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Tag: Publishing Biz (11-20 of 128)

On The Books: Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers has a memoir (This is not a Fool's joke)

Calling all RHCP fans: Flea has penned a memoir! A publication date hasn’t been set, but sometime soon you will be able to peek inside the mind of the bassist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who has probably seen more in his 51 years than anyone alive. Born Michael Balzary, Flea is originally from the suburbs of New York, but he moved to Los Angeles as a kid to live with his bohemian step-father. In high school he met Anthony Kiedis and the rest is history. He said that the memoir will cover his young, rebellious life on the streets of LA, founding the Red Hot Chili Peppers with Kiedis and two other high school friends; details about his sometimes complex friendship and collaboration with Kiedis; his myriad experiences with hard drugs; and, of course, the tumultuous creative journey of the legendary Red Hot Chili Peppers through its various incarnations over the last 30 years. Sounds like an epic.

I hope you’re all watching your back today because April Fool’s Day can be dangerous — especially for gullible types like me. Here’s an easy (but funny) one: Penguin announced a new imprint today called Penguin Now! In order to appeal to Millennials with their internet-speak and emojis and ADHD, Penguin will (fake) publish a series of classic novels replacing all full-stop periods with exclamation points! The publisher gleefully announed, “By using exclamation marks over and over again, the reader is reminded of the urgency of the story at the end of every sentence. It’s a great way of preventing potentially inattentive readers from tuning out, putting the book down and wandering off, without altering the original text too much.” My favorite example: Thomas Hardy (who is pretty much the anti-exclamation) gets an attitude adjustment in Jude the Obscure: “But no one came! Because no one ever does!” Or Albert Camus (another Sour Sally) in L’Etranger: “Mother died today! Or yesterday, I don’t know!” …kinda wish they would actually print some of these. [Penguin]

Not a joke – Jane Goodall has finally addressed accusations that she plagiarized passages of her book, Seeds of Hope, from various web sources. Jane is an amazing scientist and advocate who deserves a break on this at 79 years old. “I don’t think anybody who knows me would accuse me of deliberate plagiarism,” she says and I don’t know her, but I would bet that is true. She’s no Stephen Glass. Although I do think it’s a bit strange that she says her note-taking isn’t very methodical…isn’t that like rule number one for a scientist? [Mosaic]

Here’s an April Fool’s quiz for you. How well do you know your literary hoaxes and frauds? (Apparently I know very little…)

On The Books: 'Gone With The Wind' prequel centers on Mammy

The Margaret Mitchell estate has authorized a prequel to Gone With The Wind which will follow the life of the house slave, Mammy. Donald McCaig is authoring the book,called Ruth’s Journey, which is slated for publication in October. McCaig also wrote Rhett Butler’s People, one of two sequels to the epic Southern tale. Gone with the Wind has sold hundreds of millions of copies since its publication in 1936 and it won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1937. Of course we can’t forget the Oscar-winning movie from 1939 starring Clark Gable, Vivian Leigh and the inimitable Hattie McDaniel as Mammy. Mammy captured hearts with her staunch morality, loyalty, and best of all, her harsh verbal lashings of Miss Scarlett. McCaig plans to delve into Mammy’s past, and the first order of business is to give her a real name (since Mitchell never did): Ruth. The story begins in 1804, when Ruth is brought from her birthplace, the French colony of Saint-Domingue that is now known as Haiti, to Savannah, GA where she will end up with Scarlett’s mother, Ellen. [New York Times]

The American Scholar has made a list of the “Ten Best Sentences” ever written. That’s a tall order. NPR’s All Things Considered has an interview with associate editor Margaret Foster, who explains their reasoning. No real surprises in the author’s on the list (although some of the chosen sentences are odd): Joan Didion, James Joyce, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Truman Capote, Toni Morrison, Ernst Hemingway, Charles Dickens, Tim O’Brien, Vladimir Nabokov, John Hersey and Jane Austen. Austen is a bit of a surprise. I wouldn’t say her writing is the pinnacle of our craft. My choices for authors would be very different. I’d have to include Cormac McCarthy, Edward Abbey, Raymond Chandler, and David Foster Wallace. What sentences or authors would make your list? [American Scholar]

Ian Fleming, the author who created James Bond, was a notorious womanizer — color me stunned. And a series of love letters and postcards that he wrote to one of his girlfriends are being auctioned off in London. The auctioneer writes that the relationship was “typically tempestuous with hints of sadomasochism.” Here’s a quote from one of the letters:

I will only buy the castle if you will live with me there. So, do you offer yourself or not, everything included, naturally. High class ninny, the dust is a meter deep in the apartment. Since the day you went away, I have not been back there again, and there must be some letters for you there. Your flowers must be there too. When will you come back and clean everything up? You can have it whenever you want to and I won’t “bother” you, and you won’t have to watch out for my lies. Please, Edith, come. I can’t use the apartment in any case, because it still stinks of you (should I have said smells), and besides no candidate is available. [Peter Harrington]

Meg Wolitzer, author of The Interestings, wrote a piece in The New Yorker about what cultural things she drew upon for inspiration in her novel. Wolitzer’s sharp sense of humor is a treat for the Thursday slump. She says she subscribes to the “ ‘give yourself treats’ school of writing. (Not to be confused with the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.)” I subscribe to that school too.

Jonathan Schell, author of many nonfiction books on 20th century warfare, died of cancer on Tuesday at his home in Brooklyn. One of his most famous books is The Village of Ben Suc (1967), which chronicled the systematic devastation of a South Vietnamese village by American forces during the Vietnam War. [New York Times]

On The Books: Alice Munro is so money

In honor of the Nobel laureate winner, Canada has put Alice Munro on a new collector’s coin. The Guardian reports that the engraving on the coin is of an “ethereal female figure emerging from a pen as a representation of one of the many central characters from Alice Munro’s beloved short stories,” said the Mint, as well as an image of an open book, inscribed with a passage from Munro’s The View from Castle Rock. Two other notable author’s are getting honored by mints around the world: Jane Austen will be appearing on future £10 notes in England and Astrid Lindgren her character Pippi Longstocking will grace Sweden’s 20 kronor notes next year. The irony is not lost on me. Attention writers: you will be penniless in life, but after death — if you’re lucky — they’ll be printing money with your face on it.

A previously unpublished short story by Tennessee Williams is going to be printed in The Strand magazine’s spring issue. It’s called “Crazy Nights” and it’s about his college girlfriend, Anna Jean, who he dated at the University of Missouri. The themes are similar to his other works and the characters are titular, cynical and filled with disappointment. His narrator enjoys “the ultimate degree of intimacy” with Anna Jean. “Both her arms were lifted toward me,” wrote Williams. “I had fallen between them. And the rest of what happened between us was a blind thing, almost involuntary, drawing from us both something that seemed hardly a part of ourselves.” [The Guardian]

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On The Books: Jimmy Carter talks biblical misogyny and an author imagines Hitler is a comedian

It’s a weird collection of book news this Monday. To start with, Jimmy Carter has a new book, A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power, which hits shelves tomorrow. The 39th President has published more than 25 books during his career, covering everything from history to politics to “The Virtues of Aging.” But his newest book is on the subjugation of women around the world, looking closely at how religion is used as a tool of oppression. NPR interviewed the former president this weekend and you can listen to an excerpt on their website.

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On the Books: Elizabeth Vargas is penning a memoir

News anchor Elizabeth Vargas has announced that she is penning a memoir about her struggle with anxiety and alcoholism. The untitled project will be released by Grand Central Publishing in Spring 2016. Grand Central said that the 20/20 anchor’s memoir will be “a no-holds-barred account of growing up with crippling anxiety and of turning to alcohol for relief.  She’ll divulge how she found herself living a dark double life and will share personal stories of her despair, her time in rehab, and, ultimately, her recovery process.” Vargas found solace in reading stories by other women who had battled alcoholism and she feels like it’s her turn to share. “I have spent my entire life telling other peoples’ stories,” she said. “This one is my own, and is incredibly personal: the burden and the loneliness of the secret drinker.  If just one other person can relate to it, it will make my own story worth writing, and I will have paid the gift forward.” READ FULL STORY

On The Books: Soon you can read Tolkien's 'Beowulf'

A new book from Tolkien! HarperCollins has the rights to JRR Tolkien’s translation of Beowulf, which will be published on May 22nd and edited by his son, Christopher. Tolkien translated the oldest extant poem in Old English in 1926, but never had it published. The book will feature a selection of lectures on Beowulf given by Tolkien at Oxford in the 1930’s. Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary is the first new book from Tolkien since the narrative poem “The Fall of Arthur,” which came out last year. [The Bookseller] 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: David Nicholls takes on 'Us,' his first book after 'One Day'

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David Nicholls, the author behind the novel One Day — which sold 5 million copies worldwide and garnered a film adaptation starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess — has finally announced a publication date for his next novel. After five years in the works, Us will hit shelves on September 30, 2014. This story is about a family on the brink of dissolution — a husband and wife of 21 years who are about to call it quits and their college-bound son. But before everything falls apart, the husband takes them on a grand tour of Europe in hopes of knitting their lives back together. So this is basically the flip side of One Day, which was a 20-year search for romance; Us is a 20-year breakdown of love. While ruminating on Us, Nicholls also wrote the screen adaptation of Great Expectations for the version released last year starring Helena Bonham Carter and Ralph Fiennes.  [The Guardian]

Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch will also be getting a screen adaptation, although the scope of that project hasn’t been decided yet. The producers behind The Hunger Games films have optioned the book, but they’re waiting on “the right filmmaker” to determine the book’s cinematic future, which could be a television miniseries or a movie. The Goldfinch has been gaining more and more momentum since its October 2013 release. The New York Times named it one of the best books of 2013 and it has been nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Bailey Prize. [The Wrap]

Serhiy Zhadan — Ukraine’s most famous counterculture writer according to The New Yorker — suffered a violent beating at the hands of a pro-Russian mob on Saturday. Photos of his bloody face made the rounds online, but he posted this note on his Facebook page to reassure his supporters: “Friends, with me everything is okay.” Zhadan is a national icon in Ukraine and his abuse will reverberate through the Ukrainian populace. Unfortunately The New Yorker reports that:

Now, Zhadan is back in the hospital—his jaw has not been healing properly. But, he wrote in an e-mail, the beating has not deterred him. “It’s very simple,” he wrote. “I don’t want to live in a country of corruption and injustice. I, like millions of other Ukrainians, would like to have a normal measure of power. A dictatorship is not normal, and people who don’t protest injustice, they have no future.”

On The Books: Grasshopper Jungle might be a movie

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Hollywood hasn’t finished with the story trend of teens struggling to find their identity in a post-apocalyptic dystopia yet.  The most recent YA novel to get snatched up by movie executives is Grasshopper Jungle, which was just optioned by Sony. Scott Rosenberg (Con Air, Beautiful Girls, High Fidelity) plans to adapt the script. The novel is about a 16-year-old boy who inadvertently unleashes a plague of insects that turn the populace into mindless super-soldiers looking to eat, have sex and kill things — basically a bizarre take on the Pandora’s Box myth. Apparently author Andrew Smith carries it off with some verve though because we gave it an A- in our review. Movie-wise, I’d say this would come in around Planet of the Apes mixed with 28 Days Later and multiplied by that Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode, “Teachers Pet.” Can’t wait.

A new campaign called Let Books Be Books aims to end gender bias in the presentation of children’s books. They’re calling for publishers to remove “for boys” and “for girls” labels from kids books, as well as make the covers more gender neutral. This idea has been swirling for a long time, but it seems to be gaining more momentum recently…or maybe I’m just thinking of that amazing GoldieBox commercial for girl’s toys. [Guardian]

On that note, there’s a great essay by Anna Holmes in The New Yorker called “How to be a Good Bad American Girl.” Holmes looks at the legacy of troublesome little girls in American literature, specifically Harriet the Spy and To Kill A Mockingbird. “Harper Lee and Louise Fitzhugh taught their readers that difference, nonconformity, and even subversion should be celebrated in young girls,” she writes. “These qualities are the prerequisites for, and not the enemies of, creativity, curiosity, and insight.” [New Yorker]

The longlist of 20 nominees for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction was just announced today. Lots of great women made the cut. I don’t envy the judges’ job of narrowing this down to a winner for June, 4th. Check out the nominees below.

  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah
  • Margaret Atwood, MaddAddam
  • Suzanne Berne, The Dogs of Littlefield
  • Fatima Bhutto, The Shadow of the Crescent Moon
  • Claire Cameron, The Bear
  • Lea Carpenter, Eleven Days
  • M.J. Carter, The Strangler Vine
  • Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries
  • Deborah Kay Davies, Reasons She Goes to the Woods
  • Elizabeth Gilbert, The Signature of All Things
  • Hannah Kent, Burial Rites
  • Rachel Kushner, The Flamethrowers
  • Jhumpa Lahiri, The Lowland
  • Audrey Magee, The Undertaking
  • Eimear McBride, A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing
  • Charlotte Mendelson, Almost English
  • Anna Quindlen, Still Life with Bread Crumbs
  • Elizabeth Strout, The Burgess Boys
  • Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch
  • Evie Wyld, All The Birds, Singing

Touchstone cancels publication of @GSElevator book 'Straight to Hell'

Touchstone just sent out a press release saying they have cancelled publication of John LeFevre’s Straight to Hell. LeFevre was the banker behind the Twitter account for @GSElevator, which supposedly chronicled conversations overheard in the Goldman Sachs elevators. (Wolf of Wall Street-worthy quotes like: “I never give money to homeless people. I can’t reward failure in good conscience.”) On Feb 24, Dealbook outed the man behind the tweets as a Citigroup bond executive, not a Goldman Sachs employee, and a fury erupted online as people took sides — to care or not to care about his lack of genuine GS employment? LeFevre defended his twitter-scheme at Business Insider: “The issue of my anonymity was simply a device, and one that has suited the construct of the Twitter feed,” he wrote on Tuesday. “GSElevator has never been an anonymous person. It’s not a person at all. It’s the embodiment or aggregation of ‘every banker,’ a concentrated reflection of a Wall Street culture and mentality. Newsflash: GSElevator has never been about elevators. And, it’s never been specifically about Goldman Sachs; it’s about illuminating Wall Street culture in a fun and entertaining way.”

Apparently, Touchstone isn’t buying the explanation. The publisher released this statement: “In light of information that has recently come to our attention since acquiring John Lefevre’s Straight to Hell, Touchstone has decided to cancel its publication of this work.”

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