Duluth School District Nixes Classic Novels, Judy Blume Takes a Break From Writing, 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:

Judy Blume, who turns eighty today, talks with NPR about feminism, the longevity of her writing, and taking a break from writing. “I get up every day now and I say, ‘Thank you, thank you! I don’t have to write today.’ I can go to my bookstore. Writing is hard and intense.”

The school district in Duluth, Minnesota, has removed Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn from its curriculum, citing the novels’ use of racial slurs. (Star Tribune)

Ron Charles interviews five audiobook actors who read romance novels about the challenges of the job. (Washington Post)

Meanwhile, the New York Times rounds up the original book jackets of fifty of the most iconic and risqué texts in literary history, including D. H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer, and Judy Blume’s Forever.

Poet Oliver de la Paz critiques a few examples of what BuzzFeed News has dubbed a “broem”—an anecdote about a career triumph written by a man that appears on his LinkedIn profile in the form of a poem.

British novelist Kit de Waal considers how the U.K. publishing industry shuts out working-class writers. (Guardian)

Fox News personality Jeanine Pirro met with Donald Trump last week to pitch a book that would rebut Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury; Trump has agreed to give an interview for the book. (New York Times)

Jennifer Egan’s novel Manhattan Beach and Sherman Alexie’s memoir You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me have won 2018 American Library Association Carnegie Medals for excellence in fiction and nonfiction, respectively. (American Libraries Magazine)

Meanwhile, Israeli fiction writer David Grossman has won the 2018 Israeli Prize for Literature, the country’s highest literary accolade. Grossman won the Man Booker International Prize in 2017 for his novel A Horse Walks Into a Bar. (Haretz)