The Whiteness of Autofiction Discourse, Editor Daniel Menaker Has Died, and More

by Staff
10.28.20

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.

“What names come to mind when you hear the term ‘autofiction’? Let me guess, you’re probably thinking about Rachel Cusk, Karl Ove Knausgaard, Ben Lerner, and Sheila Heti, among a few others.” Tope Folarin questions why writers of color are often overlooked in discussions about autofiction. (New Republic)

Editor and writer Daniel Menaker died on Monday at age seventy-nine. Hired as a fact-checker for the New Yorker in 1968, he ultimately served as the magazine’s senior fiction editor. Menaker also spent many years editing books, including a period as executive editor in chief at Random House. His authors included Michael Chabon, Salman Rushdie, and Elizabeth Strout, among many other literary giants. (New York Times)

“That way of being in one’s body, separate from one’s children, able to pretend at least a little while that we are more than just their mothers, has largely disappeared.” Novelist Lynn Steger Strong reflects on motherhood in the pandemic. (TIME)

Over in the U.K., Kishani Widyaratna will join HarperCollins in December as the editorial director of Fourth Estate. Widyaratna currently serves as a commissioning editor at Picador, an imprint of Pan Macmillan. (Bookseller)

In a surprise move, both Barnes & Noble and former CEO Demos Parneros have agreed to cease litigation over Parneros’s dismissal in 2018. (Publishers Weekly)

“We need to turn out our pockets, air out our dungeons, welcome some of that liberating sun into our darkest nooks where it belongs.” Chris Martin on engaging with the “dungeons of the mind” in his latest book, Things to Do in Hell. (BOMB)

“The things that I learned were just so shocking.” Megan Rosenbloom on researching the history of book bindings made of human skin. (Los Angeles Times)

A new report from the American Library Association outlines how libraries provide critical resources for formerly incarcerated people. (I Love Libraries)