Novel Gossip, Expression as Negotiation, 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:

“Ever since Genesis, no story has been free of gossip.” Fiction writer Cynthia Ozick examines the history and role of gossip in storytelling. “In the absence of secrets revealed—in the absence also of rumor and repute and misunderstanding and misdirection—no Chaucer, no Boccaccio, no Boswell, no Jane Austen, no Maupassant, no Proust, no Henry James! The instant Eve took in that awakening morsel of serpentine gossip, Literature in all its variegated forms was born.” (New York Times)

At BOMB, multimedia artist A. L. Steiner talks with poet and creative nonfiction writer Maggie Nelson about different forms of autobiographical inquiry, expression as negotiation, the space between fiction and the personal, and her genre-bending memoir The Argonauts.

Signature Reads looks at three of Amazon Prime’s 2016 original series that are based on books: Z: The Beginning of Everything, a Zelda Fitzgerald biopic based on Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler; Good Girls Revolt, a take on the 1970s feminist movement based on The Good Girls Revolt by former Newsweek editor Lynn Povich; and The Man in the High Castle, based on Philip K. Dick’s Hugo Award–winning novel, which imagines an alternate reality where Germany and Japan won World War II.

Acclaimed novelist Jonathan Safran Foer is set to publish his first novel in more than ten years next fall. Here I Am will be published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in September, and follows 2005’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and 2002’s Everything is Illuminated. (New York Times)

The celebrated literary journal PANK—which has been in operation for a decade—announced in August that it would shutter at the end of this year. Last month, however, PANK’s founding editors M. Bartley Seigel and Roxane Gay sold the magazine’s intellectual property rights, so the magazine will continue after its founding editors leave. At Electric Literature, Seigel discusses the origins of the magazine, what he foresees for the future of PANK and other literary magazines, and offers advice for future editors.

Over at Interview, poet Adam Fitzgerald talks with poet Eileen Myles about her career and the recent release of two new titles—the reissue of her 1994 novel Chelsea Girls and I Must Be Living Twice: New and Selected Poems 1975-2014.

Booker Prize­–winning novelist Marlon James discusses his success over the past year and his next book, a medieval epic set in Africa, of which the author says, “I’m sure people are going to call it a fantasy novel, which is fine by me.” James took home the 2015 Man Booker Prize for his third novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings. (Guardian)