Writers Request Pardon for Snowden, Toni Morrison on Post-Election America, 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:

More than thirty prominent writers, including Michael Chabon, Teju Cole, and Ursula Le Guin, have signed an open letter to President Obama requesting a pardon for Edward Snowden. (pardonsnowden.org)

Today would be the ninety-sixth birthday of famed German-language poet Paul Celan. A new Austrian film, The Dreamed Ones, recounts the correspondence and love affair between Celan and German poet Ingeborg Bachmann in the wake of World War II. (Guardian)

In the aftermath of the election, New Inquiry has compiled “A Time for Treason” reading list, created by “a group of Black, Brown, Indigenous, Muslim, and Jewish people who are writers, organizers, teachers, anti-fascists, anti-capitalists, and radicals.”

“So scary are the consequences of a collapse of white privilege that many Americans have flocked to a political platform that supports and translates violence against the defenseless as strength. These people are not so much angry as terrified, with the kind of terror that makes knees tremble.” Nobel Prize–winning author Toni Morrison writes about post-election America. (New Yorker)

This story of how Colombian police recovered a stolen first edition of Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude sounds atypical for a book theft, to say the least: “It involved a shootout; it involved a high-speed chase through downtown Bogota; it involved stakeouts and informants….” (NPR)

Literary Hub rounds up writers’ remembrances of short story writer William Trevor, who died Sunday at age eighty-eight.

For Thanksgiving, peruse this reading list of ten indigenous authors, including Sherman Alexie, Louise Erdrich, and Leslie Marmon Silko. (Literary Hub)

Are there only six plots in all of English literature? Researchers at the University of Vermont used three different language filter programs to study the storylines of English-language novels, and found six distinctive plots: “Rise (rags to riches), fall (riches to rags), fall-rise (“man in a hole”), rise-fall (the Icarus story), rise-fall-rise (Cinderella and other fairytales) and fall-rise-fall (tragic heroes like Macbeth or Oedipus).” (Bustle)