Remembering Dictatorship Through Fiction, Restoring Elizabeth Bishop’s Home, and More


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.

Nona Fernández talks to Electric Literature about documenting her memories of General Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship in 1980s Chile through the lens of fiction. Her novella, Space Invaders, was first published in 2015, but the new English translation by Natasha Wimmer was longlisted for this year’s National Book Award for Translated Literature. 

Key West Literary Seminar has purchased one of Elizabeth Bishop’s former properties for $1.2 million. The organization plans to restore the island home to reflect how it would have appeared during Bishop’s lifetime, using detailed descriptions of the house from Bishop’s letters as a guide. (New York Times)

Several celebrated artists, including Judi Dench and Jacqueline Woodson, are encouraging the public to donate to the Brontë Parsonage Museum’s efforts to purchase one of Charlotte Brontë’s early manuscripts. The miniature book includes three stories that were hand-written by Brontë when she was fourteen years old. The Guardian reports it is expected to sell for at least £650,000. 

Ann Patchett talks to the Los Angeles Review of Books about the many different research subjects behind The Dutch House, and welcoming fact-checking from early readers

Jake Skeets describes the emotional challenges of returning home to research his book, Eyes Bottle Dark With a Mouthful of Flowers, and shares his desire to search for and develop a Diné poetics. (High Country News)

In a conversation at the Rumpus, Chris Dennis discusses the complex narratives of violence and love in his debut story collection, Here Is What You Do, and how he feels about being noted as “a vital queer voice.” 

Barnes & Noble has announced the eight finalists for its inaugural Barnes & Noble Book of the Year award. The list features titles across disciplines and includes Colson Whitehead’s novel The Nickel Boys and Fuchsia Dunlop’s cookbook The Food of Sichuan

In more literary list news, O, the Oprah Magazine has selected its fourteen Best Books of 2019. The editors included two Oprah’s Book Club picks, The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates and Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout, as well as a range of other works including Dreyer’s English by Benjamin Dreyer and The Need by Helen Phillips.