Booker Winners in Conversation, Calls to Repatriate James Joyce, and More


Every day Poets & Writers Magazine scans the headlines—publishing reports, literary dispatches, academic announcements, and more—for all the news that creative writers need to know. Here are today’s stories.

The Guardian sat down with Bernardine Evaristo and Margaret Atwood the morning after their joint win of the 2019 Booker Prize. The two writers discuss the importance of intergenerational storytelling, and why they both chose to end their books with optimism. 

In Dublin, city councilors have proposed a plan to repatriate the remains of James Joyce and his wife, Nora Barnacle, from Zurich. The councilors attest that the plan honors Joyce and Barnacle’s final wishes, even though the author is also known to have had a contentious relationship with his birthplace. (Guardian)

On NPR Fresh Air, Ronan Farrow unpacks the meaning behind his book’s title, Catch and Kill, and discusses the backlash he has experienced for his #MeToo reporting. 

R. O. Kwon talks with comedian and actress Ali Wong about Wong’s memoir, Dear Girls; the stereotyping they experience as Asian American women in the arts; and the never-ending process of refining a joke. (San Francisco Chronicle)

In a series of posts at the Poetry Foundation’s Harriet blog, Diana Khoi Nguyen examines the intersection of poetry and drama. In her latest post, she considers how the public reading of poetry is necessarily a performance. Despite her initial resistance to this idea—“Did I perform grief over my brother Oliver’s suicide in front of the audience?”—her definitions of performance and “to entertain” have become more nuanced. “Entertain, traced back to Latin for ‘to hold among’—okay, I can get with that origin of the word.”

In the Believer series Read This One, Colin Winnette invites a writer to recommend a book, which he then reads and discusses with them. In the latest installment, Winnette talks to Namwali Serpell about her selection, Eva’s Man by Gayl Jones. The pair discuss unreliable narrators and what makes an engaging villain. “It’s not that Eva’s just bad, but that she’s interestingly bad.”

“If Brooklyn has long been in Manhattan’s shadow, deep-south Brooklyn is in the shadow of both.” Historian Thomas J. Campanella shares the personal motivations behind his latest work of nonfiction, Brooklyn: The Once and Future City. (Millions)

Author of the best-selling memoir Running with Scissors, Augusten Burroughs has published a new work of nonfiction titled Toil & Trouble. At the Rumpus, Burroughs talks about publicly identifying as a witch, and his complicated relationship with his mother.