Internet Reading and the Anxiety of Influence, the Language of Restaurant Menus, 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:

“In these online minutes or hours, I drift along with my mouth open, absorbing whatever’s floating by, never chewing or even swallowing, just letting it all seep pre-chewed into me. The impurity of this content makes it far more consumable than anything pure, even a little bit of which is filling.” At Electric Literature, David Rice considers Internet reading and its influence on writers.

The Guardian’s Sam Leith explores the work and public persona of Martin Amis, who he calls Britain’s “most controversial and outspoken novelist.” Amis’s latest novel, The Zone of Interest—a contentious Holocaust comedy set in Auschwitz—will be released next week by Jonathan Cape.  

The Atlantic looks at the changing language of restaurant menus, and how certain descriptions of food relate to what author Dan Jurafsky calls “status anxiety” in his forthcoming book The Language of Food: A Linguist Reads the Menu.

In light of ongoing tension in Ferguson, Missouri, following the death of Michael Brown, Book Riot’s Brenna Clarke Gray has compiled a list of five good books about race in America

Leading up to the release of her new novel, Rooms, in September, writer Lauren Oliver has launched a project called the Ghostly Goodreads Challenge: Each time Rooms gets ten new adds on Goodreads, Oliver will tweet a new section of an original ghost story. (GalleyCat)

In Tehran, a husband-and-wife team has turned their taxi into a mobile library. More than a hundred books are stacked in the couple’s car for passengers to read while they ride; when passengers pay the fare, they also have the option to buy a book. (Wall Street Journal)

Lowis Lowry, author of the 1993 dystopian young-adult novel The Giver—the film adaptation of which hits theaters today—says “dystopian fiction is passé.” (Variety)

J. D. Salinger’s former home in Cornish, New Hampshire, is up for sale, with an asking price of $679,000. (New Hampshire Public Radio)