The latest literary news, analysis and writing

Stella Prize winner and 2020 Festival guest Jess Hill has compared the urgent need to address domestic abuse in Australia to the COVID-19 health crisis. In Italy, there has been a proliferation of writing on the COVID-19 experience by novelists, doctors and others seeking to make sense of current events. 

Bookshops continue to serve as invaluable sites of community and literary solace. 2020 Festival guest Ann Patchett reflects on running a bookshop in lockdown, and LGBTQ+ bookstores in North America are finding innovative ways of banding together with their customers to support each other. 

Laura Jean McKay reflects on the teachings we can glean from animals and nature, while fellow 2020 Festival guest Siri Hustvedt confronts the tension between escapism and realism. If the former resonates with you more than the latter, the London Review of Books' Diverted Traffic series features pieces from its archive chosen for their escapist qualities and lack of pandemic-related content. Anna Spargo-Ryan points out that nostalgic media content and The Sims can also provide a welcome escape. And who better to give perspective on solitude and restriction than former prison inmate Jennifer Toon?

Let 2020 Festival guests Ronnie Scott, Mirandi Riwoe and Laura Jean McKay and more guide your reading in the latest Kill Your Darlings Books Roundup, or follow Jenny Colgan’s advice for a selection of gentle comfort reads.