The Top Literary Stories of 2016

lyricsBob Dylan winning the Nobel Prize for Literature tops LitHub‘s list of the 50 biggest literary stories of the year, writing “Regardless of how you feel about Dylan, this was the rare kind of ‘literary’ news that made its way to front pages everywhere.”

The second biggest story was less happy for its subject, the unmasking of Elena Ferrante.

The rise of poetry is #5. LitHub writes “ saw its biggest surge of shares in four years … And in the most famous example of pop-culture/poetry crossover, Beyoncé collaborated with poet Warsan Shire’s when writing her visual album Lemonade.” The editor of Poetry Magazine wrote a piece for The Atlantic explaining why poems are at the forefront once more, “When people are under pressure of any kind, they turn to poetry. That’s why poetry is with us at the most important occasions in our lives: weddings, funerals, anniversaries. When Kobe Bryant retired, the first thing he seems to have done was write a poem.”

At #18 LitHub marks the return of book clubs, pointing out that Emma Waston, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Reese Witherspoon began sharing books and Oprah’s Book Club relaunched.

Nos. 17 and 18 acknowledge the roles of two other women taking on critical roles in the book world. Pamela Paul became the editor of the New York Times Book Review, “one of the most powerful positions in the book world [she is] Only the second woman ever to head the Grey Lady’s literary coverage” they write. Also, Lisa Lucas became the executive director of the National Book Foundation. Beating all of them out, however, is #7, Carla Hayden becoming Librarian of Congress.

If you haven’t yet had your fill of year-end summaries, LitHub also features “The Year’s Best Overlooked Books, According to Booksellers” and “Literary Podcasters Best of 2016 (and Most Anticipated in 2017).”

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