Memoir and Memory, Women Writers on Ambition, 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:

“Compared to writing fiction, revisiting your own past just beats you up.” Memoirist Mary Karr discusses the psychological effects of writing a memoir. (New York Magazine)

“[Romm] felt a pull between the hardness of her ambition and the softness of her socialization, and calls this ‘the double bind of the gender, success paired eternally with scrutiny and retreat.’” Jia Tolentino considers the new book Double Bind, an anthology of essays about women and ambition edited by fiction and memoirist Robin Romm. Contributors include Roxane Gay, Francine Prose, Ayana Mathis, and others. (New Yorker)

The American Academy of Arts and Letters has announced the nineteen recipients of its 2017 awards in literature. Winners include Paul Beatty, Karan Mahajan, Jamaal May, Safiya Sinclair, and Dana Spiotta.

A woman in the U.K. cashed in big on a £14 secondhand bookstore purchase of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment. The book turned out to be a rare English first edition copy, and sold for £13,500 at auction. (Guardian)

An excerpt from the book 50 Years of Rolling Stone, forthcoming in May from Abrams, looks back at “Gonzo journalist” Hunter S. Thompson’s legacy, and the ups and downs of his thirty years of writing for the magazine. (Rolling Stone)

In other beat writer news, Jack Kerouac’s former home in St. Petersburg, Florida, is up for sale. Local fan organization Friends of the Jack Kerouac House plans to preserve the home and turn it into a museum. (Smithsonian)

Signature features a primer on the works of acclaimed fiction writer and critic Mary Gaitskill. 

To celebrate National Poetry Month, JStor Daily compiled a list of its best stories about poetry along with links to classic and contemporary American poems.

From Jane Austen to James Joyce, the Guardian lists the best second novels of all time.