New Nigerian Novelists, the Fate of Book Startups, 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:

The New York Times profiles a new wave of Nigerian novelists, including Abubakar Adam Ibrahim and Ayobami Adebayo, who are pushing genre and thematic boundaries in the country’s literary scene.

Though the shuttering of book startups including Pronoun, Oyster, and Bookish may seem to signal an overall decline of new publishing platforms, Publishers Weekly notes that several startups are currently thriving.

First published in 1930, Hart Crane’s long poem The Bridge has “survived the wreck of his career to become a message in a bottle tossed up on shore for future readers to discover and decode,” writes Langdon Hammer in New York Review of Books.

“I’m more and more interested in clarity and thoughtfulness in fiction, rather than in spectacle or gimmickry. Just a voice that’s companionable and speaking to you on some reassuring level.” Pulitzer Prize–winning author Jeffrey Eugenides, whose story collection Fresh Complaint is out now from Farrar, Straus and Giroux, responds to the world’s absurdities in his fiction with “calm and tranquility.” (Guardian)

“Five years earlier, the idea that I could ever run out of inspiration would have been unthinkable.” Army veteran Christopher Combest discusses the process of returning to his writing after his three deployments to Iraq. (Atlantic)

Seven books have been shortlisted for the Literary Review’s Bad Sex in Fiction Award, an annual prize meant to “draw attention to poorly written, perfunctory or redundant passages of sexual description in modern fiction.” The winner will be announced November 30.

Here’s one gift idea for bibliophiles: boutique jewelry made from the pages of vintage books. (Flavorwire)