Steve Almond on Police Actions, Tiny Brontë Manuscript, 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:

Yesterday, it was reported Penguin had ceased supporting e-book lending in libraries. This morning, Penguin has restored the service for its titles, with the exception of new releases. (OverDrive)

In the aftermath of the police response to a student Occupy protest on the campus of the University of California at Davis, the English department faculty released a statement calling for Chancellor Linda P. B. Katehi to resign. (GalleyCat)

Meanwhile, novelist Steve Almond writes for the Rumpus about the actions of law enforcement officers at the UC Davis protest and elsewhere: "The authoritarian beast within the American spirit has been roused. It is heavily armed and lavishly underwritten."

The Guardian takes a fresh look at the great American novelist John Steinbeck, whose The Grapes of Wrath was a bestseller in 1939. Seventy years later its themes of corporate greed and joblessness "are back with a vengeance."

A doll-sized manuscript handwritten and created by Charlotte Brontë has been discovered. The tiny book was painstakingly written by the eldest Brontë sister in 1830, when she was fourteen, likely intended for her sisters' toy soldiers. It's expected to sell at Sotheby's for over four-hundred thousand dollars. (NPR)

Ewan McGregor has been cast in Noah Baumbach and Scott Rudin's HBO adaptation of Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections. McGregor, perhaps best known for his role as the young Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequels, will star alongside Dianne Wiest and Chris Cooper. (Hollywood Reporter)

If you are gathering with your family for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, Ploughshares highlights the best literature of family dysfunction and includes an accompanying soundtrack.

And the Paris Review Daily details the life and work of Sarah Josepha Hale, "the woman who led the campaign to make Thanksgiving a national holiday." (Not surprisingly, Hale was a poet and a novelist.)

Happy Thanksgiving!