July/August 2016

Our Literary Agents Issue features an in-depth interview with the four agents who founded the Book Group; our sixteenth annual roundup of the summer's best debut fiction, including Yaa Gyasi's novel Homegoing; Benjamin Percy on superpowered storytelling; an interview with Carolyn Kellogg of the Los Angeles Times; a Q&A with Ruth Curry and Emily Gould of Emily Books; and more. 


First Fiction 2016

by Staff
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In our sixteenth annual First Fiction roundup, five debut authors—Yaa Gyasi, Masande Ntshanga, Rumaan Alam, Maryse Meijer, and Imbolo Mbue—discuss their first books. Introduced by Angela Flournoy, Naomi Jackson, Emma Straub, Lindsay Hunter,...

First Fiction 2016: Nine More Notable Debuts

by Staff

As part of our sixteenth annual First Fiction roundup, in which five debut authors—Yaa GyasiMasande Ntshanga, Rumaan Alam, Maryse Meijer, and Imbolo Mbue—discuss their first books, we picked nine more notable debuts that fans of fiction should consider reading this summer.

Special Section

Agent Experience

by Michael Bourne
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A look at the how young literary agents grow in their careers, and what they can offer authors compared to more well-known agents.

The Aha! Moment: Nicole Aragi of Aragi, Inc.

by Michael Bourne
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As part of a continuing series, the founder of her own New York–based literary agency discusses “the mixture of deft prose and narrative suspense” that drew her to the work of fiction writer Naomi J. Williams, who she eventually took on as a client.

News and Trends

Page One: Where New and Noteworthy Books Begin

by Staff

With so many good books being published every month, some literary titles worth exploring can get lost in the stacks. Page One offers the first lines of a dozen recently released books, including Tig Notaro’s memoir, I’m Just a Person, and Mangalesh Dabral’s sixth poetry collection, This Number Does Not Exist, translated from the Hindi by Arvind Krishna Mehrotra.

Small Press Points: Negative Capability Press

by Staff

Small Press Points highlights the innovation and can-do spirit of independent presses. This issue features the Mobile, Alabama–based Negative Capability Press, a nonprofit publisher seeking to publish new work that embodies the Keatsian formulation that “a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason….”

Literary MagNet

by Dana Isokawa

The newly revamped Literary MagNet highlights an author alongside the journals that have published that author’s work. This issue’s MagNet features poet Alice Notley, who takes us through five journals that first published pieces appearing in her new collection, Certain Magical Acts (Penguin, June).

The Practical Writer

How to Pitch Yourself to Bookstores

by Lynn Rosen
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In the current publishing environment, much of the responsibility for promotion falls on the author. Bookstore co-owner Lynn Rosen offers five steps for authors to take when trying to create successful event partnerships with local bookstores.

The Literary Life

The Time Is Now: Writing Prompts and Exercises

by Staff
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Create a found poem, break your habits, or be an ambassador to your own country—three prompts to ignite the creative process.

Superpowered Storytelling

by Benjamin Percy
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An author, essayist, and DC Comics writer shares what he’s learned from writing comics, and how the process has shaped his narrative voice.