Borges’s Radio Dialogues, Samuel Johnson Nonfiction Prize Announced, 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 1984, famous Argentinian author Jorge Luis Borges recorded a series of radio dialogues with Argentinian poet and essayist Osvaldo Ferrari. Forty-five of the dialogues have recently been translated into English for the first time. Read an excerpt of Borges and Ferrari’s conversation about the existence of God over at the New York Review of Books.

The current issue of World Literature Today honors influential works of central European literature published since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Twenty-five international authors nominated one book written from 1989-2014, which “most influenced their writing or way of seeing the world.” The top ten results of “Books that Inspired the World” are now posted on the publication’s website.

Helen Macdonald has won the Samuel Johnson Prize for Nonfiction for her memoir, H is For Hawk (Jonathan Cape). This is the first time a memoir has been awarded the £20,000 prize. The Bookseller’s Caroline Sanderson has called H is For Hawk a “deep, dark work of terrible beauty that will open fissures in the stoniest heart.” This year, the shortlist for included four female authors, which is the highest number of women in the prize’s history.

Following the announcement that actor Tom Hanks is set to publish a book of short stories based on his love of typewriters, the Guardian has compiled, for your viewing pleasure, photos of famous authors at work on their beloved devices.

Actress Lena Dunham has made an apology statement to Time regarding allegations that a passage from her memoir, Not that Kind of Girl, suggests that she sexually abused her younger sister.

Five years after its founding, the Out of Print clothing company (whose products feature out-of-print book covers) has donated 1 million books to schools and communities in need through the company’s nonprofit partner, Books For Africa. (GalleyCat)

At NPR, Petra Mayer discusses the rise of fan fiction and its impact on the future of publishing. This discussion follows the six-figure publishing deal Anna Todd signed with Simon & Schuster for After, an erotic fan fiction story centering on a member from the British boy band One Direction.

Perhaps you, too, have highlighted this particular sentence from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” Amazon has released its data of the most highlighted passages in Kindle’s most popular books. According to the “highlight” data, the most popular passages occur in Pride and Prejudice, the Bible, Lord of the Rings, The Hunger Games, A Wrinkle in Time, and every single Harry Potter book. (Atlantic)