The Case Against Peter Handke, Book Burning at Georgia Southern, and More


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.

PEN America has issued a statement criticizing the selection of Peter Handke for the 2019 Nobel Prize in Literature. “We reject the decision that a writer who has persistently called into question thoroughly documented war crimes deserves to be celebrated for his ‘linguistic ingenuity.’”

On Wednesday at Georgia Southern University, a group of students burned copies of Jennine Capó Crucet’s novel Make Your Home Among Strangers, which had been assigned as required reading for some of the first-year class. The group had gathered following Crucet’s talk at the campus performing arts center, during which one student criticized her for making “generalizations about the majority of white people being privileged.” Crucet, who is Latina, responded, “I came here because I was invited and I talked about white privilege because it’s a real thing that you are actually benefiting from right now in even asking this question.” (George-Anne)

At age eighty-seven, John le Carré is publishing his twenty-fifth novel, Agent Running in the Field. At the Guardian, the best-selling espionage author talks to John Banville about drawing inspiration from world politics and, closer to home, “the insatiable criminality of my father.”  

Adrienne Brodeur discusses her memoir, Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me, and the labor of coming to terms with the past. (Rumpus)

Jennifer Croft, who has translated Olga Tokarczuk for English readers, writes in praise of the newly minted Nobel laureate. (Paris Review Daily)

Jeanette Winterson discusses her new book, Frankissstein, and the story’s threads of both optimism and darkness. (Los Angeles Times)

MacArthur genius and celebrated playwright Sarah Ruhl will publish a memoir, Smile, that will explore her experience living with Bell’s palsy and the gendered dynamics around smiling. (New York Times)

In the latest installment of the Guardian Books That Made Me series, science fiction writer Nnedi Okorafor shares her earliest reading memory and why Wild Seed by Octavia Butler is the book she gives as a gift.