Southern Literature's Demise, the Life of Djuna Barnes, 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:

Following Jonathan Franzen's statement that we need "long, elaborate, complex" works of fiction, the New York Review of Books explores a fundamental question: "Do we need stories?"

In light of the recent passing of novelist Harry Crews, the Millions writes Southern Literature's eulogy.

Novelist A. L. Kennedy details why she hates the myth that an artist or writer must suffer to create good work: "If the budding writer just settled down and wrote, then he or she would become more and more who they are happy being, and might make things other people can like and feel happy about, too." (Guardian)

New York City intends to create a new midtown thoroughfare of public plazas and crosswalks, dubbed 6½ Avenue, and the Observer believes John Updike would have approved.

Meanwhile, if you'd like to live in Robert Lowell's New York City apartment, it's for sale. (Curbed)

In light of a new exhibition, Newspaper Fictions, at New York City's Brooklyn Museum, which features the work of Djuna Barnes—the Paris Review Daily looks at the life and work of this pioneering journalist and novelist.

After twenty-four of its writers were listed by NYU's journalism school as the top journalists in the United States in the last century, the New Yorker gleaned its archives and posted representative articles from all twenty-four authors, including James Baldwin, Truman Capote, and Rachel Carson.

Andrew Shaffer, writer, book blogger, and the mind who created the Evil Wylie and Emperor Franzen Twitter accounts, landed a book deal for his Fifty Shades of Grey parody, Fifty Shames of Earl Grey. (GalleyCat)

Jim Behrle explains how to write the next great American novel: "Stop writing in Starbucks. I’m actually typing this article on a blue Selectric II typewriter in a meadow filled with ducks. I have a very long extension cord. Stop asking so many questions." (Awl)