Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o on Resistance, Junot Díaz’s Children’s Book, 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:

“Resistance is the best way of keeping alive. It can take even the smallest form of saying no to injustice. If you really think you’re right, you stick to your beliefs, and they help you to survive.” Upon the release of his new memoir, Wrestling With the Devil: A Prison Memoir, about being politically imprisoned in Kenya in 1978, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o talks about resistance and no longer writing in English. (Guardian)

Junot Díaz’s children’s book about four Dominican girls living in the Bronx, Islandborn, will come out tomorrow. Díaz wrote the book after his goddaughters asked him to write a children’s book with characters like them. (Washington Post)

“Books are like chocolate. Can’t just eat one.” Luís Alberto Urrea, whose novel The House of Broken Angels came out last week, shares his reading habits with the New York Times.

After ten women accused writer Sherman Alexie of sexual harassment, the author has postponed the paperback release of his memoir, You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me, and declined the American Library Association’s Carnegie Medal for the book. (NPR)

Iconic Manhattan bookstore Shakespeare & Co. will open three new stores this year—two in New York and one in Philadelphia. The owners hope to expand the store into a national chain in the next five years. (Publishers Weekly)

In the wake of Harper Lee’s will being made public last week, Blake Morrison considers the role of literary executors and asks: Should an author’s dying wishes be obeyed? (Guardian)

Three criminal justice lawyers have penned an op-ed against banning books in prison, including a brief history of Supreme Court decisions on the subject. (USA Today)

Tayari Jones talks love triangles, incarceration, and her most recent novel, An American Marriage, with the Los Angeles Times.

Read more about how Jones wrote the novel in Poets & Writers’ Craft Capsules, and hear her read one installment from the series in the latest episode of Ampersand: The Poets & Writers Podcast.