According to an entertaining article in the New York Observer, it’s a good time to find a job as a writer or an editor—if you’re “talented,” that is! But don’t expect to be lavishly wined and dined: Today’s biggest hires happen over a beer or a cup of coffee.
When is author Shalom Auslander's editor going to get around to reading his manuscript?
Mark Twain scholar Alan Gribben is distressed that Huckleberry Finn has been pushed out of schools because of the book's use of a racial epithet. So, he's creating a new edition of the novel that expunges the slur. Gribben says: "After a number of talks, I was sought out by local teachers, and to a person they said we would love to teach . . . Huckleberry Finn, but we feel we can't do it anymore. In the new classroom, it's really not acceptable.” Meanwhile, Cindy Lovell, executive director of The Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum says "The book is an anti-racist book and to change the language changes the power of the book. . . . He wrote to make us squirm and to poke us with a sharp stick." Discuss.
“What was African-American literature?” A podcast with professor and author Kenneth W. Warren.
New Yorkers: Jami Attenberg’s excellent novel The Melting Season is now out in paperback, and she’s throwing a party at Brooklyn’s Word bookstore tonight. On hand to help her celebrate will be artist Emily Flake, and authors Rosie Schaap, Lisa Hanawalt, Emma Straub, Sarah Glidden, Jason Diamond, Renata Espinosa, Maris Kreizman, and Ron Currie, Jr.
Open Letter publisher Chad Post engages in "wild speculation" over the inflated prices of two books that rival publisher (and Post’s former employer) Dalkey Archive Press is releasing in 2011. Post writes: "This switch from a $12.95 to (the unsellable) $34.95 feels like some sort of punishment or retaliation or something. But where is this punishment directed?"
Many critics have complained about James Frey’s “fiction factory.” Here’s a taste of its product: A film trailer for a recently published book, I Am Number Four, which Frey co-wrote with a Columbia MFA graduate.
James Franco, who is directing a forthcoming film version of Stephen Elliott’s memoir The Adderall Diaries, is carving out an impressive chunk of literary cinema in the near future. He’s directing Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying (from his own screenplay), and is working on a deal with producer Scott Rudin to do Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian.
You heard it here first: Next month, McSweeney’s Press will reportedly publish a compact and shocking novel titled Donald, which, though fiction, will feature events based on the crazy life of Donald Rumsfeld. The authors are said to be Eric B. Martin, author of Winners, and Stephen Elliott, the primary force behind The Rumpus, and the author of the amazing memoir The Adderall Diaries (soon to be a movie directed by James Franco). Elliott is also a seasoned political writer, so this novel should be legit. That said, this information was—like many good scoops—gleaned over drinks at a bar near New York’s Union Square, and might or might not be completely reliable.
What’s up with the New Yorker's recent lack of women authors?
Following in the footsteps of editor Hugo Lindgren, book critic Sam Anderson has left New York magazine for the New York Times Magazine.
In an ominous sign for the beleaguered book-chain, Borders has been forced to delay payments to some publishers. Moby Lives asks: Are we about to become a one-bookstore-chain country? (Meanwhile, Barnes and Noble report their biggest sales ever.)
Three newly unearthed stories by Zora Neale Hurston have scholars Glenda R. Carpio and Werner Sollors revisiting the legacy of the Harlem Renaissance legend.
One of Artist and librarian Rachael Morrison's book-smelling ledgers.
Those were the days: GalleyCat rounds up the top ten publishing stories for each month of 2010.
We love the smell of books in the morning, as does artist and MoMA librarian Rachael Morrison, who spends her lunch-break sniffing each book in MoMA’s library and cataloging her impressions (such as “armpit,” or “cigar smoke and tea”) in an accounting ledger. So far, she’s chronicled the scent of one hundred and fifty tomes out of the library’s three hundred thousand volumes. (via The Rumpus).
Amazon has announced a breakthrough in the Kindle’s software that allows users to lend an e-book.
While catching up on the vast number of "best books of 2010" lists that have flooded literary channels lately, a sense of panic is sure to set in: So many Great books, so little time. Where to begin? The Guardian has posted the perfect starting point: “Five best lines from the year's best books.” And, the list has a great litmus test for those still debating whether or not to read Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom. We're sure the line from that little-known novel will strike you as either soulfully profound or laughably pretentious: “There's a hazardous sadness to the first sounds of someone else's work in the morning; it's as if stillness experiences pain in being broken.”