Newly Available T. S. Eliot Letters, Indie Bookstores Celebrate a Decade of Growth, and More


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.

On January 2, a collection of T. S. Eliot’s letters to his close friend Emily Hale will become available for research at Princeton University Library. The 1,131 letters were donated by Hale more than sixty years ago, but with an embargo that stipulated the collection must remain sealed until fifty years after she and Eliot had both died. “The contribution of the letters to our understanding of his work promises to be immeasurable,” notes Susan Stewart, a professor of English at Princeton. 

Minnesota Public Radio charts the resurgence of the indie bookstore. The number of indie booksellers has grown by 35 percent since 2009, though challenges remain.

“If you want to be a writer, you have to have support and capital to get yourself there. If you do not have that, it’s not going to be as easy.” Kiley Reid discusses issues of class and race as they figure in the contemporary literary community and in her forthcoming debut novel, Such a Fun Age. (Guardian)

At the New Yorker, Hua Hsu revisits the history of Aiiieeeeee! An Anthology of Asian-American Writers and explores how its editors informed the early definitions of Asian American identity and literature. 

Ron Charles notes eleven trends that shaped the past decade in the publishing community. Among the developments: indie bookstores came back fighting, audiobooks became increasingly popular, and graphic novels took the spotlight. (Washington Post)

Book Riot recommends nine forthcoming LGBTQ books, including fiction, nonfiction, and one comic book.  

Jamil Jan Kochai discusses his story in this week’s New Yorker, “Playing Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain,” and explains how a real-life video game became the impetus for his fiction.  

The staff at ELLE look ahead to 2020 and select the twelve forthcoming titles they are most excited about.