paper trail

The final word on the Oxford comma; James Franco's poetry training

NoViolet Bulawayo

TED-Ed educates the masses on the debate over the Oxford (or "serial") comma—via video, a medium in which you can avoid the issue altogether. Bookforum, it should go without saying, is pro-Oxford.

At Moby Lives, Dustin Kurtz writes that China’s publishing industry, which is “becoming more venal,” “seems to have a rather gross case of the Franzens, and the attention brought by Mo Yan’s Nobel win might be to blame.”

The Zimbabwean novelist NoViolet Bulawayo has won the Pen-Hemingway Award for her first novel, We Need New Names.

James Franco's debut collection of poems, Directing Herbert White, is forthcoming from Graywolf in April. On The Tonight Show, Franco reassures anyone who might fear for his poetry-writing abilities that he "has a master's degree in poetry." The journals of Lawrence Ferlinghetti will be published by Liveright in 2015. Covering the years 1950–2013, the diaries were written while the poet travelled to Mexico, North Africa, Russia, and Cuba, among other places.

Steven Moore has released the second installment of his mammoth “alternative history” of the novel.