Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel Has Died, Intimacy in Literature, 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:

On Saturday, Garrison Keillor hosted A Prairie Home Companion for the last time, ending a forty-year career as the public radio show’s writer and host. An article at the Atlantic looks at Keillor’s legacy and his unique ability to unite Americans with different political worldviews through storytelling. “Through his novels, his poetry, and his public radio show, he’s served as a cultural liaison between red and blue states, interpreting each for the other, and offering a humorous, if not sympathetic, glance in both directions.”

Nobel Peace Prize–winner and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel died Saturday at age eighty-seven. The author of approximately sixty books—including his 1960 memoir Night, which has sold more than 10 million copies—Wiesel’s work illuminated the horrors of the Holocaust and the plight of Jewish people in America and abroad. (New York Times)

Amazon has its sights on New York City for its fourth location of Amazon Books, the company’s new chain of brick-and-mortar bookstores. Plans to open the store in Manhattan’s Hudson Yards are set for late 2018 or early 2019. The first bookstore opened in Seattle in November; a San Diego location is slated to open this summer, followed by plans to open a third location in Portland.

Poet Solmaz Sharif speaks at DiveDapper about the language of war and displacement in her debut collection, Look, as well as the irrevocable bond between the political and the personal. “The lyric self is the political weapon I have as a poet. My subjectivity is maybe the most potent force I have in interacting politically on the page.” Listen to Sharif read her poem “Lay” as part of the Poets & Writers Page One Podcast series.

Danny Heitman reflects on Vladimir Nabokov’s memoir Speak, Memory, and why, fifty years after its publication, the book remains a powerful meditation on memory, exile, and art. Nabokov views memory “as an exercise in exacting dictation from an omniscient oracle, yet…[memory is] mutable, prone to the passage of time and the vagaries of imagination.” (Humanities)

At the Ploughshares blog, E.V. De Cleyre considers the nature of intimacy in literature, providing examples from Elena Ferrante’s Neopolitan novels, as well as Stacey D’Erasmo’s meditation on the subject, The Art of Intimacy.