Rushdie to Publish Novella on Substack, the True Story of Belle da Costa Greene, and More

by Staff
9.1.21

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 Morgan, as it is now known, welcomes thousands of visitors each year—scholars, researchers, tourists and art lovers—to enjoy the collection. What most don’t know is this: For more than four decades, the library’s collections were acquired and curated by a Black woman.” Karen Grigsby Bates speaks with authors Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray about their novel, The Personal Librarian, and the true story of Belle da Costa Greene. (NPR)

Salman Rushdie says he will eschew traditional publishing routes to release his next project, a novella, on the digital platform Substack in serialized form. Rushdie says that, during “this strange year and a half,” he has craved new experience. “I just thought: do something else. And exactly the moment I was thinking that this project cropped up.” Other writers successfully courted to publish on Substack include Etgar Keret and Patti Smith. (Guardian)

“I realized, again, that the service that I was providing was just as an ear. There is absolutely not one thing I can do, but not doing something is a crime.” For the New York Times, Rabih Alameddine describes his experiences speaking with Syrian refugees to his home country of Lebanon and the way these exchanges manifest in his new novel, The Wrong End of Telescope.

“We need more adult books about physics. We need a greater literature of science, one with complexity and sentiment, one as expansive, provocative, and humane as the endeavor of science itself.” Joshua Roebke considers popular science writing and its ability to draw readers closer to wonder and questions of the divine. (Literary Hub)

For the Rumpus, Jo Lloyd discusses the research that informs her debut short story collection, Something Wonderful, and searching primary source materials for “that shock of the strange that can be lost in academic studies.”

Can you hear the word story in history, I asked? You nodded slowly, a little body in deep rumination. These stories need to be told from the perspectives of those who have been most damaged by history. These other stories, I said, can teach us how to keep living.” Julietta Singh writes on rejecting colonial narratives and “mothering at the end of the world.” (Paris Review Daily)