Oprah Chooses Tayari Jones Novel for Book Club, Lost Manuscripts, 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:

“It’s a love story that also has a huge layer of suspense. And it’s also so current and so really now that I could not put it down and I’ve already passed it on to lots of my friends and so I know—certainly believe—that you’re gonna love it.” Oprah has selected Tayari Jones’s new novel, An American Marriage, as her next book club pick.

To learn more about how Tayari Jones, a contributing editor of Poets & Writers Magazine, wrote the novel, read her recent series of craft capsules.

The Guardian considers the allure of lost manuscripts like Sylvia Plath’s draft of a novel called Double Exposure, Lord Byron’s personal memoir, and parts two and three of Nikolai Gogol’s Dead Souls.

“Imagination, the primary engine of the poem, is a power of mind, and if we don’t teach children (and ourselves) that it’s valuable, and guide them in exercising those muscles, we will never change our world.” Eleni Sikélianòs argues for the importance of poetry today. (Poetry Foundation)

From Liz Rosenberg’s The Invisible Ladder anthology to Susan Snively’s Poetry for Kids: Emily Dickinson, the New York Times recommends poetry books for young readers.

Atlas Obscura takes a peek into the New York Society Library’s records of the books its famous patrons, including Roald Dahl, Alexander Hamilton, and Herman Melville, checked out.

Book sales are up in Puerto Rico, likely due to many residents going without electricity for months after Hurricanes Irma and Maria hit the region. (Publishers Weekly)

Screenwriter Andrew Davies will adapt John Updike’s Rabbit novels for television. Davies has adapted many novels for the screen, including Pride and Prejudice, War and Peace, and Les Misérables. (Deadline)