Amazon to Open Third Bookstore, Bloomsday Celebrations, 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:

E-commerce giant Amazon has confirmed plans to open a third physical bookstore in Portland, Oregon. The company opened its first brick-and-mortar store, Amazon Books, in Seattle last November, and is scheduled to open another in San Diego this summer. (Fortune)

If you want to read more classic literature but are short on time, look no further than the Serial Reader app. Users can select classic titles and receive them in small, daily installments that take approximately ten to fifteen minutes to read. For example, Pride and Prejudice is divided into 40 installments, and Ulysses is split into 109. (Book Riot)

Speaking of Ulysses, today is Bloomsday, the annual holiday celebrating James Joyce and the events in his novel Ulysses, which took place on June 16, 1904. Shelf Awareness rounds up various Bloomsday festivities marking the occasion in the United States and abroad, including marathon readings of the novel and musical performances. 

The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas in Austin has acquired the archive of the late Indian American author and philosopher Raja Rao. Considered one of India’s most noted English-language authors, Rao was awarded the Neustadt International Prize for Literature, and composed numerous novels, short stories, poetry, and essays. Rao died in 2006. (Times of India)

Tuesday marked the thirtieth anniversary of acclaimed Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges’s death. At BBC News, Argentine authors comment on the influence and literary legacy of Borges. “There has been no one that has thought about and restructured all the literature that came before him,” says Mauro Libertella.

Meanwhile, at Elle, award-winning fiction writer Zadie Smith introduces the work of essayist Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah. “I’ve learned from Rachel that black culture is a house with a thousand rooms, with windows looking out on so many views. Her writing is like a high-wire act: Can she pull it off? Are these swirling ideas going to cohere? But they do. I admire her bravery, boldness and attention to the craft.”

Fiction writers Allison Amend and Michelle Hoover both have novels out this spring—Enchanted Islands (Nan A. Talese) and Bottomland (Grove Press), respectively—that speak to the immigrant experience of isolation and escape. In a conversation at the Fiction Writers Review, the novelists talk about their generative influences, as well as the challenges of writing fiction rooted in historical fact.