An Author’s Life: The Guardian took a hard look at what the life of an author is like, and how it’s changed over the years. Rupert Thomson (The Insult) & Joanna Kavena (The Ice Museum) are the two authors they chronicle as they seek an answer to whether or not this career is viable for them anymore.
Philip Roth Interview: Roth’s Sabbath’s Theater was published almost 20 years ago, and it is being translated into Swedish this year. Roth gave an interview to a Swedish paper and answered some interesting questions, such as what it was like for him to reread all of his 31 titles during his hiatus. “My conclusion, after I’d finished, echoes the words spoken by an American boxing hero of mine, Joe Louis…’I did the best I could with what I had.'”
Looking Forward To: Mountain Goats founder John Darnielle announced his new book this week. Wolf in White Van has a pub date of 9/30/2014 (you can pre-order now). Buzzfeed put together a list of Mountain Goats songs that will not only help you get to know the Mountain Goats, but that also demonstrate Darnielle’s talent for storytelling.
And The Winner Is: George Saunders wins the 2013 Story Prize. Saunder’s The Tenth of December was one of three finalists including Archangel (Andrea Barrett) & Bobcat and Other Stories (Rebecca Lee). The judges included Stephen Enniss, director of the Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin, author Antonya Nelson, and Rob Spillman, editor of literary magazine Tin House.
Award Announcment: The finalists for the PEN/Faulkner Award were announced this week. The winners will be announced on April 12. The finalists are:
- At Night We Walk In Circles by Daniel Alarcon
- Percival Everett by Virgil Russell by Percival Everett
- We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler
- Fools by Joan Silber
- Search Party: Stories of Rescue by Valerie Trueblood
Good Vibes: AWP finished up on Saturday in Seattle and attendees were excited by the “incredible energy” and sense of community. “Rob Spillman of Tin House magazine and books said…’There seems to be a collective optimism,’ he said.”
Indies Shocked by L. A. Festival of Books Decision: Indie booksellers in So Cal are more than a little unnerved by an announcement made by the LA Times Festival of Books this week. Area bookstores were confused and baffled when they saw links to Amazon on the festival website for purchasing books. The L. A. Festival of Books has historically been incredibly supportive of independent bookstores in Los Angeles, most of whom have booths at the festival. Today, Shelf Awareness, covered a number of reactions from booksellers:
- “Of course, we are outraged and disheartened, to say the least,” Maureen Palacios, SCIBA president and owner of Once Upon a Time in Montrose, wrote to members…..” Independent booksellers have a long history with the Festival of Books, she stressed, and are “in it for the long-term.”
- “Why would a literary festival that celebrates the physical book allow a virtual retailer with no history at the festival to siphon off potential book sales? The festival is a huge undertaking for independent stores, many with limited resources, and the amount of preparation required to order books, facilitate load-in logistics and staff the booths is both costly and physically challenging. With a simple click of the mouse, the “buy” button on the festival website sends sales to Amazon thereby giving this online retailer an unprecedented and unfair advantage.”
Listen In: Novelist Lynne Sharon Schwartz shared her recordings of (at the time) up & coming authors with NPR. The story, on their website, talks about the forthcoming release of the readings on CD. The Calliope Author Readings are available for download on their website and include recordings from Philip Roth, James Baldwin, William Styron, & John Updike.
Red Lines: The new Hemingway App goes toe-to-toe with the works of Hemingway, and it doesn’t like what it sees. More than a few publications are having fun seeing the results of plugging in lines from Hemingway’s books into the Hemingway App. The app helps writers edit their work, and it’s much more strict with “the rules” than Papa was, it seems.
Oh, Jugghead: Lena Dunham’s set to pen a four-part story for Archie comics in 2015. A fan of the comics, Denham’s proposed storyline sticks to Archie themes, but has a “definitely unique, Lena spin.”