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On the Books Sept 13: YA authors asked to 'straighten' gay characters, Roald Dahl's writing cottage needs a savior

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Roald Dahl Writing Shed
AP Images

++ Authors Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith talk about being asked by a major literary agent to “straighten” a gay character in their post-apocalyptic YA novel. The agent even suggested revealing that the character is gay in later books if the early ones prove popular.

++ Roald Dahl’s family is asking the public for help in raising more than $790,000 to transport the shed in which the beloved author wrote many of his best-known works from its current location to the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Center. This is causing a stir in England: No one seems to question the value of the shed, but people are asking why the family, which has presumably profited greatly from Dahl’s estate, is soliciting help.

++ Should MFA programs be ranked?

++ At least some good is coming from the demise of Borders: A financial services firm has pledged 8,000 books worth approximately $130,000 to Chicago public schools.