Murakami and Adichie Among Time’s Most Influential People, The Book of Joy, 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:

Madeleine L’Engle’s granddaughter, Charlotte Jones Voiklis, has released a never-before-seen passage from a draft of L’Engle’s iconic young adult novel A Wrinkle in Time. Scholars argue that the passage, which can be read at the Wall Street Journal, challenges the common interpretation of the 1962 novel as an allegory for the Cold War. In the passage, the father of protagonist Meg Murray says the world’s greatest evil comes not from any particular political system but from placing too much value on security.    

Time magazine has included Japanese writer Haruki Murakami and Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on its annual list of the world’s most influential people.  Murakami was categorized as an icon, Adichie as an artist. (Los Angeles Times)

Nobel peace laureates Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama will collaborate on a new book, The Book of Joy: Finding Enduring Happiness in an Uncertain World, which will be published by Penguin’s Avery imprint. The two spiritual leaders have invited the public to post questions about joy and happiness to their Facebook pages; they will address the most popular questions in the book. (Guardian)

Tennessee’s Senate has effectively killed the bill to make the Bible the state’s official book by sending it to committee. The bill, which was passed by the state’s House of Representatives on Wednesday, was opposed by Republican governor Bill Haslam as disrespectful of the Bible and by state attorney general Herbert Slatery. (Tennessean)

The new app GIF Quotes allows users to instant-message friends with animated quotes from classic texts like Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms. (Slate)

Speaking of Jane Austen, at the Millions, Gina Fattore considers the right kind of day job for a writer by comparing the careers of Austen and her contemporary Frances Burney.

Jeff Lee and Ann Martin, two former booksellers, are converting a Colorado ranch nestled in the Rocky Mountains into a research institution and live-in library. The couple has collected thirty-two thousand books focused on the American West, and plans to outfit the ranch with studios, dormitories, and a dining hall. (New York Times)

At the Wall Street Journal, copyeditor Ben Zimmer considers whether it’s still taboo to use “they” as a singular pronoun.