Another Fabricated Memoir, Nobel Prize Juror Denies Prize Biases, and More

by Staff

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:

CBS News report, aired on 60 Minutes last night, challenges some of the facts that make up Greg Mortenson’s best-sellingThree Cups of Tea—which chronicles the author's failed attempt to climb K2 and his having established schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan—raising “serious questions about how millions of dollars have been spent” by the charity he founded. (New York Times)

To mark the five-week anniversary of Japan’s recent earthquake and tsunami, Jim Bonner, director of Enhanced Editions, a U.K.-based e-books publisher, organized a Facebook campaign titled Read for Japan to promote the sale of 2:46 Aftershocks: Stories From the Japan Earthquake—a collection of prose, poetry, and artwork crowdsourced via Twitter—which helped place the book at the top of several nonfiction e-book categories on Amazon this past weekend. (Publishing Perspectives)

In response to the stripped down format of e-books and in an effort to bring closer the roles of writer and visual artist, authors such as Jonathan Safran Foer—whose forthcoming book is based on a similar concept to the die-cut Tree of Codes—are turning novels into “sculptured objects.” (Independent)

After years of accusations that the awards for the Nobel Prize for Literature—whose list of the last past twenty laureates includes one American, Toni Morrison, and eleven Europen Writers—is “Eurocentric,” Kjell Espmark, poet and Swedish Academy member, delivered a lecture last Wednesday on the campus of Providence College in Rhode Island defending the panel’s decision-making process. (National Public Radio)

The Poetry Foundation has awarded translator and poet David Ferry the one-hundred-thousand-dollar Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize for lifetime achievement, the largest prize in the business.

Police intelligence analyst Elizabeth Haynes—whose book Into the Darkest Corner topped a consumer-review poll, which asked readers to pick from four Amazon-selected debut novelists—has won the first Amazon Rising Stars award of 2011. (Bookseller)

The Los Angeles Times Review of Books launched a preview of its new Web site—which aims to provide “rigorously edited, carefully curated, deeply informed discourse by experts in their respective field” in a format “designed to exploit the latest online technologies in ways that respond to a significantly transformed publishing world.” 

To commemorate the publication of David Foster Wallace’s The Pale King last Friday, Flavorwire offers “for the uninitiated, the intimidated, or the intrepid reader,” a DFW primer. And Papercuts takes a look at the author's correspondence with tax accountants from which The Pale King is derived to examine "clues to where the real I.R.S. ends and Wallace’s imaginary uber-bureaucracy begins.” 

To compliment The Clock, a video installation by Christian Marclay, currently on exhibit at the British Art show, which presents a montage of film clips made up of time references that run for twenty-four hours, the Guardian asks for help in building twenty-four hours of fictional time.