Gary Shteyngart

In a bid to direct the upcoming adaptation of the wildly popular Fifty Shades of Gray novels, director Gus Van Sant has shot a sex scene starring actor Alex Pettyfer as fictional billionaire Christian Grey. Focus Features and Universal Studios haven’t chosen a director yet, but Van Sant is hoping that the scene—which reportedly depicts the moment in which “the impressionable Anastasia Steele loses her virginity to Grey”—will prompt them to make a decision.

Sloane Crosley—the author of two collections of personal essays, I Was Told There'd Be Cake and How Did You Get This Number—has sold her first novel, The Clasp, to FSG.

After five years at the helm of literary magazine Granta, editor John Freeman is leaving to teach and write in New York.

Frustrated at what he perceives as a lack of fight in publishing surrounding the industry's declining fortunes, James Patterson took out full-page ads in Publishers Weekly, the New York Times Book Review, and Kirkus that ask, "Who will save our books? Our bookstores? Our libraries?"

Gary Shteyngart’s next book will be a memoir, his publisher announced this week. According to Random House, Little Failure, which will be released in January 2013, is a “candid and deeply poignant story of a Soviet family that comes to America in 1979 to find its future.”

After sixteen years, husband-and-wife “celebrity translation team” Richard Peavear and Larissa Volokhonsky have finally finished translating all of Tolstoy. And that’s not all they’ve been working on: “Their output, spilling over tens of thousands of pages and encompassing the hundred-fifty-year golden age of Russian literature, rivals even their most prolific forerunners in both quality and quantity.”

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