Free Books for Life, Singapore’s Multilingual Literature, 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:

The New York Times provides a reader’s guide to this fall’s big literary awards, including the Nobel Prize in Literature, the Man Booker Prize, and the National Book Awards.

A London bookstore is awarding one lucky winner free books for life. To mark its eightieth anniversary, independent bookshop Heywood Hill launched the Library of a Lifetime award last Friday. To enter, readers nominate a book that has meant the most to them, and the winner—chosen at random in a drawing—will receive “one newly published and hand-picked hardback book per month, for life, delivered anywhere in the world.” (Guardian)

Amid the backlash from journalist Claudio Gatti’s New York Review of Books article about the true identity of best-selling novelist Elena Ferrante, the Rose Theater in London announced yesterday that it would present the first stage adaptation of Ferrante’s Neapolitan novel series. (New York Times)

Author Matt Bell speaks with the Fiction Writers Review about his new story collection, A Tree or a Person or a Wall (Soho Press), as well as formal experimentation and the power of fairy tales. “Almost every fairy tale has good bones like this, and they can be rearranged to make all kinds of fantastical skeletons on which you might hang a story.”

Best-selling author Gloria Naylor has died at age sixty-six. Naylor was widely known for her debut novel, The Women of Brewster Place (1982), her “self-described ‘love letter’ to a community of African American women in a housing project,” which won the National Book Award for first fiction and was later developed into a television miniseries staring Oprah Winfrey. Naylor’s other novels include Linden Hills, Mama Day, and The Men of Brewster Place. (Washington Post)

“With globalization, many nations are now grappling with the forces of immigration, urbanization, industrialization, and modernization. Singapore’s size, location, and history have given it a head start in dealing with these developments and their consequences. Its literature reflects these experiences.” Words Without Borders guest editor Dan Feng Tan introduces the magazine’s October issue on Singaporean literature after the country gained independence in 1963.

Amazon is currently involved in a publishing dispute with Tokyo-based publisher Kodansha Ltd. after pulling more than a thousand of the company’s titles from the Kindle Unlimited subscription service. Kodansha released a statement saying that Amazon pulled its top-ranked titles from the e-book subscription service “without any notification.” (Bloomberg)