Ta-Nehisi Coates to Guest-Edit Vanity Fair, Oprah’s Book Club Selects Isabel Wilkerson’s Caste, and More

by Staff

Every day Poets & Writers Magazine scans the headlines—publishing reports, literary dispatches, academic announcements, and more—for all the news that creative writers need to know. Here are today’s stories.

Vanity Fair has announced that Ta-Nehisi Coates will guest-edit its September issue. This special edition of the magazine will explore “art, activism, and power in twenty-first century America,” and will feature works by Jesmyn Ward, Eve L. Ewing, and Jacqueline Woodson, among many other prominent writers. “There’s no one better suited than Ta-Nehisi to illuminate this urgent moment in American history—to answer the question, why is this time different?” said editor in chief Radhika Jones. 

Oprah Winfrey has selected Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson as the next read for Oprah’s Book Club. “This book might well save us,” Winfrey says. “Caste by Isabel Wilkerson is a must-read for humanity.” (Vulture)

Pete Hamill, the celebrated journalist, editor, and author, died today at age eighty-five. Over the course of his storied career, he served as the top editor at the New York Post and the New York Daily News, while contributing to numerous other publications. (New York Times)

“When one wants to write about the African American past, one has to think imaginatively. One has to imagine millions of people whose identities had been taken and manipulated since first appearing on the shore of the colonies.” Morgan Jerkins reflects on how to navigate the silences in African American histories. (Literary Hub)

Jerkins is a senior editor at ZORA and recently contributed to our Agents & Editors Recommend series

Literary community members have launched a silent auction, Authors for Black Voices, to raise money for ten racial justice organizations, including We Need Diverse Books and Barbershop Books. Bidding is open through August 31, and prizes include annotated books, deleted chapters, and conversations with authors. (Publishers Weekly)

Editorial director CJ Evans discusses the past and future of Two Lines Press and Two Lines journal. (Community of Literary Magazines and Presses)

“Beneath a veneer of hedonism and fun, the 1980s was an era of intractable social stratification, racism, and thousands of deaths from AIDS.” Amanda Brainerd recommends eight books that confront the hard truths of the 1980s. (Electric Literature)  

Bustle selects its most anticipated August titles, including Anodyne by Khadijah Queen and A Room Called Earth by Madeleine Ryan. 

National Geographic UK proposes a literary walking tour of Oxford, England.