National Letter Writing Campaign Against Book Bans, Yu and Me Books Champions Asian Stories, and More

by Staff
12.17.21

Every day Poets & Writers Magazine scans the headlines—publishing reports, literary dispatches, academic announcements, and more—for all the news that creative writers need to know. Here are today’s stories.

The Authors Guild is facilitating a national letter writing campaign to respond to the recent swell of attacks on books in schools, noting recent challenges that specifically target books concerning race, gender, and sexuality. (Publishers Weekly)

Yu and Me Books, a brand-new independent bookstore in New York City that champions Asian and Asian American stories, opened last weekend. “I dreamed of a place where people who look like me can walk into and think, ‘I see myself on the shelves, I feel seen here,’” said owner Lucy Yu. (NBC News)

“She made demands on the world. She believed criticism came from a place of love.” Hua Hsu writes on the life and legacy of bell hooks, who died on Wednesday. (New Yorker)

“By reading with people, by expressing my observations, by watching people react, I realized that I have been thinking through a lot of topics about War and Peace more thoroughly.” Yiyun Li, who has now led two read-throughs of War and Peace during the pandemic and turned the experience into a book, discusses the rewards of reading in community. (Millions)

“My hope is to move people, whether that’s to make them laugh or cry—or both. I also hope people who grew up the same way I did, or felt the same way I did, feel seen through the book.” Neel Patel discusses the emotions and experiences that informed his first novel, Tell Me How to Be. (Kirkus)

Matt Dorfman, the art director of the New York Times Book Review, names Rachel Willey’s cover design for Outlawed by Anna North and Na Kim’s design for 100 Boyfriends by Brontez Purnell, among ten other designs, as the best book covers of the year.

Electric Literature’s picks for the best novels of the year include Intimacies by Katie Kitamura and Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters.

In the Shelf Life column at Elle, Stacey Abrams selects the Library of Congress as the library or bookstore she’d most like to live in.