Magazine Personnel Announcements, Barnes & Noble Book of the Year Shortlist, and More

by Staff
10.28.21

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.

New York has hired Andrea Long Chu to serve as a book critic. “Andrea has long been one of our favorite writers and thinkers, and we’re so excited to publish her incisive criticism in the pages of New York and on Vulture more regularly,” said culture editor Gazelle Emami. In other magazine personnel news, Tajja Isen has been announced as the new editor in chief of Catapult; she succeeds Nicole Chung.

The shortlist for Barnes & Noble’s Book of the Year distinction has been revealed. The titles are nominated by the company’s booksellers, who are asked “which title they are most proud to be selling.” This year’s finalists include Michelle Zauner’s Crying in H Mart and Anthony Doerr’s Cloud Cuckoo Land. (Book Riot)

Penguin Random House has shared data on the current demographics of its workforce and compared the new figures with previous years. The non-warehouse workforce is now 74 percent white, whereas last year it was 78 percent white. (Publishers Weekly)

Ed Park writes that Denis Villeneuve’s recent adaptation of Dune preserves the novel’s best features. “Villeneuve and all of his players intuitively understand why Dune has remained so resonant for generations—they deliver a maximal teen-age power trip, made more believable by all-too-human details.” (New Yorker)

“There’s still something about wooden bats, leather gloves, and grass-and-dirt diamonds that feels distinctly American. And distinctly literary.” Lincoln Michel considers the prevalence of baseball in American literature. (Literary Hub)

“It was like a lightning bolt, and I knew what to do. I needed that space and time, and of course the small portion of the book that takes place in 2020 would never have taken place before.” Dani Shapiro says that her next novel, Signal Fires, emerged out of a manuscript she set aside years ago. (Entertainment Weekly)

Matt McLain, a staff photojournalist for the Washington Post, makes photographs of the living memory of Edgar Allan Poe in Baltimore.

The New York Times makes note of sixteen books forthcoming next month, including The Sentence by Louise Erdrich and These Precious Days by Ann Patchett.