North Carolina School Board Bans Ralph Ellison, Life and Death of an Adjunct Professor, and More

Evan Smith Rakoff

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:

Stemming from the complaint of one parent, the Randolph County, North Carolina, board of education voted to ban Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man from school libraries. (Courier-Tribune)

Shining a light on the difficulties facing adjunct professors, Daniel Kovalik details the life and death of professor Margaret Mary Vojtko, who taught at Duquesne University for twenty-five years with no retirement benefits or health insurance. (Post-Gazette)

Author Joe Bonomo explains where to look for the heart of an essay. (Brevity)

“And you’re so in love with the city that the sight of the Manhattan skyline as you ride the Q train over the bridge at night is enough to make you weep.” Novelist Cari Luna reveals how economic forces and the demands of a young family pushed her from Manhattan to Brooklyn, then ultimately out of New York City entirely. (Salon)

The Weinstein Company will make a feature film based on its Salinger documentary. (Variety)

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times ponders which actor should portray J. D. Salinger.

Maria Bustillos weighs in on the most recent Jonathan Franzen dustup: “The whole thing struck me as eminently silly in the first place, since the most pointed of Franzen’s claims in the essay are so obviously true, or, at the very least, worthy of serious consideration.” (New Yorker)

Letters of Note found this Faber and Faber rejection of William Golding’s manuscript for Lord of the Flies. The editor wrote, “Rubbish and dull. Pointless.”