Morgan Parker on Not Being Charming, When Thriller Writers Are Good Liars, 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.

“Even if people were enjoying my work—and they were—no one really thought that there was a place for it in the contemporary Poetry-with-a-capital-P space as we knew it.” Morgan Parker on writing a space into existence, bait and switch publishing, and not caring about being charming anymore. (Lumina)

At the Washington Post, Ron Charles wonders if the elaborate and lucrative lies of psychological thriller author Dan Mallory, a.k.a. A. J. Finn, should matter to fans of his The Woman in the Window. “It’s worth considering that Mallory writes a particular genre of fiction that depends on his ability to deceive and manipulate readers.”

“Literary realism has this sort of indie-film attitude toward sex. Violence is violent, but sex isn’t sexy. It’s compulsive; nobody’s happy; they enjoy the cigarette way more than the sex. Sometimes I read these novels, none of which I’ll name, and I go, ‘It’s not that hard to enjoy sex, people.’” At Vulture, Marlon James and Victor LaValle discuss the revolutionary potential of genre writing. Both James’s novel Black Leopard, Red Wolf and a speculative fiction anthology coedited by LaValle, A People’s Future of the United States, come out this week.

The longlist for the tenth Wellcome book prize has been announced. The annual award, which is accompanied by a cash purse of £30,000 (approximately $38,990), recognizes books that illuminate the role of health, medicine, and illness in our lives. This year’s nominees include Ottessa Moshfegh’s novel My Year of Rest and Relaxation and Thomas Page McBee’s memoir, Amateur. The winner will be announced on May 1. (Guardian)

Mira Jacob’s forthcoming graphic memoir, Good Talk, is in development as a comedy series. Film 44 has bought the rights to the show, with Jacob to write the adaptation and Fresh Off the Boat author Eddie Huang to serve as executive producer. (Deadline)

The fragments of a thirteenth-century Arthurian manuscript have been discovered in the Bristol Central Library, tucked in the binding of another book. (Atlas Obscura)

“The crux of the issue is that with autism there is often, not metaphorically but literally, a lack of voice, which renders the person a tabula rasa on which a writer can inscribe and project almost anything.” At the New York Times, Marie Myung-Ok Lee observes a trend in novels: the inclusion of characters who have autism and the use of symptoms of the disorder as a metaphor or plot device.

Over at NPR, Random House copy chief Benjamin Dreyer talks about the business of words. “You want the big word to come at the end so that people are laughing at the end, not laughing in the middle of the sentence, and then nobody hears the end of the sentence.”