Blogger Missing in Damascus, Barnes & Noble Sues Over the Nook, and More

Evan Smith Rakoff

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:

A Syrian American blogger, Amina Arraf, has gone missing in Damascus. Since her writing is critical of the Syrian regime, it's assumed she was abducted as part of president Bashar al-Assad's crackdown on the Syrian protest movement. Her Facebook page now has a growing number of followers, and a petition to help secure her release is sweeping the Internet. However, yesterday, the New York Times cautioned the media reporting this story. (Washington Post)

In an attempt to block patent-royalty claims on the Nook, Barnes & Noble sues LSI Corp. (Bloomberg)

If you somehow missed the Anthony Weiner scandal of the last several days, author Ben Greenman is the first to put it to music—and (we all hope) to rest. (McSweeney's)

In the ongoing Borders bankruptcy saga, Najafi Companies, a Phoenix-based private-equity firm, is in talks to buy the beleaguered bookstore chain. (Wall Street Journal)

Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Deborah Blum details her favorite science writers and discusses how vital literary science writing is for the world. (The Browser)

Adam Auriemma explains why New Yorker cartoonist Bruce Eric Kaplan's latest book, Everything Is Going to Be Okay, is the perfect graduation gift. (The Daily Beast)

Remember how George Plimpton used his pitchman skills to support the continued publication of the Paris Review? Well, his 1980s-era arcade game, George Plimpton's Video Falconry, is online and free to play. Be sure to watch the backstory, with nods to John Hodgman. (via the Paris Review) Also, if you're curious about George, a documentary detailing George Plimpton's life is in post production.