Every day Poets & Writers Magazine scans the headlines—publishing reports, literary dispatches, academic announcements, and more—for all the news that creative writers need to know. Here are today’s stories.
The American Library Association has released the longlist for the 2020 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction. In November three finalists will be chosen in each category from the list of twenty-four works of fiction and twenty-five works of nonfiction. Inaugurated in 2012, the $5,000 medals honor “the best fiction and nonfiction books for adult readers in the U.S. the previous year.” Titles in the running include debuts from Taffy Brodesser-Akner, Ocean Vuong, and Sarah M. Broom, as well as work by established authors Toni Morrison, Ann Patchett, and Salman Rushdie.
Penguin Random House has defended Lara Prescott against a copyright infringement claim concerning her debut novel, The Secrets We Kept. A work of historical fiction, The Secrets We Kept involves the real figure Boris Pasternak and the publication of his book Doctor Zhivago. The great-niece of Boris Pasternak—who, in 2016, published a biography about Boris Pasternak’s lover—claims Prescott’s novel copies “substantial elements” from her nonfiction book, beyond legitimate “inspiration.” (Guardian)
Publishers Weekly checked in with Minneapolis-based independent presses Coffee House Press, Graywolf, and Milkweed. All three report robust sales and significant growth in recent years.
Poet and translator Stefania Heim grew up “between and among languages,” and often spoke with siblings in a hybrid of Italian and English. At the Paris Review Daily, Heim investigates a similar “interlingual play” in the Italian poems and writings of Giorgio de Chirico, and describes the challenge of preserving this nuance in English translations.
“Inevitably, I am affected by the political background of the times, because I’m a citizen as well as a writer.” In an interview at the Guardian, Philip Pullman discusses his new book, The Secret Commonwealth, and authoritarian politics on and off the page.
At the New York Times, Reginald Dwayne Betts writes a tribute to Lucille Clifton. He recalls the day they met: “I wept for the first time since the earliest days of my incarceration. Inconsolably. And imagine, some people wonder if poems matter.”
Conversations With Friends was the September pick for the NewsHour-New York Times book club, Now Read This. Sally Rooney appeared on PBS in conversation with Jeffrey Brown to answer reader questions.
By way of Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth, Adam O’Fallon considers the difficult, but critical task of naming characters. (Millions)