Kerouac's First Novel, ZZ Packer and Etgar Keret on Inspiration, and More

Evan Smith Rakoff

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:

As multiple film studios bid on the rights to adapt the salacious phenomenon, Fifty Shades of Grey, Sony has reportedly offered five million dollars. (Variety)

Critic David Ulin has a look at the just published first novel of Jack Kerouac, The Sea Is My Brother, and asks, "How did such a mannered young writer, self-indulgent and often woefully pretentious, become the purveyor of his own uniquely American idiom…?" (Los Angeles Times)

As the controversy surrounding Mike Daisey's monologue about Apple winds down, Mr. Daisey apologized via his blog for failing "to honor the contract I’d established with my audiences over many years and many shows.” (New York Times)

In an essay for the Rumpus, Roxane Gay discusses race, Geraldo Rivera, and the Florida killing of Trayvon Martin.

Novelist Steve Almond imagines it may not be a coincidence that psychotherapy is waning while writing programs are booming. Of his students, Almond writes, "What they really want isn’t fame or fortune but permission to articulate feelings that were somehow off limits within the fragile habitat of their families." (New York Times)

Author Tony Perrottet sets out to discover the real Casanova, whose original draft of his erotic memoir set a record for a manuscript auction in 2010, selling for over nine million dollars. (Smithsonian)

The Library of America will republish this week a collection of five books of almost-forgotten author David Goodis, whose height of popularity in the United States was the noir heyday of the 1940s and 1950s, but is critically acclaimed in France, and was adapted by French New Wave filmmaker François Truffaut. (Nones Notes)

The most recent edition of Prairie Schooner's podcast, Air Schooner, features ZZ Packer and Etgar Keret discussing "voice, inspiration, and other complications associated with trying to teach creative writing."

Yesterday would have been the short-fiction master Flannery O’Connor’s eighty-seventh birthday, and to mark the occasion Flavorwire rounded up ten great stories to read free online.