Edith Wharton's Birthday, Brooklyn's Famous Authors, 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:

The Wall Street Journal reports that a vice president for Amazon, Greg Greeley, fielding questions on Amazon's influence on bookstores at a Digital Life Design conference in Munich, Germany, "began talking about the history of the Gutenberg printing press and how it put a whole industry of handwritten transcribers out of business."

Today is the birthday of Edith Wharton, who was born in New York City in 1862, and to celebrate, the Center for Fiction is hosting a marathon reading of The House of Mirth on January 26th, and has published on its website a speech by novelist Roxana Robinson on the occasion of placing a medallion at Edith Wharton's birthplace last fall. Roxana Robinson also recently spoke to WSHU on what the Occupy movement can learn from Wharton.

Academy Award nominations have been announced, with film adaptations of Kathryn Stockett's The Help and Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close contending for an Oscar, as well as Woody Allen's comedic fable Midnight in Paris, which featured characters based on Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. (New Yorker)

GalleyCat lists ten best-selling titles with multiple one-star Amazon reviews, and asks, "Do negative reviews stop people from reading your books?"

If you find yourself in Brooklyn, New York, Condé Nast Traveler showcases the borough's literary landmarks, and includes a group photo of many of Brooklyn's famous authors, such as Jonathan Ames, Jennifer Egan, and Paula Fox, in case you spot them at the "Best Bar for Flirting with Famous Brooklyn Novelists."

Flavorwire details ten traditions created by die-hard fans of literature, including Bloomsday, the mysterious Poe Toaster, and the practice of kissing Oscar Wilde’s tomb.

Between 1965 and 1991, Dr. Seuss's Green Eggs and Ham was banned in China—Huffington Post lists several other surprisingly banned books.

On NPR's website, listeners can hear poet and songwriter Leonard Cohen's new album, Old Ideas, in its entirety.