Lionel Shriver

Novelist Lionel Shriver details her experience of how "publishers are complicit in ghettoising not only women writers but women readers into [an] implicitly lesser cultural tier." Using her own novels as examples, such as the disturbing health care tale, So Much for That, Shriver writes that publishers’ insistence on "trussing up my novels as sweet, girly and soft is like stuffing a rottweiler in a dress." 

Former Poet Laureate Billy Collins was recently quoted in the Wall Street Journal saying, "lyrics just don't hold up without the music . . . I assure [my students] that Jim Morrison is not a poet in any sense of the word." Perhaps not Morrison, but how about Biz Markie, who is on cover of the fall issue of Bookforum? Poet Kevin Young asks this question about rap lyrics in his feature review of The Anthology of Rap, edited by Adam Bradley and Andrew DuBois, writing "poetry can move you, hip-hop can make you move—for my part, I'll take both."

Did Tony Blair crib a line from the 2006 film The Queen for his new memoir? Screenwriter Peter Morgan thinks so, telling The Telegraph that perhaps Blair "had one gin and tonic too many and confused the scene in the film with what had actually happened, and this I find amusing because he always insisted he had never even seen it." We'll be perusing Blair's book, The Journey (published last week in the US), for other cinematic scenes, and hope that a Monty Python moment somehow snuck its way into the prime minister's remembrances.

When Michael Lewis's The Big Short came out last March, the book's Amazon page was besieged with complaints because it wasn't available in a Kindle edition. Now that it is, eBookNewser is tracking the most popular passages readers are highlighting in the e-book version. Topping the list is this pithy summary of the housing bubble's toxic recipe: "How do you make poor people feel wealthy when wages are stagnant? You give them cheap loans." We can't decide which is more unsettling about this story: the terribly imprudent lending practices of the housing bubble, or Amazon’s tracking of what people are highlighting on their Kindles.