Indie Bookstores in a Post-Borders World, Ayn Rand's Adolescent Appeal, 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:

A new documentary, The Woman With Five Elephants, profiles the late German-speaking Ukrainian translator Svetlana Geier, who brought major works of Dostoevsky to German readers. Geier, who died last year at age eighty-seven in the midst of translating the author's prison novel The House of the Dead, had lived through both the Stalinist repression and the Nazi invasion. (NPR)

The Christian Science Monitor rounds up notable novels inspired by World War II, including Bobbie Ann Mason's The Girl in the Blue Beret, which was released last month by Random House, and Joseph Heller's classic Catch-22, which turned fifty yesterday.

Washington, D.C., literary hangout Busboys and Poets opens a new bookstore, café, and performance space in Maryland. (NBC Washington)

As Borders stores go into liquidation mode, PBS Art Beat catches up with independent booksellers across the nation, from City Lights in San Francisco to Politics and Prose in Washington, D.C., to see how their businesses are faring.

Sales of To Kill a Mockingbird got a boost this week as soccer star–Spice Girl couple David and Victoria Beckham announce that Harper Lee inspired the name of their newborn daughter. (Daily Mail)

Why do Ayn Rand's books sell so well? According to her former New American Library editor Patrick O'Connor, "Because she writes the best children’s literature in America. The Fountainhead is practically a rite of passage for alienated youth." Gary Percesepe recalls a meeting with O'Connor on the Millions.

The late literary critic, theorist, and author of books such as The Medium Is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects, Marshall McLuhan would have turned one hundred yesterday. Whether or not you know nothing of his work, check out the Guardian's series on McLuhan's ideas about media, launched with a podcast.