Lubeck's Gunter Grass Haus
Philip Roth biography Blake Bailey confirmed yesterday that a Twitter account purporting to belong to the Portnoy’s Complaint author is actually a hoax. “The real Philip Roth–yes, him–would have it known that he has NO twitter account, and it is MOST unlikely he ever shall,” Mr. Bailey tweeted. The account has been traced to Italian journalist Tommasso Debenedetti.
The New York Times covers the literary history of Lübeck, Germany, a city with only 212,000 residents but a storied literary history. In addition to having a public library that’s nearly four hundred years old, Lübeck is also the home of the Thomas Mann and Günter Grass museums, which share the distinction of being far more tech-forward than most author museums. At the Günter Grass museum, visitors vote on a touchscreen for future exhibitions, and visitors to the Buddenbrookhaus museum are greeted by excerpts of Thomas Mann’s postcards, which scroll down a giant flat-screen monitor... set in the speech-bubble shape familiar from text messages.”
Next spring will see the publication of correspondence between authors Paul Auster and J.M. Coetzee. The two met in 2008 and spent the following three years writing letters to each other, prompted by Coetzee’s suggestion that they might "strike sparks off each other." According to the UK publisher, the letters span “sports, film festivals, incest, politics, the financial crisis, family, art, marriage, friendship and love.”
Did you get a Kindle or e-reader for Christmas? Here’s a cheat sheet on how to use it and what to read.
How’s this for a dismal prediction for the future of books: according to Smashwords founder Mark Coker, “In the self-publishing gold rush, more money will be made in author services than in book sales.”