Laurence Fishburne Narrates The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Analyzing Faulkner’s Representations of Racism, and More

by Staff

Every day Poets & Writers Magazine scans the headlines—publishing reports, literary dispatches, academic announcements, and more—for all the news that creative writers need to know. Here are today’s stories.

“He was a larger-than-life figure. As he was greatly loved, he was also greatly misunderstood. The responsibility I felt was to try and illuminate his humanity as much as possible.” Celebrated actor Laurence Fishburne reflects on narrating the first unabridged audiobook of The Autobiography of Malcolm X. (New York Times)

Michael Gorra analyzes how William Faulkner represented the anti-Black violence of the Jim Crow South in his novels. “He was born into an understanding of the way white supremacy works, and a part of him never stopped believing in the racial hierarchy that shaped his boyhood, even as the writer grew increasingly critical of it.” (New York Review Daily)

Randall Kenan, a beloved writer and an English professor at the University of North Carolina, died last week at age fifty-seven. Known for his depictions of Black queer life, Kenan’s most recent book, If I Had Two Wings, was published earlier this month by W. W. Norton. (New York Times)

“What we call ‘history’ is almost always told from the perspective of the conquerors, a group that has typically excluded women, the poor, indigenous people.” Christina Baker Kline recalls her deep dive into Australian history while writing The Exiles. (Chicago Review of Books

“Think about how best to deepen relationships; the role of love; a commitment to taking off your own glasses and using somebody else’s glasses because our individual frameworks are really limited.” Activist and scholar Margo Okazawa-Rey shares advice for movement building. (Margins)

Publishers Weekly talks to four Black bookstore owners from across the country about weathering the pandemic and sustaining the movement for racial justice. 

“We haven't figured it out—none of us—though what’s been lovely is that independent bookstore people are really coming together.” Ann Patchett talks to O, the Oprah Magazine about running an independent bookstore in the pandemic era

After losing his close friend Keith Martin to cancer, Andrew O’Hagan transformed their friendship into the novel Mayflies. (Guardian)