Slavoj Žižek Accused of Plagiarism, Nadine Gordimer Dies at 90, and More

by Staff

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:

Slavoj Žižek, a Slovenian philosopher and one of the most well-known Marxist scholars of the twenty-first century, was recently accused by conservative bloggers of plagiarizing from the American Renaissance, a magazine focusing on “race and racial conflict” that the Southern Poverty Law Center classifies as a white nationalist hate group. The author of more than seventy books, Žižek has denied any wrongdoing in several e-mails to NPR. (Newsweek)

Nobel Prize–winning author Nadine Gordimer has died at age ninety in her home in Johannesburg, South Africa. A prolific novelist and short-story writer, Gordimer was also a defender of civil rights in her home country, where the apartheid government banned three of her books and a collection of poetry she edited. (Guardian)

Vincent Zandri, a mystery author and Amazon publishing success story, refuses to take sides in the ongoing Hachette-Amazon battle. While defending the Internet retailer that made him a financial success after a traditional contract went sour, Zandri notes that the company should not be allowed to become a monopoly. (New York Times)

Meanwhile, ten-year-old Jake Mayer of Chicago is at work on his second novel this summer, after self-publishing his first, A Tale of Friends, Enemies, and Minecraft, through Amazon's CreateSpace last year. The book, which Mayer wrote as a school project for National Novel Writing Month, has sold fourteen thousand copies through Amazon. (CBS)

Independent bookseller Browseabout Books in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, is distributing free copies of the young adult novel The Miseducation of Cameron Post, by Emily M. Danforth, after the board of the local Cape Henlopen School District removed the book from its reading list for incoming freshmen. The book is a coming-of-age tale concerning a young woman’s recognition of her sexual identity. (Shelf Awareness)

Meanwhile, the Mexican government has donated more than 1,600 Spanish-language textbooks to prisoners in Arizona, where many who participate in educational programing speak Spanish as a first language. (AZFamily)

Valerie Macon has been appointed the new state poet laureate of North Carolina. The author of the collections Shelf Life and Sleeping Rough will serve in the position for two years, succeeding Joseph Bathanti. (

Book Riot offers a pictorial history of American bookmobiles—from a horse-drawn wagon that served Maryland's Washington County until 1910 to Memphis’s advanced digital book trailer.