Today in Book News: The winners of the 2014 PEN Literary Awards – more than a dozen prizes honoring writers of various genres — were announced on Wednesday morning, and include Frank Bidart (“a poet of roiling intensity, a poet singularly unafraid of excess”) and James Wolcott (a critic of “panoramic and encyclopedic variety”). Other winners include Ron Childress’ And West Is West, which won the $25,000 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, and Linda Leavell’s Holding On Upside Down: The Life and Work of Marianne Moore, which won the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography. The winner of the biggest prize, the $25,000 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, will be announced at the awards ceremony in September; the finalists are Anthony Marra’s A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, Ian Stansel’s Everybody’s Irish, Shawn Vestal’s Godforsaken Idaho, Saïd Sayrafiezadeh’s Brief Encounters With the Enemy and Hanya Yanagihara’s The People in the Trees.
Also today, Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura was awarded almost $2 million in a defamation suit against the estate of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, who wrote the 2012 book American Sniper and who died last year. Kyle had written about punching Ventura after Ventura claimed he “hated America.” Ventura denies saying it, and says the accusations hurt his career.
And Rand Paul will release a book in 2015, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal, about his unique approach to policy. Paul says the pre-election timing of the book is "just coincidence, probably just coincidence, yeah."
Read more here.