Márquez’s Hometown Truths, Naming Minor Characters, and More


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:

A previously lost letter from Neal Cassady to Jack Kerouac that helped inspire Kerouac’s On the Road will be auctioned next month by Christie’s in New York City. The letter, written in 1950, is expected to fetch between $400,000 and $600,000. (New York Times)

The sentiments shared by many residents of Aracataca, Colombia, toward Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez—who was born in the city—are less than positive. At the Los Angeles Times, poet and nonfiction writer Adriana E. Ramírez examines the Aracataca’s history and Márquez’s influence—or lack thereof—on the city that inspired One Hundred Years of Solitude.

Casey Rocheteau, a former contributing editor at the Offing, an online journal published by the Los Angeles Review of Books, explains why she recently left the staff, and the importance of having editors of color on the mastheads of publications that focus primarily on publishing marginalized voices. “Publications that celebrate marginalized voices should be led by marginalized people, and certainly should not be beholden to a publication with an exclusively white staff as the Offing currently is.”

The linguistic richness Charles Dickens used in the naming of his minor characters is something we may not find again in contemporary fiction, but we can fondly remember the grotesque likes of Clupkins Clogwog, Lord Podsnap, and Lady Snuphanuph. (JSTOR Daily)

At the Barnes & Noble Review, nonfiction writer Garrard Conley discusses his memoir, Boy Erased, which details his experience at a gay conversion therapy program, as well as how reading fiction as a child teaches the lifesaving tool of empathy, and the importance of working to promote LGBT equality.

Fiction writer Adam Haslett, whose new novel, Imagine Me Gone, is out now from Little Brown, gushes over Joy Williams sentences, and shares the best advice he’s ever received. (Globe & Mail)

“Your cellphone screen is like a tiny glass-bottomed boat moving slowly over a vast and glowing ocean of words in the night. There is no shore. There is nothing beyond the words in front of you. It’s a voyage for one in the nighttime. Pure romance.” A writer makes a Proustian case for reading Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past on a cell phone. (Atlantic)