Big-Name Authors Venture Into Comics, Against Adverbs, 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:

The first issue of the Black Panther comic series, written by National Book Award–winning author Ta-Nehisi Coates, is so far the best-selling comic of the year. Coates is part of a growing number of acclaimed literary authors—including Michael Chabon and Margaret Atwood—who have ventured into writing comics. (NPR)

At Vulture, Christian Lorentzen makes a case against the overuse of adverbs. “The adverbs easiest to hate are the so-called sentence adverbs—also known as conjunctive adverbs. Writers who lean on the crutches of ‘moreover,’ ‘accordingly,’ ‘consequently,’ and ‘likewise’ are declaring a lack of confidence in the sequence of their own logic or a lack of faith in their readers’ ability to follow it.” 

A report from the Association of American Publishers shows an overall industry sales decline in 2015. Jonathon Sturgeon considers how self-published authors and small presses impact the larger market, in a year when, “for the first time, the combined share of self-published books and books by ‘very small publishers’ (42 percent) is now larger than the total market share of Big Publishing (34 percent).” (Flavorwire)

Man Booker International Prize winner Han Kang and her translator Deborah Smith discuss their typical writing days, as well as the translation process for Kang’s award-winning novel, The Vegetarian. (Guardian)

Meanwhile, at the Financial Times, Kang talks more about the novel, which was first published in Korea nine years ago, and has since undergone multiple translations. “The way I write is very personal, and the concept of literature and nationality, they don’t go well with each other. As for language, it’s different. I always feel fascinated by subtlety and delicacy of language, so I have this great debt to Korean literature. But when I write my novels, I always have a sense of universality.”

An interview with Belarusian writer and 2015 Nobel Prize winner Svetlana Alexievich is up at the Millions. Alexievich’s 2013 oral history of post-Soviet Russia, Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets, comes out this week in English for the first time.

Yesterday, a portion of Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez’s ashes were returned to his home in Cartagena, Colombia, after being held in Mexico since his death in 2014. Márquez had lived in Mexico since the 1980s, but his family, which is based in Cartagena, decided that the author’s ashes should rest where his family members are buried. (BBC News)