Rumored Salinger Books, Poe’s Hatchet Jobs, and More


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:

“Before transition I saw myself, very secretly, as like an ex-athlete who chose to forgo risky treatment for a bad knee, and could live with mild pain; now I compare myself to a piano that has, for the first time, been tuned, or to a kid with her first pair of glasses.” At the Times Literary Supplement, Stephanie Burt writes about understanding gender transition through the stories of others.

“Poe was an especially unlovable literary critic…the typical Poe book review sloshed with invective.” Mark Athitakis considers Edgar Allan Poe’s many hatchet jobs as a book critic, and his efforts to “puncture what he saw as the overinflated literary egos of the East Coast.” (Humanities)

Novelist Angela Flournoy and Insecure star and co-creator Issa Rae are developing a drama for HBO about a black family set in 1990s Los Angeles. (Deadline)

Four years after Shane Salerno and David Shields released their documentary and book about J. D. Salinger, which stated that the reclusive author had left instructions for five additional works to be released from 2015 to 2020, Matthew Haag investigates whether these works actually exist. Salinger’s son and widow, who together control the writer’s estate, have both refused to refute or confirm the claim. (New York Times)

Thirty-eight letters Harper Lee wrote to her friend Felice Itzkoff are being auctioned for a minimum bid of $10,000. The letters include anecdotes about actors Vivien Leigh and Gregory Peck, and Lee’s reaction to the election of Obama. (Los Angeles Times)

Indie filmmaker and former child star Sarah Polley has adapted Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace for screen, more than twenty years after she asked Atwood for the film rights at the age of seventeen. The miniseries will air on Netflix on November 3. (New York Times)

“I like to play with the multiplicity and instability of meaning partly out of a sense of adventure, to see where that takes me and partly in a whistling past the graveyard kind of way because, of course, sensing stable meaning fall away can be scary.” Poet Rae Armantrout talks with the Rumpus about destabilizing meaning, asking good questions, and reading her work aloud.