A Profile of Celeste Ng, the Dark Truth Behind Dickens’s Love of Christmas, and More


Every day Poets & Writers Magazine scans the headlines—from publishing reports to academic announcements to literary dispatches—for all the news that creative writers need to know. Here are today’s stories.

“I know something about what it’s like to be an Asian American woman who’s trying to get her voice out there with a debut novel. It can be a hard sell.” At the New York Times, Nicole Lamy profiles novelist Celeste Ng, whose best-selling novel Little Fires Everywhere is being adapted into film by Reese Witherspoon.

It’s been 175 years since A Christmas Carol was first published, and to mark the occasion the Guardian explores the dark truth behind Charles Dickens’s famous obsession with Christmas.

Librarians across the country are celebrating this week, as the House of Representatives has passed the Museum and Library Services Act (MLSA), which will allow the Institute of Museum and Library Services to continue distributing federal funding to library programs through state grants. The bill now goes to the president, who is expected to sign it despite having made previous proposals to eliminate all federal funding to libraries. (Publishers Weekly)

“I think that, as artists and as people who are thinking and living in the world, that’s an important thing for us to try to do, to ask questions that we truly don’t know the answers to.” For PBS NewsHour’s Brief But Spectacular series, poet Franny Choi discusses imagining alternate realities and writing poetry with high stakes.

At Wired, Craig Mod takes a deep dive into the idea of the “Future Book”—what books, publishing, and readership look like in today’s digital age, and where they might be going.

“I’m obsessed with breakfast sandwiches, and I make them pretty regularly.” Alexander Chee takes on the GrubStreet Diet diary.

Read an interview with Chee on the release of his essay collection, How to Write an Autobiographical Novel, and hear him read from the book. (Poets & Writers)

“After all, maintaining a book club takes much more than innovation and compromise—above all, it takes friendship.” At BookRiot, Laura Melgão writes about the challenges, powers, and pleasures of joining a book club.