Publishing Controversial Figures, Book Thieves, 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:

At the New York Times, Alexandra Alter reports on the ongoing criticism of Threshold Editions’ decision to publish a book by Milo Yiannopoulos, a conservative columnist and Breitbart senior editor, and considers how publishing houses weigh tricky ethical and commercial decisions to publish controversial books.

A piece at the Guardian compares book thieves in the U.K. to those in Toronto, where works by Haruki Murakami top shoplifters’ lists. In the U.K., the reporter notes, the thieves have “less highbrow tastes,” stealing mainly Harry Potter books and travel guides.

Speaking of Murakami, the title of his forthcoming book has been revealedKishidancho Goroshi, or Killing Commendatore, is set for release in Japan on February 24, but nothing about its content has been disclosed. (Seattle Times)

poem written by a Chinese thoracic surgeon has gone viral for raising awareness about the country’s smog problem and its direct link to lung cancer. (Quartz)

Contrary to a common belief that technology has caused a decline in reading books, a new Gallup poll reveals that the number of books Americans read per year has remained steady over the past fifteen years, with one in three people reading eleven or more books in the previous year.

BookRiot recommends fiction and poetry books in translation published this month, including a new novel from Man Booker International Prize winner Han Kang and an unfinished science fiction work by Nobel laureate Czeslaw Milosz.

Good news for indies: Publishers Weekly profiles a number of independent bookstores across the country that ended 2016 with positive sales numbers.

Penguin Random House has signed a conditional agreement to sell Penguin Singapore and Penguin Malaysia to Asia-Pacific media group Times Publishing. The deal appoints Penguin Singapore and Penguin Malaysia as exclusive distributors for Penguin Random House’s English titles in Singapore, Malaysia, and Brunei. (Bookseller)

Today in overdue library book news, the Seattle Public Library recently received a forty-year-overdue library book with an apology note inside. (