Edward Snowden to Publish Book, Jia Tolentino’s Reading List, and More


Every day Poets & Writers Magazine scans the headlines—publishing reports, literary dispatches, academic announcements, and more—for all the news that creative writers need to know. Here are today’s stories.

“When I like a book, I carry it around everywhere until I finish it, like a subway rat dragging a slice of pizza down the stairs.” Critic and essayist Jia Tolentino shares her reading list, which includes Liu Cixin’s Three-Body trilogy and Rebecca Stead’s middle-grade novel When You Reach Me. (New York Times)

Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden has written a book about the “crisis of confidence” that lead him to leak the troves of classified documents that prompted a major debate about government surveillance. Metropolitan Books will publish Permanent Record on September 17. (Los Angeles Times)

At the Poetry Foundation, Justin Phillip Reed reckons with Greco-Roman tropes of hero and monster, which he describes as a “moral and literary tradition that fundamentally shapes the anti-Black, patriarchal, bestial-othering politics that I find myself up against.”

At the Guardian, Dana Czapnik considers the catch-22 of reading The Catcher in the Rye in 2019: “Holden’s melancholia feels positively quaint in comparison to the problems kids face today.”

In New York City, Melville House is encouraging people to read the Mueller Report. After printing the document as a mass-market paperback earlier in the year, the press has now launched Citizens of New York, a citywide initiative that invites locals to read segments of the report for broadcast on social media. (Publishers Weekly)

“I’m not going to lose any literary jobs—none I’d want, at least—for being queer; I won’t lose friends, and my family members, deeply Christian though they might be, won’t disown me. What extravagant luck. What a joy to get to try and pass along some of that luck.” R. O. Kwon describes her decision to come out as bisexual on Twitter. (O, The Oprah Magazine)

In response to poet Nicole Sealey’s challenge to read an entire volume of poetry every day of August, Electric Literature has compiled book recommendations from thirty-one poets—one for each day of the month.

Margaret Atwood reads “Corrie,” a 2010 short story by Alice Munro, and discusses the story with Deborah Treisman on the New Yorker’s Fiction Podcast.