Ben Lerner on Writing Fiction, Tim Howard Inks Memoir Deal, 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:

“What interests me about fiction is, in part, its flickering edge between realism and where a tear in the fabric of a story lets in some other sort of light.” At the New York Times, Parul Sehgal talks to novelist Ben Lerner, whose latest novel, 10:04, will be published next week by Faber & Faber. “Fiction isn’t an escape into an imaginary world,” Lerner says. “It’s about little redescriptions of the world that we exist in; it’s the power to imagine different futures.”

Soccer star Tim Howard, who served as Team USA’s goalkeeper during the 2014 World Cup, has inked a memoir deal with HarperCollins. The Keeper will tell the story of Howard’s journey to becoming a professional athlete amid a lifelong battle with Tourette’s Syndrome. It will be released in both an adult and a YA edition on December 9. (GalleyCat)

Former U.S. poet laureate Robert Hass has won the $100,000 Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets, given annually for “outstanding and proven mastery in the art of poetry." (NPR)

The Los Angeles Times reviews two new typewriter apps for the iPad, which promise to re-create “the experience of a manual typewriter, but with the ease and speed of an iPad.” 

Two Napa Valley bookstores were damaged during Sunday’s earthquake in California. While no significant structural damage was sustained, the owners report having lost a number of books in the wreckage. (American Booksellers Association)

Meanwhile, Laurel Book Store in the Laurel district of Oakland, California, which has struggled to stay afloat, will be expanding this October when it moves to a new space in downtown Oakland. The new shop, which will quadruple in size, will be the first bookstore to move into the area since Barnes & Noble shuttered in late 2010. (Publishers Weekly)

From Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay “Against Interpretation” to critic Ruth Graham’s recent controversial Slate essay “Against YA" to Steve Almond's latest book, Against Football, the culture of writing “against [x]” is pervasive, to say the least. In the New Yorker, Ivan Kreilkamp makes a case against "against."