More than ten million copies of Fifty Shades of Gray have been sold in the U.S. since it went on sale six weeks ago.
One reason why it’s so difficult to predict literary longevity is because of the “high-school popularity problem,” Tom Vanderbilt theorizes, noting that the qualities that make people popular in high school (or the literary world) like being the “radiant prom king, adorned with varsity letters” don’t translate into long-lasting success. So what does make an author last? Getting your book adapted into film, writing at least one best-seller, and becoming central to an intellectual movement.
We’re having a little too much fun procrastinating with grammar-nerd game “I Shot the Serif.”
Triple Canopy runs an excerpt of Ariana Reines’s translation of Tiqqun’s Preliminary Materials for a Theory of the Young-Girl.
After seventeen years, mobile services company Orange has announced that it will withdraw funding for its annual women’s fiction prize, ending the UK’s longest continuous arts sponsorship. The prize is designed to “celebrate excellence, originality and accessibility in women's writing from around the world,” and grants winners £30,000 “and a bronze figurine known as ‘the Bessie’.” Award founder Kate Mosse says that the prize is currently on the hunt for a new sponsor.
Though word of mouth suggests that fewer publishers will be at Book Expo America this year, this announcement might draw them back: on June 6—the second day of the three-day conference—Patti Smith will be interviewing Neil Young on stage. Young’s memoir, Waging Heavy Peace, will come out in October with Blue Rider Press.
And speaking of Patti Smith, here’s a Spitify playlist of all the songs mentioned in her memoir, Just Girls.