Sam Shepard’s Last Novel, Emma Cline on Sexual Harassment, 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:

Knopf will publish Sam Shepard’s last novel, Spy of the First Person, in December. Shepard wrote the novel in the last months before his death in July; the famed playwright and actor dictated it to his sisters and daughter and edited it with Patti Smith. (New York Times)

“Women would act differently if we believed there was any other way to escape unharmed from the whims of men. We’re navigating a society defined by them, and suffering for it.” Writer Emma Cline shares her experiences of sexual assault and explains why women often cannot come forward after they’ve been harassed or assaulted. (Cut)

In the wake of the announcement that George Saunders has won the 2017 Booker Prize, Natalie Hopkinson has penned an op-ed for the New York Times calling out the bad history behind the Booker Prize—the Booker brothers made their fortune by growing sugar in Guyana in the early 1800s with the labor of African slaves and Indian indentured workers.

Writer Stefan Kiesbye describes waking up to smoke, fleeing his house, and then learning it had burned down in the wildfires that spread across Northern California last week. (Los Angeles Times)

Vulture talks with the editor in chief of Kirkus Reviews, Claiborne Smith, about the publication’s controversial decision to rescind a starred review of Laura Moriarty’s young adult novel, American Heart.

Philip Pullman will launch La Belle Sauvage, the long-awaited prequel to His Dark Materials series, at midnight in the United Kingdom, with bookstores across the country hosting midnight readings and parties. Pullman reports that the second novel in the series has already been completed. (Guardian)

Poet Safiya Sinclair interviews Erika L. Sanchez on writing about the body as a woman of color, the Latinx artists that inspire her, and her debut poetry collection, Lessons on Expulsion. (Literary Hub)

Workman Publishing’s publisher, executive editor, and art director have left to start a new imprint of the Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group. (Publishers Weekly)