January writing links, part II – the State of the Union edition

Since my links post yesterday was all about fiction, I had to veer back into territory I’m more comfortable with: nonfiction. Alas, a lot of nonfiction these days is focused on the state of the publishing industry:

Ted Genoways, the editor of the Virginia Quarterly Review, weighs in at Mother Jones on the death of literary magazines and the proliferation of MFA programs. Coincidence? He thinks not. And man, is debate raging about that, on the Mother Jones site, and in the comments of a related VQR blog post.

While we’re talking about demise, the Wall Street Journal proclaimed the “Death of the Slush Pile.” But wait a minute.  Not so fast.

Since this is the State of the Union edition of January’s writing links, I give you the wisdom of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Diaz, on President Obama’s first year in office:

A President can have all the vision in the world, be an extraordinary orator and a superb politician, have courage and foresight and a willingness to make painful choices, have a bold progressive plan for his nation—but none of these things will matter a wit if the President cannot couch his vision, his policies, his courage, his will, his plan in the idiom of story.

Finally, a beautiful short essay by author Edwidge Danticat on the Haiti earthquake and her family there.

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2 thoughts on “January writing links, part II – the State of the Union edition

    • I heard that too, but couldn’t find it substantiated anywhere. Rumor? The VQR has private college money, but that seems like a surprisingly high salary for litmag editor.

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