Books on the Meaning of Mass Shootings, Dan Brown’s House, 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:

In the wake of the shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday that killed at least fifty-nine people and injured hundreds more, Michael Schaub recommends nine books that grapple with the meaning of mass shootings, including books about the shootings at Columbine High School, Sandy Hook Elementary School, Virginia Tech University, and the University of Texas. (Los Angeles Times)

The Swedish Academy will announce the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature on Thursday; betting company Ladbrokes reports the top contender for the prize is Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, followed by Haruki Murakami and Margaret Atwood. (Guardian)

Meanwhile, Patricia Engel and David Wood have won the 2017 Dayton Literary Peace Prizes for their books that “promote peace, social justice, and global understanding.” Engel won in fiction for her novel The Veins of the Ocean and Wood won in nonfiction for his book What Have We Done; they will each receive ten thousand dollars. (Literary Hub)

Sarah Lyall visits best-selling author Dan Brown at his “fantastically bonkers” house in New Hampshire, replete with treasures like a medieval suit of armor, a secret bookshelf, a replica of the “Mona Lisa,” and a shirt signed by the members of Germany’s 2014 World Cup­–winning soccer team. Brown’s latest novel, Origin, comes out today. (New York Times)

NPR chats with New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast about her new book about living in New York City, which includes tips on how to deal with small apartments, bugs, and making eye contact with strangers.

Poet, writer, and now lawyer Reginald Betts was admitted to the Connecticut bar last week. Betts was originally denied entrance due to a teenage felony conviction, sparking conversation about rehabilitation. (Hartford Courant, New York Times)

Writers and publishing professionals, particularly in the children’s literature world, are raising money to help relief efforts in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. (Publishers Weekly)

“What sets Coates apart from other journalists or public intellectuals is that he tells his audience that historians’ works need to be consulted if they want to understand American history.” Jordan Michael Smith considers how the work of Ta-Nehisi Coates, whose book We Were Eight Years in Power comes out today, is received in academic circles. (Chronicle of Higher Education)