Ten Years After 9/11, Cookbooks as Literature, 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:

The latest issue of Granta magazine is called "Ten Years After," replete with writers that "conjure the complexity and sorrow of life since September 11, 2001." For National Public Radio, John Freeman, the editor of Granta, discusses three works of fiction that best capture the effects of that cataclysmic day. GalleyCat has more on the Granta issue and the fifty globe-spanning Granta-sponsored events held over the next month that will "continue the conversation."

Amazon and the state of California have reached a tentative agreement after a long scuffle over taxes that will allow Amazon to postpone collecting state sales tax from its customers for one year. (Los Angeles Times)

In 1971 futurist and inventor Michael S. Hart created the first e-book. Project Gutenberg, the free online electronic text library Hart founded, has announced that the inventor passed away at his home this past Tuesday.

Following her well-regarded first collection, Use Me, ten years later with a new book, Blueprints for Building Better Girls, fiction writer and cofounder of Tin House Elissa Schappell speaks with the Faster Times about the work of creating, female identity, and the perception that all stories are autobiographical. "It’s unfortunate," she says. "I attribute it to lack of imagination."

In this essay for the Awl, essayist Maria Bustillos considers cookbooks as literature and literature as cookbooks.

A reviewer on Yelp—a free service which is a kind of melding of social media, mapping software, and consumer guide—has been posting reviews in the San Francisco Bay Area in the style of novelist Cormac McCarthy. For a Mexican restaurant, "Cormac M." writes, "The pain comes in waves, lingering like the burn of bad whiskey. One bullet left in the Colt. Something as yet unheralded has died when a quesadilla comes on a spinach tortilla." (New Yorker)

Meanwhile, Flavorwire lists their favorite deceased authors who somehow manage to actively post their thoughts from the great beyond on Twitter.

If you're curious as to when the Borders nearest you is closing for good, Facebook has a list.

With autumn's arrival, and school in session across the nation, it also brings a wealth of new literary events listings. Here are just a few to add to your calendar via Poetry Society of America, GalleyCat, and Coldfront.