Friday Lit News Roundup

This week, we’ve got a mash-up of author updates and literary news the Lookout Books and Ecotone staffs have been perusing over the past few weeks.

If, like us, you just can’t wait until April 8 for Maggie Shipstead’s new novel, Astonish Me, One Story (winner of AWP’s Best Small Press Award) has an excerpt available to subscribers. Don’t worry non-subscribers, the current issue is only $1.99! (And, breaking news, Maggie will be reading from her story in Astoria to Zion on Monday, April 7, at the Center for Fiction in NYC. Stay tuned for details.)

Ben Fountain’s novel, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, has been chosen as the Wall Street Journal Book Club’s March selection by author of The Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini. Hosseini said he chose the book “because of the story’s provocative premise, emotional nuance, and inventive use of language.”

Got the AWP blues? We miss it too, but the New Yorker recaps the conference and reinvigorates our faith in the future of the book.

Love pop art and literature? The folks over at Pop Chart Lab have combined the two with A Diagrammatical Dissertation on Opening Lines of Notable Novels! Head to their site today and get yourself a little something.

Lookout author Steve Almond makes the news again this week. Read Steve on gender parity and Marcel Theroux’s novel Strange Bodies.

Finally, closer to home, Astoria to Zion made Bill and Dave’s Cocktail Hour, the can’t-miss blog of Ecotone founding editor David Gessner and regular contributor Bill Roorbach. This week only you can snag a copy of the anthology for $10 with promo code PUBDAY.