Ben Lerner’s excellent novel Leaving the Atocha Station has won the Believer Book Award.
A federal judge in Montana has cleared author Greg Mortenson of fraud and racketeering charges surrounding the publication of Three Cups of Tea, Mortenson’s book about building schools in Central Asia. Mortenson was sued last year after journalist Jon Krakauer accused him of exaggerating the story and of using donations from his charity to promote the book. The judge did not rule on whether the accusations were true—only that they were too “flimsy” to form the basis of a lawsuit.
Bioeconomics of Fisheries Management and Succeeding with Technology are two of the very few Western titles permitted at the ten-day-long Tehran Book Fair, which opens in the Iranian capital today, and is expected to draw up to 550,000 people a day. In previous years, the Fair has been an excuse for Iranian authors to censor books and publishers, though the Los Angeles Times writes that this doesn’t mean that the books disappear entirely: “Despite the firm dictates of religious and cultural ministers, a vibrant underground market for banned books and movies exists in Tehran.” One Tehran man even bragged to the paper, “Give me any banned or illegal book. I can copy it exactly like the original one in less than a week and market it in the network across the country.”
Steven King really, really wants to pay more taxes.
Charles Felix’s The Notting Hill Mystery, believed to be the world’s first detective novel, is back in print after one hundred and fifty years. According to the Guardian, the novel is about kidnapping, hypnotism, and crimes "in their nature and execution too horrible to contemplate"
Erika Anderson offers some observations on author photos: While fiction writers are typically photographed outdoors—usually in front of a bench, tree, or brick wall—poets tend to stay inside, and are “the only ones who wear hats or leather jackets with nothing underneath.” Regardless of genre, chunky sweaters, scarves, and “anything black” are always acceptable. (We personally long for a return of the author photo that also includes animals: See Jane Bowles and Barbara Pym.)
Johanna Kamradt has created an infographic charting the themes of this year’s Booker Prize-nominated novels.