Remembering Nora Ephron, Sandusky Replaced with Poet, 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:

Nora Ephron, author of the best-selling novel, Heartburn, and Oscar-nominated screenwriter, passed away yesterday in New York City—the cause was pneumonia due to complications from a battle with leukemia. She was seventy-one. (New York Times)

A consortium of California library systems is working out an agreement with e-book self-publishing platform Smashwords for ownership of its best-selling books, and a self-publishing option for library patrons. (Library Journal)

Bloomberg reports Google will privately unveil a tablet device at its developers conference in San Francisco, which begins today. The seven-inch tablet running Android mobile software is intended as a competitor with Apple's iPad.

Rebecca Mead visits Griff House, the family home of Mary Ann Evans (better known as George Eliot). The author of Middlemarch's home has been purchased by a hotel company, which intends to demolish the property's remaining outbuildings. Mead writes, "There’s a large flat-screen TV in the parlor above the fireplace, a pool table in what was once the Evans’s dining room, and lurid slot machines on the flagstones of the entrance hall." (New Yorker)

Margaret Atwood is sharing her writing with Wattpad, a social reading mobile app and website based in Canada. The majority of Wattpad's nine million (mostly teenage) users interact via smartphones and tablet devices. (Los Angeles Times)

On an outdoor mural in State College, Pennsylvania, artist Michael Pilato has erased the image of Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State assistant football coach who was recently convicted of forty-five counts of child sex abuse, and replaced Sandusky with a portrait of Dora McQuaid, a poet and advocate for sexual violence victims. (CBS Sports)

A program in Brazil allows incarcerated individuals to shave days off their prison sentences by reading books. (Huffington Post)

Have you seen New York City's underground library?