Amazon to Open NYC Bookstore This Year, Book Deserts, 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:

Amazon has confirmed plans to open a physical bookstore in New York City this spring in Manhattan’s Time Warner Center. The retailer has announced or opened five other brick-and-mortar shops; the first store opened in Seattle in 2015. (Wall Street Journal)

The Guardian provides a guide to this year’s big book adaptations, including the television adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s novel The Handmaid’s Tale and the film adaptation of Stephen King’s novel The Dark Tower.

The New York Daily News reports that the recent closure of the Barnes & Noble bookstore in the Bronx, the borough’s only general-interest bookstore, adds the neighborhood to the growing number of “book deserts” across the country—impoverished neighborhoods with little access to print resources.

Online publishing platform Medium announced it is cutting fifty jobs and closing several offices as the company transitions away from its ad-driven business model. CEO Ev Williams says: “We are also changing our business model to more directly drive the mission we set out on originally…. To build a better publishing platform—one that allowed anyone to offer their stories and ideas to the world and that helped the great ones rise to the top.”

Canada tops the New York Times’s list of “52 Places to Go in 2017.” Five Canadian authors, including Madeleine Thien and Cory Doctorow, reflect on their favorite places in the country.

Book Riot rounds up a list of books by Central and South American authors to read in 2017. 

Award-winning fiction writer Ian McEwan speaks with the Times Literary Supplement about the book he wished he had written, what the literary fiction field will look like in the future, and his picks for overrated and underrated books.

Meanwhile, fiction writer Claire Vaye Watkins discusses writing about the water crisis in California and how fiction can encourage activism. “If fiction matters it is because of the way it combines narrative and language: thoughtful, surprising, illuminating language. It is through this perfection of language that the art makes change.” (Ploughshares)