Herman Wouk Sells Novel at Ninety-Six, Tom Bissell on Literary Luck, 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:

Simon & Schuster announced yesterday it will publish a new novel from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Herman Wouk called The Lawgiver. Mr. Wouk, who wrote The Caine Mutiny and Marjorie Morningstar, will turn ninety-seven in May. (Los Angeles Times)

Wired magazine investigates the evolving landscape of electronic literature, and suggests independent publishers will lead the way in creating iPad apps for books.

Salman Rushdie responds (via Twitter) to Israel’s ban of Günter Grass: "The answer to words must always be other words." (New York Times)

Rachel Fershleiser offers a five-step guide for authors to best make use of Tumblr. (GalleyCat)

Salon speaks with author Tom Bissell about his new book of essays, Magic Hours, and how "literary and artistic success have always been, overwhelmingly, a matter of luck."

Best-selling author Jodi Picoult describes why it's too soon to self-publish. (Huffington Post UK)

The Paris Review Daily looks at the fascinating life of Frances Hodgson Burnett, who at one time was a more famous neighbor of Henry James, living in "Downton Abbey grandiosity," off the income from her plays, well before she composed The Secret Garden.

T. Coraghessan Boyle describes the feeling of boxing up his collected papers and letters to deliver to the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas in Austin, which recently acquired all forty-three boxes for its archives. "Since I began writing stories and novels in the early nineteen-seventies, I have kept every scrawled-over draft, every letter from friends and readers and my fellow writers, every rejection slip and review, as well as all the correspondence with my editors, agents and publishers around the world—and now I no longer have them." (New Yorker)

Happy birthday to The Great Gatsby! (Vol. 1 Brooklyn)