July/August 2018

Our Literary Agents Issue features a look at how authors, agents, editors, booksellers, and publicists work together to bring a book into the world, and the secrets to maintaining a long-term author-agent relationship; plus the summer’s best debut fiction, profiles of poet Terrance Hayes and fiction writer Lauren Groff, self-publishing advice, writing prompts, and more.

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My Past and Future Assassin

by Hanif Abdurraqib
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In his sixth book, a sonnet sequence published by Penguin in June, Terrance Hayes cuts deep, to the marrow of the American moment, in a form with a razor’s edge: love poems for the forces trying to kill you.


Severe Weather in the Sunshine State

by Bethanne Patrick
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Florida isn’t just the title of Lauren Groff’s new story collection, published in June by Riverhead Books; it’s also a bad joke, a good home, a source of inspiration, a set of contradictions, and, perhaps, ultimately a state of mind.

Special Section

Standing the Test of Time

by Michael Bourne
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George Saunders and Esther Newberg, Victor LaValle and Glora Loomis, Roxana Robinson and Lynn Nesbit on what it takes to maintain a long-term agent-author relationship.

News and Trends

The Practical Writer

The Savvy Self-Publisher: Ethan Senturia

by Debra Englander
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An entrepreneur self-publishes a book about the failure of his business. An editor and publicist weigh in.

The Literary Life

The Tale of the Traveling Chicken: Learning the Art of Fiction With a Joke

by James P. Blaylock
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A prolific fiction writer and teacher explores the possibilities beyond the punch line of an age-old question.