Meg Wolitzer on Literature's Gender Disparity, Ann Patchett Named Most Influential, and More

Evan Smith Rakoff

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:

Novelist Meg Wolitzer asks, "If The Marriage Plot, by Jeffrey Eugenides, had been written by a woman yet still had the same title and wedding ring on its cover, would it have received a great deal of serious literary attention?" (New York Times)

And in answer to Wolitzer's essay, Flavorwire compares book covers of literary novels from both genders.

Jezebel weighs in on gender disparity in literature in light of the recently posted MLA rankings of writers, and offers: "The literary canon is still one big sausage fest."

Meanwhile, Time has named novelist Ann Patchett one of its two hundred most influential people in the world. (Guardian)

Letters of Note found a powerful message written by Kurt Vonnegut to the book-burning head of a North Dakota school board in 1973: "Perhaps you will learn from this that books are sacred to free men for very good reasons, and that wars have been fought against nations which hate books and burn them."

Some libraries in Nova Scotia are boycotting Random House in response to e-book pricing. (Digital Book World)

The Wall Street Journal explores the fascination many writers have held for Eastern philosophy, including J. D. Salinger's devotion to Swami Nikhilananda, the founder of the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center in New York City.

Fans of Sleater-Kinney and Portlandia rejoice—the New York Times reports Carrie Brownstein will write a memoir to be published by Riverhead Books. (Rolling Stone)

April is National Poetry Month, and the USPS has twentieth-century poets stamps.