Gore Vidal—the novelist, critic, political commentator, and formidable verbal jouster—has died. In a 2007 interview with Bookforum, Vidal holds forth on movies, the end of the novelist, his political career, and the influence of Montaigne on his work.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

On Monday, the New Yorker published F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1936 story “Thank You for the Light” seventy-six years after they initially rejected it. “Running it would be altogether out of the question,” one editor wrote in an internal memo at the time. “It seems to us so curious and so unlike the kind of thing we associate with him and really too fantastic.”

Bookforum contributor Natasha Vargas-Cooper talks to The Billfold about the economics of being a freelancer, why she decided to move in with her parents when she started writing professionally, and how she got into the habit of calling out employers who don’t pay her. (Read her essay on Marilyn Monroe and Norman Mailer from our Dec/Jan issue here).

HarperCollins is creating a new Christian publishing division by consolidating existing imprints Zondervan and Thomas Nelson.

In a smart and funny essay for The Millions, Shane Jones reflects on the guilt tied up with being a writer, and how a remark he once read from a woman with seven hundred cats—“I’m not crazy, what I do is crazy”—has helped him deal with it.

To truly do justice to your beach read, you should probably find a bikini that matches your book’s cover.

Confessions of a compulsive blurber: In an essay for the New York Times, A.J. Jacobs explains how he first came to blurb “memoirs, novels, comic books, children’s books, and a half-dozen book proposals” (as well as most other things that landed on his desk), and how it took an intervention from friends and editors to get him to stop.

New York, London, Tokyo, and Reykjavik have been deemed the “best cities” for a writer to live, at least according to one website that based their rankings on the number of “professional positions” available to aspiring wordsmiths, and the general number of readings and literary events.