Banker-turned-novelist Amish Tripathi has scored an unprecedented $1 million advance from an Indian publisher for his forthcoming trilogy. The Guardian explains: “Tripathi is one of a new wave of writers selling huge quantities of books which mix reimagined ancient Hindu myths, history, narrative and spiritual wisdom [to] retell stories often drawn from the everyday experiences of middle-class Indian youth in simple language.”

Citing financial pressures, the Washington Post has announced that starting next Monday, it will begin running sponsored content on its website. Ponyter wryly notes that “the challenges related to publishing sponsored content would almost certainly be a topic addressed by the Washington Post ombudsperson—except the paper eliminated that position last week.”

Philip Roth’s hometown of Newark, New Jersey, is celebrating the writer’s eightieth birthday on March 19 with Roth-themed bus trips around the city. For $35, the tour will take participants to Roth’s old high school, the local courthouse, and “various spots in the Weequahic neighborhood, where Mr. Roth was born and raised.”

The “largest literary conference in North America” kicks off tomorrow in Boston, but if you can’t make AWP this year, Seth Oelbaum at HTMLGiant assures you there’s no need to worry: “AWP has little relation to literature,” he writes in an essay complaining about the event’s existence. “Only around one percent of the attendees make literature.”

Susan Orlean’s next book is about the Los Angeles Central Public Library, and the 1986 fire that nearly destroyed it.

Two hundred flame retardant, asbestos-bound copies of Ray Bradbury’s Farenheit 451 are on sale at AbeBooks for $20,000 a pop.

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