Radical Politics in Contemporary Fiction, Favorite Literary Punching Bags, 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:

The newly merged Penguin Random House announced its creation of combined fulfillment operations. (Publishers Weekly)

Meanwhile, Random House will release eight of the late Norman Mailer’s titles as e-books for the first time, as well as redesigned paperbacks, and a new collection of essays. (New York Times)

Take heart, GalleyCat details a nonfiction query that was rejected seventy-five times before landing an agent.

Speaking of success, J. K. Rowling is most proud of her days as a single mom.

In this week’s Bookends feature, Pankaj Mishra and Jennifer Szalai discuss radical politics in contemporary fiction. (New York Times)

“I lay down on the sidewalk in front of the Sagrada Família, stretching back to look up at the Nativity Façade, trying to capture most of my older sister and all of the spires in my camera’s viewfinder.” Casey N. Cep discusses favorite cathedrals in life and in fiction. (Paris Review Daily)

Jason Diamond explains what it means to hate favorite online literary punching bags, such as Jonathan Franzen, James Franco, and others. (Flavorwire)

Phyllis Rose considers the strange alchemy that creates well-made literary biography. (American Scholar)