Pirate Reading, Man Booker Prize Expands, 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:

Researchers have found fragments of paper stuffed inside the three-hundred-year-old cannons on the Queen Anne’s Revenge, the pirate Blackbeard’s ship. The fragments have been identified as part of a copy of Captain Edward Cooke’s 1712 book, A Voyage to the South Sea, and Round the World, the book that inspired Daniel Defoe’s famous novel Robinson Crusoe. (National Geographic)

John Sargent, the publishing executive behind Michael Wolff’s book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, talks with the New York Times about the reaction to the book—Henry Holt has received orders for more than a million copies—and the importance of the First Amendment in the wake of Donald Trump’s lawyers threatening to bring a libel suit against the publisher.

Electric Literature interviews Leni Zumas about what books and political figures inspired her recent novel, Red Clocks, about an America that is taken over by religious extremists.

The Man Booker Prize, which expanded three years ago to honor any book of fiction in English published in the United Kingdom, will now also be open to books published in Ireland. (Guardian)

Publishers Weekly looks back on the best-selling books of 2017, many of which were backlist titles such as Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and Rupi Kaur’s Milk & Honey.

Kevin Young talks with the Rumpus about hoaxes, combating fake news, and his most recent book, Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News.

Open Culture features the Endomyns of the World Map, which shows what every country in the world calls itself in its own language.

“Great television is taking over the space occupied by many novels, and taking with them many excellent writers.” Zia Haider Rahman contemplates the demise of the novel, citing both the rising popularity of television and the 23 percent decline in fiction sales in the past five years. (NYR Daily)