Booker Shortlist, Florida Bookstores Recover After Hurricane, 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 shortlist for the Man Booker Prize, a £50,000 prize given annually for a novel published in the previous year, has been announced. The shortlisted writers are Paul Auster, Emily Fridlund, Mohsin Hamid, Fiona Mozley, George Saunders, and Ali Smith.

Speaking of awards, the National Book Foundation has announced the longlist for its annual award in poetry. Yesterday the longlist for young people’s literature was released, and the lists in fiction and nonfiction are forthcoming this week.

At the New Yorker, Rachel Shteir describes meeting and talking with Kate Millett, a writer and important figure in second-wave feminism, five days before she died on September 6.

The New York Times takes a look at the fashion sense and appearance of poet John Ashbery “in all his hunky glory.” Meanwhile, poets—such as Eileen Myles at Out and Ben Lerner at the New Yorker—continue to pen remembrances of Ashbery, who died earlier this month.

Josephine Livingston considers last week’s kerfuffle over a TV researcher’s claim that the Voynich manuscript—a medieval manuscript that has baffled scholars and cryptologists for decades with its mystery script—was in fact written in an abbreviated form of Latin and plagiarized a tract on women’s health. The rumor that the Voynich manuscript had been solved spread quickly across the Internet before the scholarly community swiftly debunked the theory. (New Yorker)

The seventeenth edition of The Chicago Manual of Style has been released. At the Washington Post, Scott Huler rhapsodizes about the stylebook, which is adopted by most publishers and magazines. “Chicago is the rule of reason made flesh. It is belief in sensible authority and reasonable application thereof. After all, each house adapts rules to its own purposes; Chicago propounds rules with a soft authority, a gentle firmness.”

As Florida begins to recover after Hurricane Irma, booksellers are slowly assessing the damage to their stores and reopening for business. (Publishers Weekly)

In an interview with BBC Radio 4, Lucy Dahl, the widow of Roald Dahl—who would have been 101 today—said that the writer originally wanted Charlie, the hero of his children’s novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, to be black. (Guardian)