Lessons From Albert Camus, Booksellers in California Prepare for Limited Reopening, 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.

“The plague will continue to crawl out of the woodwork—out of bedrooms, cellars, trunks, handkerchiefs and old papers—as long as human subjects do not question the cruelty and injustice of their social arrangements.” Jacqueline Rose revisits Albert Camus’s The Plague and finds instructions for rebuilding a better world after a pandemic. (London Review of Books

Publishers Weekly checked in with booksellers in California after governor Gavin Newsom announced modifications to the state’s social distancing protocols. Under the new guidelines, eligible bookstores will be allowed to open for curbside pickup and home delivery on May 8. 

“I found Claudia slowly, wastefully, through excessive amounts of time spent on backstory, time which I no longer see as slow or wasteful or excessive, but necessary.” Kristen Millares Young, the author of Subduction, discusses the art of character development. (Believer)

Miranda Popkey offers a window into her editing process by analyzing two versions—a draft and a revision—of a paragraph from her debut novel, Topics of Conversation. (Guernica)

Jenny Odell, the author of How to Do Nothing, reflects on countering self-doubt, interdisciplinary artmaking, and weathering the coronavirus. (Creative Independent) 

Dwight Garner considers various breakfast foods—cereal, bacon, eggs, and more—as they appear in literature. (New York Times)

“More than ever, I am leaning into poetry’s sound. Lately, life is quieter and louder, unnervingly so.” Matthew Schneier recommends the comfort of memorizing a poem. (Cut)

The Millions previews five books of poetry publishing in May, including John Freeman’s The Park and Kiki Petrosino’s White Blood

And the Daily Shout-Out goes to the Queer Zine Library for its “Behind the Zines” video series, in which zine makers share readings and commentary on their creative processes. The first installment features Kaitlin Chan, who also recently wrote and illustrated a Postcard from the Pandemic for Poets & Writers Magazine.