Metafictional Worlds, Notable Translations, 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:

“This novel was ahead of its time. The culture has shifted to make room for Bateman. We’ve developed a taste for barbaric libertines with twinkling eyes and some zing in their tortured souls.” In advance of a new Broadway production, New York Times book critic Dwight Garner reconsiders the legacy of Bret Easton Ellis’s 1991 novel American Psycho.

Dive into metafictional worlds by reading Seth Gannon’s survey of imaginary books at the Paris Review. “Each imaginary book is a demonstration of fiction’s magic, as an author deposits into a fictional world yet another fictional world, like one universe bubbling out of another. Is it for this, a celebration of the fictional multiverse, that so many authors exalt in imagined books?”

Over at the Wall Street Journal, six esteemed literary translators—including Jamey Gambrell, Ann Goldstein, Lydia Davis, and Michael Hoffman—share their notable translations and comment on their processes.

The free online game Eveline may inspire you to hunker down and finish that manuscript. In the game, you play a writer who must complete a book, and yes, “your hands get tired and you start to get a little bored.” Still, it’s a chance to think about the writing process in a different form and play the part of another writer for a while. (

A report at the Guardian considers how English-language literary cultures—more than other cultures—distinguish between fiction and nonfiction, and whether or not the distinction is a hindrance for publishers and writers.

“One way to fend off isolation is to confess. Works of confessional writing, especially those written by and for women, are as much an attempt to connect as a way to unload; as Adrienne Rich once said, ‘When a woman tells the truth she is creating the possibility for more truth around her.’” At the New Yorker, writer Haley Mlotek weighs in on confessional writing by women, and Melissa Broder’s new book of essays, So Sad Today.

Actor Bill Murray, a known poetry lover, shares a few of his favorite poems in the latest issue of O magazine. Murray’s top picks include Lucille Clifton’s “What the Mirror Said” and Naomi Shihab Nye’s “Famous.” (Associated Press) The actor is also featured on a page dedicated to National Poetry Month, which, lest ye forget, is April. (Academy of American Poets)