Lit News Roundup

As always in our weekly Lit News, we round up the essential discussions in literature and publishing and also reveal all the Lookout and Ecotone author scoop!


Beginning with a little book cover candy: how lovely is this jacket for Poems of the American South, edited by David Biespiel and published by Everyman’s Library? (Psst: Catch up on all of our favorite book jackets, posters, and type design on our Pinterest account.)

Winners of this year’s Lambda Literary Awards, celebrating excellence in LGBT literature, have been announced, and we’re excited to see so many small and university press books in the mix!

The Hachette / Amazon dispute roils on, and we’ve collected the three essential links you need to understand the nuances:

  • The New York Times profiles Michael Pietsch—the first chief executive of a major publishing house to negotiate new terms with Amazon since the Justice Department sued five publishers in 2012 for conspiring to raise e-book prices. The piece underscores his view that books deserve to be treated differently from “hard drives, diapers, and the countless other products that Amazon sells.”
  • And, finally, the Amazon boycott got a helping hand this week from Stephen Colbert, a Hachette author, when he unveiled his “I didn’t buy it on Amazon” sticker and brought on guest Sherman Alexie, who in turn plugged California by Edan Lepucki. After Mr. Colbert urged people to buy it at Powell’s, California immediately became the store’s No. 1 best-seller.

We missed BEA last week, but had we been there, we would have stalked longtime Ecotone contributors Bill Roorbach (The Remedy for Love) and Brock Clarke (The Happiest People in the World) at the Algonquin Books table. Click through to find out what brought them to write their upcoming novels.

New York-area poetry lovers will don their walking shoes next week to march en masse from City Hall across the Brooklyn Bridge as part of The Poetry Walk. It’s a tradition wherein they recite work from renowned poets including Mark Doty, Thomas Lux, and Vijay Seshadri. All proceeds benefit Poets House.

Finally, Lookout author Steve Almond’s favorite summer reads have great plots and great writing. Check out his list, which includes Elizabeth Gilbert, Margaret Atwood, David Sedaris, David Foster Wallace, Cheryl Strayed, and Lorrie Moore, among others.

Happy summer reading, y’all!