David Foster Wallace at Fifty, Ann Patchett on Colbert Report, 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:

Competing directly with Amazon's Kindle Fire, Barnes & Noble has released an 8GB Nook Tablet. (GalleyCat)

Last night on the Colbert Report, novelist Ann Patchett spoke with Stephen Colbert about why she opened an independent bookstore in her hometown of Nashville.

Vol. 1 Brooklyn details how novelist Cormac McCarthy volunteered to edit a new book of nonfiction, Quantum Man: Richard Feynman’s Life in Science, as long as he could "excise all exclamation points and semicolons, both of which he said have no place in literature."

Sara Ivry revisits Judy Blume's autobiographical novel, Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself, and discusses how it avoids the pitfalls of Holocaust fiction. (Tablet)

The London Review of Books looks at the international popularity of Homer, and asks, "Why are our contemporaries so keen on buying and presumably reading the Iliad’s Iron Age reminiscence of Bronze Age combat?"

Today would have been David Foster Wallace's fiftieth birthday. To mark the occasion, Salon honors the important novelist's work as a journalist.

Meanwhile, the New York Daily News explains why David Foster Wallace still matters.

The Point examines the relationship and legacies of David Foster Wallace and his friend and rival Jonathan Franzen.

And from the New Yorker archive, its 2009 profile of David Foster Wallace.