Booksellers Question ABA Stake in Bookshop, Reclaim Her Name Project to Publish Twenty-Five Titles, and More

by Staff
8.13.20

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.

Some independent bookstores are raising concerns about the American Booksellers Association’s financial stake in Bookshop, the popular new e-commerce platform. They question whether the association’s investments might compromise its ability to represent its members. “Every time a consumer in my area orders from Bookshop, I lose the sale and ABA benefits from the sale,” says Mike Joachim of Toadstool Bookshop in New Hampshire. ABA maintains that its members were kept informed about the organization’s involvement with Bookshop, which many booksellers believe has been crucial in keeping indie bookstores afloat during the pandemic. (Publishers Weekly)

The Reclaim Her Name project will republish twenty-five books using the real names of women writers who previously published under masculine pseudonyms. Middlemarch, for instance, will be attributed to its author, Mary Ann Evans, instead of to her pen name, George Eliot. (Guardian)

Alisson Wood, the author of Being Lolita, reflects on surviving and writing about an abusive relationship, and turning to fellow writers for support. “They could empathize not only with the experience of trauma, since we all have traumas, but also with the difficulty of getting it right on the page.” (BOMB)

“We should be suspicious of reforms that operate through a logic of replacement.” Maya Schenwar and Victoria Law, the authors of Prison By Any Other Name, discuss the limits of reforming the criminal justice system. (Nation)

“This most eccentric and likeable of trades shows every sign of being annihilated forever.” Alexander Larman writes about the decline of independent secondhand bookshops in Britain, which he attributes in part to competition from bookshops run by the charity Oxfam. (Critic)

The New York Times remembers the life and work of Sulaiman Layeq, an Afghan poet and leftist revolutionary who died in July at age ninety.

“Potters can’t make something without any clay; first drafts are the ‘clay’ of writing. Formless, messy.” A. E. Osworth on first drafts, the value of praise, and writing with joy. (Electric Literature)

The New York Public Library recommends six modern feminist novels