Friday Lit News Roundup

Here at Lookout headquarters, it’s been a beautiful week so we’re spending as much time outside as we can, but if there’s any view we occasionally prefer to the great outdoors, it’s this one. (A gentle reminder: we’re always collecting our favorites over on Pinterest, so please join us there.)


Just in case you were soaking up some rays and missed our posts from earlier this week, we have big news.

We unveiled two new blog categories! In Seven Questions, author Brock Clarke revealed which books are open on his desk, what he would change about The Great Gatsby, and whether he dog-ears his books or not. It’s a terrific interview you won’t want to miss.

And on Thursday, we introduced On Location with Lauren Groff. This department showcases our favorite authors’ writing studios and other spaces that inspire them. In her wise and funny post, Lauren addresses the differences between writing before she had kids—”If anyone had interrupted me, they’d have died a horrid death.“—and her writing practice now that she’s a mother. “I write in line to pick up my kindergartner at school; at night, accompanied by my insomnia in the bathtub; in my parents’ empty house down the street; in my head in the middle of the night when my three-year-old has the croup.”

Did you read Becky Tuch’s take on literary citizenship in Salon? In her essay “More Work, No Pay,” she says, “It’s just that in all this talk about what makes a good Literary Citizen, it seems we have missed a key step: critical reflection. Isn’t it important to ask why things are the way they are? The notion that the system ought to be challenged, that there is even a system within which all this is operating, is notably absent from discussions about being a good Literary Citizen.” What do you think?


This week we spotted some of our favorite writers speaking out—in neon T-shirts!—as part of a movement against South Carolina politicians who voted to strip funding from state schools that teach LGBT writers. You can see photos of Lookout authors Steve Almond and Bill Roorbach, as well as Terrance Hayes, Percival Everett, and Megan Mayhew Bergman, among others. Read more about what booksellers and publishers are saying in this Publishers Weekly piece. #outloudsc

If you live in the Little Rock area, check out the Arkansas Literary Festival this weekend. Ecotone and Astoria to Zion contributors Kevin Brockmeier, Cary Holladay, and Rebecca Makkai will be at the Arkansas Studies Institute Building on Saturday, April 26 at 10 a.m. Authors will be reading from their stories and available to answer questions and sign books.

Public Books has started an Envy Chain of poetry books released in 2013/2014. As if your to-read list wasn’t long enough already.

Check back next week when we’ll unveil yet another new category, House Guest, which will feature guest blog posts by authors, designers, editors, and other literary and design types.

Is there someone you’re dying to hear from? Take to Twitter and tell us!

Until then, have a lovely weekend, y’all.