Author Sued in India for Defamation, the Poets of Arab Spring, 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:

Siddhartha Deb, an Indian novelist who currently lives in New York City, is being sued for defamation by Indian media mogul Arindam Chaudhuri, and an injunction has been filed prohibiting the Indian release of his new book,The Beautiful and the Damned, which tells the stories of five Indians, whom he spent months interviewing. (New Yorker)

Many writers played a role in the recent uprisings known as the Arab Spring. Lines of poetry by Abul-Qasim al Shabi and Mahmoud Darwish were chanted by crowds in Egypt's Tahir Square, and others actively took part, including Syrian poet Aïcha Arnaout. An interview with Arnaout discussing the Syrian revolt has recently been translated into English. (Harriet)

A debate has sparked over the publication of a memoir by Guantanamo detainee David Hicks, which has sold thirty thousand copies in Australia. (Australia has a law that forbids convicted criminals from cashing in on their crimes, which includes collecting profits from a best-selling book written about said crime.) The Hicks family argues that the "U.S. military commission at Guantanamo Bay should not be recognized as a valid legal body.” (BBC News via Galleycat)

In response to “effective” Kindle television ads that arouse “conflicting urges to own a Kindle and resist it on principle,” Aaron Gilbreath, a clerk at the esteemed Portland, Oregon, independent bookstore, Powell's Books, calls on book publishers to "fight dirty." (Chicago Tribune)

The Paris Review offers a glimpse at the new memoir by Joseph Heller's daughter, Erica Heller, in which she describes the days surrounding the publication of Heller's famous satirical novel, Catch-22. "I can remember nights at the dinner table with my parents tossing out different numbers. 'Catch-27?' Nah, my father shook his head. 'Catch-539?'"

Novelist Bret Easton Ellis (Less Than ZeroAmerican Psycho) has teamed up with filmmaker Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull) to make a psychological horror film entitled Bait. Yes, there are sharks. (Hollywood Reporter)

The Awl lists the glaring mistakes of the staging of a book party for the new Lena Dunham–helmed HBO show, Girls. Number nine: "General lack of pastiness."