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Friday Finds for Writers

Treasure Chest
Writing-related resources, news, and reflections to enjoy over the weekend.

  • On the Grub Daily blog: Aine Greaney’s “5 Ways to Vet a Publication.”
  • One of the most striking–and sobering–pieces I read this week is William McPherson’s essay about his poverty in The Hedgehog Review. Check the bio note: “William McPherson, a novelist, critic, and journalist, was the editor of the Washington Post Book World and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism. His first novel, Testing the Current, was recently republished by New York Review Books Classics.”
  • The New Yorker‘s recent season of making all site content paywall-free has ended. As the editors explained in a letter published in this week’s issue, henceforth non-subscribers “get to read six stories each calendar month—from the current issue, from an issue published five years ago, or from a blog updated ten minutes ago. If you want to make the ‘wall’ go away and read a seventh, you’ll have to subscribe.” (For another paywall-related item, see Rebecca Solnit’s much-read Facebook post.)
  • On my weekend reading agenda: catching up with “a week-long discussion on diversity in literature” over on Tahoma Literary Review‘s site. (via @gooddirt)
  • And this is probably my very favorite literary tweet/story of the week. “@xanalter After covering the National Book Awards last night, I ran into fiction winner Phil Klay on the F train this morning. http://nyti.ms/1xuYZBi
  • Have a great weekend, everyone!

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    2 Responses »

    1. The McPherson essay was interesting to me as a study of what can happen when one makes
      certain, perhaps questionable, decisions in life about how they will spend their resources and income.
      I have to admit, though, that I was not inspired to sympathy. Just as there are, as he notes, different levels of poverty, there are also different levels of need. And needing to apply for subsidized housing or have close relatives assist you with expensive dental care is not what I would consider “poverty.”
      There are people in this country literally dying every day because they don’t have heat in the winter, or food on the table, or even basic medical or preventive health care. They probably never had the luxury of living in eastern Europe to pursue an academic literary interest or wrote for the Washington Post.
      That is what I consider being poor. Being unable to vacation in the Hamptons or travel internationally to inspire your writing life is not. If I sound angry or unreasonable, it is because I have no patience with people who seem to be playing at being poor when poverty has become a life and death matter in this country. Has being poor now become just another interesting subject to write about?

      • Mihku, I hear you, and you don’t sound unreasonable; I think one important part of this piece was the author’s willingness to admitted the role his own questionable choices played in creating his situation. And I think he recognizes how fortunate he is to have the safety net(s) he does have.

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