April 5, 2006

Scandal Follows Author
Two summers ago, Tony Hendra, former editor for National Lampoon, had a best selling memoir called Father Joe. His daughter then accused him of sexually abusing her as a child. He's now promoting his new novel, The Messiah of Morris Avenue with a first printing of 150,000. With litigation still pending about his daughter's case, Hendra cannot speak. So why does Publisher's Weekly and New York magazine make a point of publishing such stories?

Why Secrecy? Why Noms de Plume?
Novelist Jonathan Freedland explains why he is publishing his new novel, The Righteous Men, under the nom de plume Sam Bourne.

Smiley Reads
Novelist Jane Smily will read 100 novels. She hopes to "illuminate the whole concept of the novel." It's an ambitious undertaking, one worth undertaking. In an essay for the Guardian, she explains that her first plan was to read 275, but then it took her a month to read Anna Karenina and almost another to read Moby Dick. She explains that her list of novels is not intended as the 100 Best. Any 100 good novels would suffice. Smiley's study of The Tale of Genji is available here.

While Smiley is reading novels, Melvyn Bragg came up with a dozen British books that have changed the world. One of them is the Football Association Rule Book and not a single novel. Why?

Just Write
It seems a simple concept. For Orhan Pamuk it feels like a luxury after being imprisoned and tried in Turkey for publishing an historical fact. He talks with Aida Edemariam of the Guardian.

Contest Draws Huge Entry
"A new writing prize set up as 'unashamedly elitist' has drawn a big response from hopeful authors. The antional short story contest attracted more than 1,400 entries, between a third and tw0thirds more than its organisers expected–and 10 times the level of the Man Booker or Whitbread novel prize." Read more.

Cooke on Williams
Rachel Cooke, writing for the Observer, chats it up with poet Hugo Williams. He is "exactly how you want a poet to be, almost as if 'poet' was a part he landed in an extremely long-running play." You can hear Rachel moving nervously around the man's home.

Freedom of Expression–not at Gitmo
The Guardian reports that the United States will not return the 25,000 lines of verse that Abdul Rahim Muslim Dost spent in Guantanamo Bay. "My interrogators promised I would get them back. Still I have nothing." Sounds all too similar to Orhan Pamuk's plight.

Grolier Poetry Sold
The oldest poetry bookstore in America–Grolier Poetry Book Shop in Harvard Square–recently was sold to Ifeanyi Mentiki, poet and professor of philosophy at Wellesley College. His latest book–OfAltai, the Bright Light, was published by Earthwinds Editions. The bookstore was a favorite of E.E. Cummings, T.S. Eliot, and Marianne Moore. Read more in Lawrence van Gelder's New York Times article.

Poetry and the News
The assistant managing editor of the Metro section for the Newark Star-Ledger has landed a deal for poetry about the "maligned and grimy practice of journalism." The poet: David Tucker. The work: Late for Work. The book woun the Katharine Bakeless Nason Prize for poetry. Philip Levine says of the poet: "He draws from areas that American poetry hasn't been involved in..David was able to aestheticize his own work in a way that seemed miraculous." Read Dinitia Smith's New York Times article.

Brecht the Obnoxious
There they were. Letters in a Swiss garage owned by Victor Cohen, who recently sold them to German's Academy of Arts. They are from Bertolt Brecht. Read Luke Harding's Guardian article.


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