NaNoWriMo, Donald Hall’s Last Years, 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.

It’s November 1, which means the beginning of National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo), the annual writing project in which participants take on the challenge of writing 50,000 words in thirty days. Plan to take part? Get into gear with “More Ideas Faster: Writing With Abandon” by NaNoWriMo executive director Grant Faulkner. And good luck!

Barnes & Noble has filed a countersuit against Demos Parneros, claiming the recently fired CEO sabotaged a potential sale of the company earlier this year, bullied fellow executives, and sexually harassed multiple women at the company. The counterclaim follows a lawsuit filed by Parneros in August, claiming that B&N founder Len Riggio engineered Parneros’s firing so he could retake control of the company. (Publishers Weekly)

“At some point in my seventies, death stopped being interesting.” At the New Yorker, Mike Pride reflects on Donald Hall’s last years—much of which involved looking out the window and writing about the life he saw outside—and his final book, the essay collection A Carnival of Losses: Notes Nearing Ninety. The book was published in July, just after the poet and essayist’s death at age eighty-nine.

Read more about Hall in a 2014 Poets & Writers profile by John Freeman, on the release of Hall’s previous collection, Essays After Eighty.

Novelist Louis Cha, who wrote under the name Jin Yong and was known as the “Tolkien of Chinese literature” and the “grandfather of martial arts novels,” died on Tuesday in Hong Kong. He was ninety-four. (BBC)

“Growing up Muslim means being steeped in the oral tradition of memorizing and reciting the Quran, which is very rhythmic in its use of poetic repetition. When I began writing, the rhythm of the Quran naturally came into my poetry.” The Rumpus talks to poet and novelist Bushra Rehman about her new poetry collection, Marianna’s Beauty Salon.

Read an excerpt of Rehman’s first novel, Corona, which was included in our 2013 Debut Fiction feature.

“It was like working with a ghost.” At the New York Times Magazine, Merve Emre interviews Saverio Costanza, the Italian director adapting Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels for HBO. Costanza has been working with the pseudonymous Ferrante for more than ten years in order to adapt her work, but has never met her. The series premieres November 18.