The saga of the Borders bookstore chain has entered a forlorn new chapter. In December, Borders attempted to buy Barnes & Noble, its biggest (and better) competitor; last month, having failed, it filed for bankruptcy.

Essence magazine will host the first-annual Essence Literary Awards in New York City on Feb. 7, 2008. The awards, created to celebrate both emerging and established African-American authors, will be co-hosted by “Today” show co-anchor Hoda Kotb and Dr. Ian Smith of VH1’s “Celebrity Fit Club.” Awards finalists in nine categories––Fiction, Memoir, Inspiration, Non-fiction, Current Affairs, Photography, Children’s Books, Poetry and Storyteller of the Year––were announced yesterday. The winner of the Storyteller of the Year Award will be decided by Essence readers, who will have an opportunity to vote on Essence.com from Jan. 1-15, 2008. Finalists in that category are Eric Jerome Dickey, Lori

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