Reading Lists for Banned Books Week, ZZ Packer on Breonna Taylor, and More

by Staff

Every day Poets & Writers Magazine scans the headlines—publishing reports, literary dispatches, academic announcements, and more—for all the news that creative writers need to know. Here are today’s stories.

The American Library Association is hosting its annual Banned Books Week from September 27 to October 3. To kick off the week of programming, the organizers shared a list of the one hundred most banned and challenged books of the past decade. (Publishers Weekly)   

To mark Banned Books Week, Ron Charles of the Washington Post read all the titles on this year’s top ten most challenged books list, noting that many are LGBTQ+ narratives. “Every September, I look over the new list and sigh, ‘How could anyone object to these great-looking books?’”

“Perhaps Cameron’s largest omission was his refusal to acknowledge the partiality of the judicial system in which he works. It’s a system that can construct a fiction with facts.” Fiction writer ZZ Packer analyzes Kentucky attorney general Daniel Cameron’s language choices at his recent press conference addressing the murder of Breonna Taylor. (New Yorker)

“Vast crowds of every kind protested everywhere in the country. This is good grounds for hope.” Marilynne Robinson talks to the Guardian about the Black Lives Matters movement, social media, and the future of America

“If not for the #MeToo movement, the book might not have been published.” Tiffany McDaniel reflects on staying true to her story, despite the early rejections she received for her novel Betty. (Guernica)

“That’s the art of criticism to me: trying to explain emotions, which, in a way, all art forms are trying to do through different means.” In conversation with Rumaan Alam, Charles Finch shares his approach to literary criticism. (Slate)

“I wanted the book to feel wild. There are parts in the narrative that feel a bit ungrounded or disorienting even to me.” K-Ming Chang talks to BOMB about the fantastical and experimental elements of her first novel, Bestiary.  

Literary Hub selects its ten favorite book covers of September, including Like a Bird by Fariha Róisín and Just Us by Claudia Rankine.