s site.

Jane Austen Fictional Letters Brought To Life

Just when you thought there couldn’t possibly be a reason for yet another edition of Pride and Prejudice, a special tactile version is released. This edition features brings the letters in the book to life by making them more than words on the page. As you flip through it, you can actually open envelopes and pull out the letters, and each character uses different handwriting, ink, and even paper. Atlas Obscura has details about how calligraphers worked to produce this unique version of Austen’s classic.

YA Writers of Colour on the Rise

By this point, it’s well known that publishing lacks diversity. But it seems some progress is being made. Research from University College London indicates that 19.6% of YA authors published in the UK were people of colour, up from 7.1% in 2017 and 13.25% in 2018. The Guardian has the full story, including other areas in need of growth.


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