America Reads Exhibit, Women Crime Novelists, 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: 

Award-winning fiction writer Rivka Galchen discusses the process of writing her latest book, Little Labors, a lyric essay on identity and motherhood. (Times of Israel)

A new exhibition at the Library of Congress called  “America Reads” celebrates books by U.S. authors that have had a “profound effect on American life.” The sixty-five books in the exhibit were selected from a public survey of approximately 17,200 people, and include Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, and Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat. 

“The female writers…don’t much believe in heroes, which makes their kind of storytelling perhaps a better fit for these cynical times.” Terrence Rafferty considers today’s women crime fiction writers who excel in a genre once dominated by men. (Atlantic)

In related news, crime novelist Megan Abbott reflects on the influence of young adult thriller writer Lois Duncan, who died on June 15 at age eighty-two. Duncan was the author of more than fifty books, including the popular teen suspense novels I Know What You Did Last Summer and Killing Mr. Griffin. (Guardian)

At the New Republic, Alex Shepard voices concern over the possible closure of Barnes & Noble, arguing that it would be disastrous for publishers, authors, and readers alike. “In a world without Barnes & Noble, risk-averse publishers will double down on celebrity authors and surefire hits. Literary writers without proven sales records will have difficulty getting published, as will young, debut novelists.”

Novelist Ann Hood describes the therapeutic value of reading, and how it helped her cope with the deaths of both her brother and daughter. Norton will publish Hood’s new novel, The Book That Matters Most, in August. (Publishers Weekly)

Today’s as good as ever to celebrate how poetry informs visual art. Brazilian painter Rubens Ghenov’s recent abstract works are inspired by the philosophical texts and verse of late Spanish poet Angelico Morandá. If you haven’t heard of Morandá, you’re not alone—the poet is a fictional invention of Ghenov. (Hyperallergic