Flannery O’Connor’s College Journal, Amazon’s Hundred Best Books of 2017, 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:

“I must do do do and yet there is the brick wall that I must kick over stone by stone. It is I who have built the wall and I who must tear it down.” Image has published Flannery O’Connor’s college journal, which reveals the writer’s self-consciousness and self-doubt, as well as her determination. (Atlantic)

Amazon editors have announced their top hundred books of the year, with David Grann’s Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI as their No. 1 pick, followed by Celeste Ng’s novel Little Fires Everywhere.

Last Friday poet and memoirist Reginald Dwayne Betts was approved to practice law in Connecticut; Betts had previously been denied entrance into the bar based on a felony conviction when he was sixteen. (New Yorker)

Poets Charles Simic and Katha Pollitt weigh in on the year since Donald Trump was elected president. “I sometimes feel like I’m a different person now,” says Pollitt. “Every monster in history, as we ought to remember, has needed a lot of help to implement his policies,” says Simic. (New York Review of Books)

At the Boston Review, Elizabeth Catte explores the myths about race in Appalachia that inform J. D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy, “our political moment’s favorite text for understanding the lives of disaffected Donald Trump voters.”

HarperCollins will publish Michael Bond’s last Paddington Bear book in June 2018, on the first anniversary of the author’s death. (Guardian)

The Smithsonian explores how an anonymous sequel to Cervantes’s Don Quixote, written in the early 1600s, prefigured modern piracy.

Writer Robin Benway talks with Bustle about getting rejected from every MFA program she applied to and her book Far From the Tree, which is now a finalist for the 2017 National Book Award in Young People’s Literature.