A Penguin/Odyssey Editions title
Following Random House's e-book deal with Andrew Wylie earlier this week, Penguin is now negotiating with the super-agent about digital rights to books in Wylie's direct-to-Amazon Odyssey Editions. Insiders speculate that the deal with Random house nets up to 40 percent for backlist titles by Wylie's clients (a significant raise from the old 25 percent rate). According to the website The Bookseller, Wylie's DIY Odyssey imprint has been whittled down from twenty titles to seven—if negotiations with Penguin succeed, there will be only a handful of titles from his e-book gambit left.
Over at the Huffington Post, Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Weiner elaborate on their recent comments expressing anger over the clouds of fairy dust already being dumped on Jonathan Franzen's latest novel. The charge is that men—and so-called literary fiction—are catching a break in review-land. This, we think, is true. But another point: No writer can make people as angry as Jonathan Franzen does.
On Janestown, the blog where "naval-gazing meets the cancan," Jane Harris has rounded up an eminent group of authors, editors, and critics to write about the great books they haven't finished reading. And while there are many of the expected difficult authors on the list—Pynchon, Musil, Gaddis, et al—there are also some eloquent quips about reading in general along the way; for instance, critic David Shapiro writes that "Good poets read diligently the infamous best works; great poets read what they need to grow and know," or our favorite, by novelist Jim Lewis: "I’ve read a lot of books: I don’t think I’ve finished any but the bad ones."
Tonight, Brooklyn's Greenlight bookstore is celebrating Archipelago Books, the indie-press dedicated to publishing great literature in translation, such as Norwegian author Karl O. Knausgaard's angelic novel A Time For Everything, a collection of Heinrich von Kleist's eerie prose, and the journals of the late Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish.