Arsenic-Laced Books, Barnes and Noble Fires CEO, 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:

Charles McGrath profiles novelist Anne Tyler, who is “not a recluse exactly—or, as one critic called her, the Greta Garbo of the literary world—but…a creature of rigorous habit…” Tyler’s twenty-second novel, Clock Dance, will come out next week. (New York Times)

Researchers at the University of Southern Denmark found arsenic-laced pigment inside three medieval tomes dating back to the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. (Smithsonian)

Barnes & Noble has fired its CEO, Demos Parneros, for “violations of the Company’s policies.” Parneros was fired immediately and without severance. (Publishers Weekly)

The New Yorker considers the legacy of Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, one of Brazil’s greatest writers who “managed, with unruffled elegance and composure, to say the most outrageous things.”

“You can put your thing down, flip it, and reverse it: that’s the crowd’s ars poetica.” Poet Anne Boyer considers the performances of Missy Elliot. (Harper’s Magazine)

Yelena Moskovich offers a “summer reading list for misfits,” with books that aren’t page-turners but the “weirdly formatted ones, the rhythmic ones, the ones that feel too much…” (Paris Review)

Meanwhile, Real Simple rounds up the best books of 2018 so far, including R. O. Kwon’s The Incendiaries and Katharine Dion’s The Dependents.

Dion and Kwon are both featured in the latest issue of Poets & Writers as part of the eighteenth annual First Fiction feature.

Jezebel interviews Samantha Hunt about women’s identity, mermaids, and her first novel, The Seas.