Maya Angelou’s Overlooked Cookbooks, Translating Clarice Lispector, and More


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 Guardian revisits Maya Angelou’s overlooked cookbooks and the time the author held a feast for 150 people in her North Carolina home to honor Toni Morrison and Rita Dove. “She stews crowder peas and okra, and grills a sturdy mass of baron of beef...”

“You must get off the road and walk into the woods with Clarice—but in those woods, you must walk to a very precise spot.” Johnny Lorenz describes translating the work of Brazilian author Clarice Lispector, for whom “writing is a brutal and feverish inquiry.” (Electric Literature)

NPR has released a list of readers’ hundred favorite funny books, including Daniel Mallory Ortberg’s Texts From Jane Eyre, Voltaire’s Candide, Paul Beatty’s The Sellout, and Phoebe Robinson’s You Can’t Touch My Hair.

“To write about climate change, to write about the world that we are living in today, you can’t any longer focus on particular locations or places or settings because this is a global phenomenon. It’s happening internationally. It’s creating all sorts of connections internationally, so you have to take that on board. You have to try to write books which are not localized in that particular way.” Fiction writer Amitav Ghosh on writing books about climate change, his writing habits, and more. (Creative Independent)

The Paris Review is holding a mistranslated book titles contest. Can you guess the original names of The Angry Raisins, Tiny Ladies, and Interminable Funnies?

Amazon has responded to a New York Times article published yesterday that claimed the company’s platform is “a place where copyright laws hold remarkably little sway”; Amazon asserts that the real issue is “differing copyright timing between countries.” (Publishers Weekly)

In advance of the U.S. release of Vita and Virginia—a film about the love affair and friendship between Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West—this Friday, Christopher Frizzelle writes in praise of Orlando: A Biography, Woolf’s 1928 novel inspired by Sackville-West. (Stranger)

“Early on in my grand tour of menial jobs, I realized that I had an incredible opportunity to make a moment of a stranger’s day better, and that was a priceless thing.” The New York Times talks with Eric Ackland, the owner of Pittsburgh’s Amazing Books & Records, a bookstore in one of the oldest Jewish neighborhoods in the country.