Agent Andrew Wylie's new ebook imprint, Odyssey Editions, is making publishers angry. Random House is severing ties with the agency, nixing all new book deals, while Macmillan US's chief executive, John Sargent, said he was "appalled" by the deal. Author Matt Stewart gives the most sensible analysis of the battle we've seen: He calls Random House thieves and Wylie a "vicious negotiater," and builds on this point: "Both parties are behaving like assholes."
If you're in New York tonight, Granta magazine is celebrating the release of its latest issue with a reading by Netherland author (and Obama favorite) Joseph O'Neill and short-fiction author Claire Watkins.
You don't hear much about literary movements these days, but over at the Nervous Breakdown, Angela Stubbs writes about a group of New Narrative authors, specifically Dodie Bellamy (who anticipated the vampire-crazed present in The Letters of Mina Harker), Kevin Killian (who, in addition to being a novelist and the poet laureate of Kylie Minogue has written literally thousands of Amazon reviews), and Eileen Myles (who, in case you didn't know, has a fascinating new novel about a poet in New York City that you can pre-order now).
Christina Stead's 1940 novel The Man Who Loved Children has become one of the most-praised lost classics of 2010. Jonathan Franzen raved about Stead's book in the Times earlier this summer. At almost the same time, John Waters professed his love for the book in his new Role Models (in a chapter that also covers Denton Welch and Ivy Compton-Burnett). If the bizarre Franzen-Waters combo isn't enough to convince you, here are two other eminent Stead fans: Joy Williams, and the late David Foster Wallace.