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Tag: Haruki Murakami (1-5 of 5)

On the Books: There are too many poets laureate in the U.S.

The New York Times examines the rampant wave of poets laureate in the United States. “‘I’ve been to places where there is a poet laureate for every ZIP code,’ Billy Collins, a former United States and New York State laureate, said. ‘The country is crawling with them. I think it’s out of control.’” [The New York Times]

An excerpt from Haruki Murakami’s upcoming book, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, and an interactive introduction to the novel. [Slate]

Diamond, a comic book distribution company, released its mid-2014 state-of-the-industry report. Comic book merchandise sales are up, but actual comic book sales are down. [Publishers Weekly]

Andrew Crofts, one of the most successful writers you’ve never heard of, speaks about his ghostwriting career. He’s written 80 books in 40 years, and his books have sold over 10 million copies. He earns more than most professional writers, and charges an average of six figures (in pounds) for his books. [The Guardian]

Reviewing three new books about banned literature (UlyssesDoctor Zhivago, and The Satanic Verses), Leo Robinson digs into the history of literary censorship. “An often heard literary argument against censorship is that—as well as misrepresenting novels—it dominates their reputations.” [The New Statesman]

In a wide-ranging interview, The Rumpus talks to novelist and Authors Guild co-vice president Ricard Russo about the Amazon-Hachette dispute, a career in writing fiction, and the future of publishing. [The Rumpus]

The New Yorker highlights five pieces from its archive about New York City. [The New Yorker]

On the Books: Reviews are in for Hillary Clinton's new memoir

Clinton.jpg

Reviews are pouring in for Hillary Clinton’s new memoir Hard Choices, and they’re all over the map. Robin Abcarian at the Los Angeles Times writes that the book “leaves no room for doubt about how she might conduct foreign policy (pragmatically), how she will defend herself against charges that she mishandled the attack on the American compound in Benghazi, Libya (robustly) and about how much she regrets giving President George W. Bush carte blanche to wage war against Iraq (deeply and eternally).” Michiko Kakutani over at the New York Times calls it “a subtle, finely calibrated work that provides a portrait of the former secretary of state and former first lady as a heavy-duty policy wonk” and compares it favorably to Clinton’s 2003 book, Living History. On the other hand, Isaac Chotiner at The New Republic refutes Kakutani, saying her review is filled with generalizations. He writes, “if Kakutani is going to make claims for the book’s merits, she must follow through on her generic praise, and offer some sense of what is valuable in the book, or at least some sense of what she enjoyed about it.” And at Slate, critic John Dickerson says it’s filled with “safe, methodical writing.” In keeping with tradition, Clinton doesn’t reveal whether she’s running for president in 2016. Okay, Hillary; whatever you say. READ FULL STORY

On The Books: join the Beat Generation with Ferlinghetti's travel journals

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, the Beat poet and co-founder of City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco, has sold the rights to his travel journals to Liveright Publishing. They plan to release the collection, titled Writing Across the Landscape: Travel Journals (1950-2013), in September 2015. It sounds like it will be a counterculture travel guide and a historical snapshot of the second half of the 20th century rolled into one. The New York Times reports:

The journal material, most of it being published for the first time, sheds as much light on Mr. Ferlinghetti’s political passions as on his relationships with the Beat writers. His itinerary takes him to Mexico, Haiti and North Africa, to Cuba in the throes of the Castro revolution, to Franco’s Spain, to Soviet Russia for the 1968 Writers’ Congress, and to Nicaragua under the Sandinistas. It also includes his frequent trips to Italy and to France, where he lived for four years while pursuing a doctorate at the Sorbonne in Paris. Along the way, he records his encounters with Pablo Neruda, Ezra Pound, Ernesto Cardenal, Yevgeny Yevtushenko and Andrei Voznesensky.

On April 18th, Haruki Murakami will publish his first collection of short stories in nine years. The title “Onna no Inai Otokotachi” translates to “Men Without Women” and will be a compilation of short novels that have previously appeared in magazines, as well as one new offering. Apparently there was some scandal around the story “Drive My Car — Men Without Women.” The town featured in the story was offended by Murakami’s portrayal. Supposedly he apologized, but then he went and named the whole collection after that story, so that’s confusing. I’ll chalk it up to “lost in translation.” [Yahoo]

Some post-grad student at Cambridge translated Lorem Ipsum, that swatch of dummy text that acts as a placeholder in the publishing biz. I love finding meaning in nonsense. It’s almost a superstition, when I walk down the street and I try to make sentences out of the snippets of words from graffiti, old posters, torn stickers–in case it’s a secret message for me. Like the little boy in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. In this case, it paid off. The translated paragraph reads almost like e.e. cummings. The first sentence: “Rrow itself, let it be sorrow; let him love it; let him pursue it, ishing for its acquisitiendum.” This doesn’t come as a total surprise because the text was originally pasted together by a 16th-century printer who “got there by mangling Cicero’s ‘De finibus bonorum et malorum’, an exposition of Stoicism, Epicureanism and the Platonism of Antiochus of Ascalon.” [London Review of Books]
Over at the Guardian, Adrian McKinty has written a literary jaunt through the historical and futuristic settings of fantasy novels, all in service of the question: When and where is Game of Thrones set? Read it for a full explanation because he has some very interesting examples, but his final conclusion is that Game of Thrones is set “not in some canned version of our medieval past but in the far future when the continents have shifted and some humans have evolved extraordinary physical and mental abilities which, to paraphrase Arthur C. Clarke, are indistinguishable from magic…As the sun expands, Earth’s orbit becomes more eccentric and massive variations in climate are to be expected, resulting in stretched-out summers and long, deadly winters.”

On The Books: Murakami's new novel; plus, audiobooks with Neil Gaiman, Roald Dahl, Bill Bryson

Haruki Murakami’s new novel, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, will be published in the U.S. on August 12th. The book has been out in Japan since last April and sold more than a million copies in its first week. The Guardian writes that the story “hinges around Tsukuru Tazaki, an isolated 36-year-old man struggling to overcome the trauma of rejection by his high-school friends years earlier. Like its title, the novel’s opening line might not sound like obvious best-seller material: ‘From July of his sophomore year at college to January next year, Tsukuru Tazaki was living while mostly thinking about dying.’”

READ FULL STORY

On the Books: Pat Conroy wants film adaptation of memoir; World Book Night to give away Stephen Chbosky's 'Perks'

Who does Pat Conroy have in mind to star in a film adaptation of his memoir? Which books will be given away for World Book Night? Who’s on all the shortlists? Answers to those and more top headlines below:

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