Emily Dickinson Comedy Series, Salman Rushdie on Literature and Truth, 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:

Apple has ordered a comedy television series about Emily Dickinson starring Hailee Steinfeld. Dickinson is billed as a coming-of-age comedy set in the famous poet’s era, but “with a modern sensibility and tone.” (CNET)

Meanwhile, the Chicago Reader recommends five literary biopics that “don’t just rest on words but also offer up some visual artistry.”

“But when we read a book we like, or even love, we find ourselves in agreement with its portrait of human life. Yes, we say, this is how we are, this is what we do to one another, this is true. That, perhaps, is where literature can help most. We can make people agree, in this time of radical disagreement, on the truths of the great constant, which is human nature. Let’s start from there.” At the New Yorker, Salman Rushdie urges writers to rebuild readers’ faith in truth.

Australian author Germaine Greer has stirred controversy by saying that the punishment for rape should be lessened, since the criminal justice system does not deal fairly with sexual violence. (New York Times)

The Weston Library in Oxford has opened a rare exhibit of J. R. R. Tolkien’s papers, which shows how the author, who is “unrivalled in his reputation as a meticulous creator who knew his world down to the last blade of grass,” made Middle-earth, the fictional world behind his classic fantasy series, The Lord of the Rings. (Guardian)

Laura van den Berg interviews Porochista Khakpour about her new memoir, Sick. (Bookforum)

“Mr. Orange is part of a new generation of acclaimed indigenous writers from the United States and Canada who are publishing groundbreaking, formally innovative poetry, fiction and prose, shattering old tropes and stereotypes about Native American literature, experience and identity.” The New York Times profiles Tommy Orange, whose debut novel, There There, comes out next week.

Meg Wolitzer talks about her background, feminism, and her latest novel, The Female Persuasion. (Guardian)