When Agatha Christie Disappeared, the Ups and Downs of Writing, 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.

The New York Times reexamines the mysterious disappearance of Agatha Christie for eleven days in 1926, which resulted in a manhunt featuring clues such as “a bottle labeled poison lead and opium, fragments of a torn-up postcard, a woman’s fur-lined coat, a box of face powder, the end of a loaf of bread, a cardboard box, and two children’s books.”

“Praise is great, but the only person who will always read my work is me, so I might as well find reliable contentment in churning out my daily five hundred words.” Katie Heaney on why writing’s reliance on both everyday discipline and an imperiled sense of self-worth makes for an emotionally crushing profession. (Cut)

ZORA editor in chief Vanessa De Luca welcomes readers to the new Medium publication that celebrates the “hopes, dreams, aspirations, and experiences of women of color.” The inaugural package includes writing by Yara Shahidi, Vanessa Hua, and Feminista Jones.

In New York City, publishers such as Abrams Books and Macmillan are adopting the office trends long embraced by other industries: open-plan offices and downtown rental rates. (New York Times)

Author and former prosecutor Linda Fairstein has joined the public discussion over her publisher’s decision to cut ties with her following the release of a Netflix series depicting her involvement in the wrongful conviction of the Central Park Five. “I would like you and the group to know more about the actual facts,” wrote Fairstein on an Authors Guild message board. (Vulture)

While private equity firm Elliott Management is set to aquire Barnes & Noble for $475 million in cash, book distributor Readerlink is said to be working towards a higher offer. (CNBC)

At Another Chicago Magazine, poet Eve Ewing shares the “pedagogical vision” of her new collection, 1919. “Everything I learned about 1919 either made me think, ‘Wow, what a peculiar historical moment that is so remarkably different from today’ or, more often, ‘Well, you could literally say this about our time.’ Not much in between. That’s sort of how I knew I had to write the book.”

“Our favorite novels aren’t just books. They are manuals for living.” Steve Almond finds personal reckoning in the dogged devotion to the inner life exhibited in John William’s novel Stoner. (Poets & Writers)