Prime Minister Tony Abbott rankled the judges of the Prime Minister's Literary Award with a last-minute announcement. Judge Les Murray later called Abbott's pick a "stupid and pretentious book." Stefan Postles/Getty Images hide caption

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When it comes to picturing Elena Ferrante, readers have even less material than they do on Thomas Pynchon. They'll have to continue to settle for stock photography such as this, a shot of her native Naples, Italy. Angelafoto/iStockphoto hide caption

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Sitting on the steps outside her London home, Doris Lessing learns from reporters that she won the 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature. Shaun Curry/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Toni Morrison has been busy this fall, first announcing her plans to keep her archives at Princeton and then sparring amiably with Stephen Colbert. With a book coming out in spring 2015, she appears intent on keeping up the pace. Patrick Kovarik/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Not long after the publication of In Cold Blood, the book was adapted into film. Here, Truman Capote (left) stands beside Scott Wilson (center) and Robert Blake, the actors who played convicted killers Dick Hickock and Perry Smith, respectively. Hulton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

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Jacqueline Woodson, pictured here at the National Book Awards ceremony last month, won the young people's literature prize for her memoir in verse, Brown Girl Dreaming. Robin Platzer/Twin Images/AP hide caption

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Gabriel Garcia Marquez, seen here in 1982, speaks to reporters following the announcement of his Nobel win. Among the materials in his archive are the many drafts he prepared for his Nobel acceptance speech. Hasse Persson/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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In her speech Wednesday night in New York, Ursula K. Le Guin declared, "The name of our beautiful reward is not profit. Its name is freedom." Robin Marchant/Getty Images hide caption

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In the Costa-nominated H Is For Hawk, Helen Macdonald recounts how her relationship with a goshawk like this one helped her to grapple with the loss of her father. sirius_r/iStockphoto hide caption

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Jonathan Franzen, pictured here at The New Yorker Festival Fiction Night in 2009, won the National Book Award for his third novel, The Corrections. Joe Kohen/Getty Images hide caption

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One of America's favorite bites: the hotdog. Here, a man and women enjoy the dogs at a California fair in 1905. Courtesy of Sourcebooks hide caption

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Alain Mabanckou, a French novelist born in the Republic of Congo, wrote a letter to support Cameroonian poet Dieudonne Enoh Meyomesse. Etienne de Malglaive/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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David Quammen's new book is an extended excerpt of his previous one, Spillover, which explored how dangerous pathogens jump from animals to people. Courtesy of David Quammen hide caption

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Festivalgoers browse for books during the Miami Book Fair International. PBS will provide live coverage of the fair's events over the course of three days this year. Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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John Steinbeck, here seen as a young man, sits for his portrait. Years later, his story "With Your Wings" would be read on air — then disappear for decades. Hulton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

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Daniel Handler, the man "often mistaken" for Lemony Snicket, will nevertheless have a hand in the development of the show. Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images for LA Times hide caption

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