Centuries-Old Poem Discovered, Sabina Murray on the Women of Franzen and Eugenides, and More

Evan Smith Rakoff

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:

Continuing the parade of end-of-year lists, here are some not to miss: Critic Ruth Franklin at the New Republic discusses "Five Books I Wish I Had Written About This Year;" author Elissa Schappell at Vanity Fair lists "The Best Books of 2011 You Haven’t Read;" and David Gutowski at Largehearted Boy details "eleven novels I have most recommended to friends, family, and anyone else who has crossed my path this year.

Novelist Sabina Murray writes about the lack of importance of the female characters in Jeffrey Eugenides's The Marriage Plot and Jonathan Franzen's Freedom. "This is less of an attack than an observation and, since I read both these books with respect for their astute representations of society, I wonder if I live in a world where it is accepted that women are the duller, less intellectual, more sexually-defined gender. Is this true?" (The Nervous Breakdown)

A centuries-old mystery was recently uncovered at West Virginia University’s Charles C. Wise Library—a love poem composed in Latin was found pasted inside a 1561 edition of Chaucer written by Elizabeth Dacre to Anthony Cooke, tutor to King Edward VI, son of King Henry VIII. (WVU Today)

For the Paris Review Daily, author Emma Straub details her love for cultural icon (and writer) Miss Piggy.

On his long-time website, Terrible Minds, author Chuck Wendig lists "twenty-five things writers should know about rejection." Number four: "Rejection always stings. It stings me, you, everybody. Nobody likes to be rejected. A writer who likes being rejected is a writer who is secretly a robot and must be smelted down into slag before he tries to kill us all because he hates our meat."

The Boston Globe has more on the Rita Dove versus Helen Vendler kerfuffle.

If you'd like to own Rabbit, Run author John Updike's boyhood home, better ask Santa to make a bid on eBay.