Compassionate Art, Amazon Charts, 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:

Amazon has launched Amazon Charts, which will display the twenty most-read and the twenty best-selling fiction and nonfiction titles each week. The e-tailer will track which books are read the most based on data from Amazon’s Kindle and Audible platforms. (Publishers Weekly)

“Compassionate art is interesting because a great work of art is cognizant of the fact that positive and negative both exist at the same time…. Art isn’t just a sideshow; it’s not some kind of inessential show-off movement. It’s actually the way human beings understand the world.” George Saunders talks with Hazlitt about his recent novel, Lincoln in the Bardo.

Marvel has canceled its Black Panther & The Crew comic series, written by Ta-Nehisi Coates and poet Yona Harvey, due to poor sales. (Newsweek)

The New York Times goes inside the open casting call in Naples, Italy, for the television adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s novel My Brilliant Friend. Director Saverio Costanzo is looking for amateur child actors to play the two main characters, friends Lenú and Lila.

A graduate student at Northwestern University has sued author Laura Kipnis and her publisher, HarperCollins, for defamation in Kipnis’s book Unwanted Advances: Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus. The student claims Kipnis invaded her privacy and damaged her job prospects by portraying her in a negative light. (Chicago Tribune)

“Writers seem less interested in mustering their own centrality than they were, and readers seem less excited at the prospect of being irritated by individual civilian personalities.” Jia Tolentino explores the decline of the ultra-confessional first-person online essay, arguing that its popularity rose partially as a result of the 2007–2009 economic recession, which forced websites to slash their budgets and publish more sensational pieces to drive traffic. (New Yorker)

Comedian Jordan Peele, creator of the acclaimed satirical horror movie Get Out, will adapt Matt Ruff’s horror novel Lovecraft Country for HBO. Ruff’s novel follows the story of Atticus Black, a man who goes on a road trip looking for his father in the 1950s. (Los Angeles Times)

Writers Hanya Yanagihara, Helen Macdonald, Mohsin Hamid, Karen Russell, and Junot Díaz, among others, contribute animal-themed essays to the latest issue of the New York Times Magazine, which focuses on health and human interactions with animals.