Flooded Bookstores, a Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, 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:

Many communities along the East Coast are still dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, especially in Vermont, where eleven small towns remain cut off due to flooded roads and bridges. Shelf Awareness has a roundup of news about a number of bookstores that were affected. Hit especially hard was Manteo Booksellers in North Carolina, which was flooded with four feet of water; and Bartelby's Books in Wilmington, Vermont, whose owner had another bookstore that was destroyed by fire just four months ago.

To mark the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, The Chronicle Review asked thirteen "influential thinkers to reflect on some of the themes that were raised by those events and to meditate on their meaning, then and now." Among the contributors is poetry critic Marjorie Perloff, who writes, "The great paradox of the post-9/11 decade is that a traumatic event that should have made us all more aware of the world outside our borders has instead given birth to a curious insularity—an inward turn where the personal has once again become the political."

Meanwhile, Salon asked eight novelists, including Steve Almond, Joshua Furst, and Shann Ray, to imagine Moammar Gadhafi's current state of mind. (The latest from the New York Times: Today Libyan rebels set a four-day deadline for Quaddafi forces to surrender.) "Perhaps he should have been a poet, and died well under the boot of another man," Almond writes in his story "The Supreme Leader Dreams of Love."

Photographer Joshua Simpson recently paid a visit to the office of Lapham's Quarterly to give viewers a glimpse of how Lewis Lapham rolls. (Work in Progress)

The New Yorker's Deborah Triesman chats with Haruki Murakami, whose story "Town of Cats" appears in this week's issue. (Book Bench)

Judge Martin Glenn of U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan yesterday cleared
Books-A-Million to take over the leases on fourteen Borders stores.
(Wall Street Journal)

Media critic Jack Shafter, who last week was laid off by Slate, has some advice for journalists: “No matter how good your job is—and mine was great—you should always be looking for your next gig.” (Poynter)

Do you suffer from ecidivism ("the habit of closing a browser tab to go do something else, only to absentmindedly return to the website you just left")? Check out John Koenig's Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows for this and other shades on the emotional pallette.