Steamroller Crushes Terry Pratchett’s Unfinished Works, Iran’s New Book Complex, 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:

Fulfilling his wishes, the late fantasy novelist Terry Pratchett’s unfinished books have been destroyed by a steamroller. The crushed hard drive will go on display at England’s Salisbury Museum as part of Terry Pratchett: HisWorld, an exhibition celebrating Pratchett’s life and work that opens September 16. (Guardian)  

The Tehran Book Garden complex in Iran, which opened earlier this summer, may be a contender for the Guinness World Records title of largest individual bookstore in the world. The complex spans approximately 700,000 square feet and includes several bookshops for adults and children, a theater, research halls, an art gallery, and more. (Travel & Leisure)

The Center for Fiction has announced the shortlist for its 2017 First Novel Prize. Each shortlisted author will receive $1,000, and the winner, who will be announced December 5, will receive $10,000.

Think you can identify famous poems by pictogram translations? Enter the Paris Review’s Emoji Poetry Contest. The first ten winners will win a copy of the journal’s Summer issue.

Novelist Victor Lavalle discusses his latest novel, The Changeling, his fascination with story structure and fairy tales, and where he finds inspiration for the humor in his work: “I have a real soft spot for chatty older women. I feel like if you park yourself near them, you’re going to get great stories from them. And, in general, they are probably the most overlooked, invisible population.” (Guernica)

Meanwhile, poet Sally Wen Mao speaks with the Creative Independent about her forthcoming collection, Oculus (Graywolf Press, 2019), her writing practice, and being a poet of obsessions: “I don’t know what kind of seed it is that I’m planting, but I’m planting it here, and it becomes this poison ivy, or it becomes this orchid, and then I’m surprised that the orchid has lived this long. I’m surprised that I can eat its petals and not be poisoned to death.”

“I’m still a bit of a reading glutton…. That’s why my bedside table is so cluttered: I want to imbibe it all.” National Book Award–winning writer Jesmyn Ward shares her reading habits with the New York Times. Ward’s new novel, Sing, Unburied, Sing, will be published on September 5 by Scribner.