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by Evan Smith Rakoff
Nobel prize-winning poet Wislawa Szymborska, as well as Surrealist artist and poet Dorothea Tanning, passed away yesterday in their respective countries; novelist Paul Auster has engaged in a war of words with Tayyip Erdogan, the prime minister of Turkey; Open Letters Monthly examines the hidden life of Virginia Woolf's institutionalized half-sister, Laura Makepeace Stephen; and other news.
by Adrian Versteegh
For the first time, the world’s most influential reader has given her blessing to a short story collection. Oprah Winfrey—whose imprimatur virtually guarantees best-seller status—announced last Friday that the sixty-third selection for her eponymous book club is the debut Say You’re One of Them (Little, Brown, 2008) by Nigerian author and Jesuit priest Uwem Akpan.
With National Poetry Month officially wrapped up, Dan Wickett of the Emerging Writers Network has declared May “Short Story Month.” He plans to select three stories—one from a published collection, one from a print periodical, and one from an online journal—to read and blog about each day. If all goes well, Wickett will have covered just shy of one hundred pieces by month’s end.
Harper Perennial announced last Wednesday that it will offer a free short story every week throughout 2009. Each Sunday night the HarperCollins imprint will post a new short story on the blog Fifty-Two Stories. Eight stories, including "Wish Fulfillment" by Mary Gaitskill, "Burn Me Up" by Tom Piazza, and "Beauty Stolen From Another World" by Louise Erdrich, have already been published.
by Frank Bures
For eight years readers have anticipated Nathan Englander’s follow-up to his wildly successful debut story collection. With the publication of The Ministry of Special Cases, the wait is over.
by Frank Bures
In ten years, Tom Bissell went from being a directionless dropout to the acclaimed author of four books.
by Doug Diesenhaus
The second annual Story Prize ceremony, held at the New School’s Tishman Auditorium in late January, began like most literary events in New York City—with much chattering among publishing folk, rising in volume until the lights went down and a hush descended on the room. The evening’s format was simple. The three finalists, fiction writers Jim Harrison, Maureen F. McHugh, and Patrick O’Keefe, would each read from their books and then sit for a short discussion with Larry Dark. In 2004 Dark, the former O. Henry Prize Stories series editor, launched the prize with Julie Lindsey in an effort to promote a genre they believed was underrepresented by other literary awards. The winner of the first annual prize was Edwidge Danticat for The Dew Breaker (Knopf, 2004).
by Joe Woodward
Whether it’s a thousand-page novel, a single-paragraph story, or a footnoted essay, the elusive author always offers a complicated—and sometimes maddening—reading experience. But is there more to David Foster Wallace than words on a page?
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