Ali Smith on Spring, Maggie Nelson’s Publishing Lessons, 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.

Spring is about to blossom, which means it’s time for the next installment of Ali Smith’s seasonal quartet. The author spoke to the Guardian about her new book, Spring, and writing novels in real time. “I’ve been thinking about them in my head for twenty years, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned over those twenty years, it’s that the book already exists and we have to come out to meet it and excavate it and deliver it.”

At NPR, Laila Lalami talks about the nine narrators of her latest novel, The Other Americans, and their shared experience of dislocation. “By conveying it from these different perspectives, my hope was that readers would get different ideas about immigration.” 

After being the subject of a New Yorker exposé that revealed, among more significant deceptions, a phony English accent, Dan Mallory is in the running for a British Book Award. Published under Mallory’s alias, A. J. Finn, The Woman in the Window is shortlisted in the award’s crime and thriller category. (Vulture)

At the New Yorker, Rumaan Alam remembers the chairs of childhood as the motifs that make sense of life’s chaos.

“You have to remember, always, that what people think will sell is not the same question as whether or not one is writing worthwhile literature.” Maggie Nelson talks to Allie Rowbottom about rejection, great teachers, and the virtues of the desk drawer. (Rumpus)

After purchasing the rights to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s acclaimed novel in 2014, Lupita Nyong’o has confirmed that Americanah will be adapted as a feature film. (P. M. News)

At Guernica, poet Morgan Parker shares the despair and audacity that fueled her new collection, Magical Negro. “In the back of my mind, I’m on a slave ship, yet I’m also here just telling you how it is. How dare I?”

Since opening the first Books & Books in 1982, Mitchell Kaplan has launched eight additional stores, cofounded an international book fair, and seen Miami arrive on the literary map. (New York Times)