Lying Novelists, Book Burning in Amsterdam, 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:

Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist published in the New Yorker, the Washington Post, and elsewhere, tells his story in today's New York Times, proclaiming "I am an undocumented immigrant." (Huffington Post)

Ian Crouch writes of the progressive Dutch organization intending to burn Canadian author Lawrence Hill's historical novel, The Book of Negroes (published in the United States as Someone Knows My Name). Hill responds, "Burning books is designed to intimidate people. It underestimates the intelligence of readers, stifles dialogue, and insults those who cherish the freedom to read and write. The leaders of the Spanish Inquisition burned books. Nazis burned books." (New Yorker)

James Franco caused a stir at a recent screening of his new, sexually graphic film, The Broken Tower, based on the life and work of poet Hart Crane. During his introduction to the feature, Franco said, "This is not Pineapple Express." Franco directed and stars in the film. (The Wrap)

Jason Boog rounds up seven writers who defend seven different e-book prices. (Galleycat)

Recently fans, rumor mills, and publishing wonks have been speculating about Pottermore, the mysterious new addition to the Harry Potter universe from J. K. Rowling. Today, the Guardian reports it's an online game. (Satirist Evil Wylie correctly decoded the hidden message.)

The New York Times reports that independent bookstores are now forced to charge the public for author events. Online literary-culture journal Vol. 1 Brooklyn offers a rebuttal.

Author Ian Leslie considers whether all artists and novelists are born liars. (More Intelligent Life)