Tom Wolfe Has Died, Ursula K. Le Guin Documentary, and More


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:

Journalist and novelist Tom Wolfe died yesterday at age eighty-seven. Known for his novelistic techniques in nonfiction that were instrumental in the birth of New Journalism, Wolfe published several books including the novel The Bonfire of the Vanities and the nonfiction books The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and The Right Stuff. (New York Times)

Arwen Curry has released a trailer for Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin, a documentary that includes interviews with Le Guin, Neil Gaiman, Margaret Atwood, and others. Curry worked on the documentary with Le Guin before the author’s death in January. (Book Riot)

“Who gets to tell stories? Let me answer this quickly: for the most part—and the exceptions are relatively recent—the writers who are allowed to talk are those who prop up the dominant culture, who reflect it with a gilded mirror.” Rabih Alameddine argues for publishing and embracing writers farther outside the mainstream. (Harper’s)

Adam Parfrey, the publisher of Feral House and Amok Books, died last week at age sixty-one. Parfrey published provocative and unusual books, including titles by Satanist Anton LaVey and the Unabomber, Theodore Kaczynski. (Deadline)

Shashi Tharoor, a prominent Indian politician and author, has been accused of abetting his wife’s suicide four years ago. (CNN)

“Can we read Neruda without having to accept the questionable attitudes and inexcusable behaviour?” Ben Bollig asks if we should still read the work of Pablo Neruda, when critics have pointed out that “unacceptable attitudes to women and sex course through his poetry.” (Times Literary Supplement)

“But my story is an imaginary document, and it is not always possible to show others ‘the whys and wherefores’ of something that one has experienced only in the mind.” In a recently discovered letter, twenty-year-old Truman Capote writes a cranky reply to a reader who complained that his story “Miriam” did not make sense. (New York Times)

Critics at the Atlantic, Huffington Post, and the New York Times take a look at the recent spate of fiction and nonfiction books about parenthood from writers such as Sheila Heti, Rumaan Alam, Michael Chabon, and Jacqueline Rose.

Librarians report the strangest bookmarks they have found—including bacon, cheese slices, and sawblades—between the pages of library books. (Guardian)