According to the MobyLives blog, NPR has one rule about authors, which is known as the "dibs system": "No one can appear on more than one NPR show. Ever." Unless, that is, you're Michele Norris, author of The Grace of Silence, a new memoir about her family's racial history (and myths). Since that book appeared in stores, Morris has appeared on four different NPR shows, which might or might not have something to do with the fact that she is a co-host of NPR's All Things Considered. The coverage has been controversial enough that Alicia Shepard, NPR's ombudsman, has issued a report explaining the network's first-ever "fourfecta." In any case, publishers are probably annoyed because NPR is such eagerly sought coverage: It's well-known among book publicists that an author appearance on one of the network's shows usually results in more sales than most print reviews can deliver.
Amazon's new iPhone app allows you to scan book barcodes—when you're, say, in a bookstore—and to buy the book (for a discount) from Amazon immediately (before you've left the bookstore). But just when you marvel at how much technology is changing the publishing business, PW wonders if iBooks is a failure.
Salon's Laura Miller gives an award to the book awards: The Booker Prize, she says, is the best.
“If the intensity of the Roth of old, the ‘major’ Roth, has died down, has anything new come in its place?” J.M. Coetzee covers Philip Roth’s latest novel, Nemesis, for the New York Review of Books. (An issue highlight: Geoffrey O'Brien's review of Duke Ellington's America.)
In the excellent new edition of FSG's Work in Progress, President Obama reflects on Nelson Mandela, Edith Grossman and Natasha Wimmer (who are known for their English versions of Don Quixote and Roberto Bolano, respectively) talk about translating Nobel Prize Winner Mario Vargas Llosa, and Richard Howard and Marion Duvert discuss Roland Barthes.