A cultural news bulletin.
- Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson has been named the UK’s seventh Children’s Laureate. Says she, “I’m hoping to bring some drama and music to the job. I always act out my own stories with lots of audience participation so I’m planning to do lots more of that.”
- Jennifer Worth, author of the Call the Midwife trilogy, has died at age seventy-five.
- Meghan Cox Gurdon’s contention in the Wall Street Journal that YA fiction is too dark and depraved has prompted debate and backlash—including a “#YASaves” hashtag on Twitter.
- A new iPad app allows readers to see more than six hundred of the British Library’s nineteenth-century texts in their original editions—including maps and illustrations. More than a thousand images can be viewed for free, until the paid app launches fully this summer.
- Harry Bernstein, whose memoir, The Invisible Wall, brought him fame at ninety-six, has died at 101.
- Can you pass the Naipaul Test?
- Compose a Twitter haiku in honor of Koko the signing gorilla’s fortieth.
- And taking the “beach read” to a literal extreme, a list of selected pirate fiction.