Hilton Als on James Baldwin, Philip Roth to Donate Personal Book Collection to Newark Library, 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:

Philip Roth is donating his literature collection, which includes more than four thousand books, to the Newark Public Library, located in the author’s hometown. (New York Times)

Hilton Als, winner of the 2016 Windham-Campbell Prize for nonfiction, talks with Jacqueline Goldsby about the legacy of James Baldwin and his lasting influence on Als’s own work as an essayist—a literary relationship that “shifted, over the years, from ardent infatuation and reverence to disaffection, settling somewhere in between.” (Paris Review)

Daniel Radosh, a writer for the Daily Show, wrote a very appropriate response after his son brought home a permission slip to read Ray Bradbury’s dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 (which is, of course, about the censorship of books): “What a wonderful way to introduce students to the theme of Fahrenheit 451,” Radosh wrote to the school, “that books are so dangerous that the institutions of society—schools and parents—might be willing to team up against children to prevent them from reading one.” (Daily Dot)

At BOMB, Bolivian fiction writer Edmundo Paz-Soldán talks about the origins of his 2011 novel, Norte, the influence of Roberto Bolaño on his work, and living as a Bolivian writing about the United States. The English translation of Norte is just out from the University of Chicago Press.

The Boston Review has published an interview with poet Max Ritvo, whose debut collection, Four Reincarnations, was published by Milkweed Editions shortly after the poet’s death in August at age twenty-five. Read poet Dorthea Lasky’s interview with Ritvo for Poets & Writers, in which he discusses his book, performing poetry, and the influence of music on his work.

A fifty-year-old man named Michael Danaher has been found guilty of murdering author and antique book dealer Adrian Greenwood earlier this year in Oxford, England. The Bookseller reports that Danaher committed the murder as part of a plan to steal a valuable first edition of The Wind in the Willows, said to be worth £50,000.

Take a trip down etymology lane, back to the days when “blockbuster” meant “bomb,” and “alcohol” meant “eyeshadow.” The Guardian lists ten words whose meanings have changed drastically over time.