Roundup

  • Just when you thought it was safe to return to the bookstores, an author named Barbara Delinksy has actually revived the Peyton Place series. Is Peyton Place as scandalous as it once was? Can it hope to restore the same admixture of wonder and scandal that Grace Metalious used to enchant Eisenhower voters? Well, I have my doubts. Not because Delinsky’s written 70 books or because she was kind enough to write to us from the lake, but because she can’t spell “germane “.
  • A Yeats album has fetched 72,000 at an auction. The album includes 18 letters from Yeats to his friend, Sir Sidney Cockerell, and the manuscript of his essay, “The Tragic Theatre.” There is also an original draft of one of Yeats’ poems that reads, “When you are old and grey and full of water,/And a WC cannot be found and you shall burst, scream for help.” But this work appears to have been abandoned.
  • Gunter Grass is interviewed by Deutsche Welle during one of his regular visits to Gdnask. I wish I were making this up, but it looks like Grass was even asked to beat a tin drum. What next? Asking Grass to wear a dog suit or asking him to play cat and mouse?
  • For the 100th anniversary of Dreiser’s An American Tragedy, Herkimer County hopes to commemorate the murder that inspired Dreiser. Police have been commissioned to prevent die-hard Dreiserites from going too far during the festivities.
  • Pop quiz: Does the phrase “Thousands more are demanding ownership” come from an article on eminent domain or the Harry Potter hoopla. Here’s your answer.
  • As widely reported, publisher Bryon Preiss has died.
  • And bookmobiles may be dying in the States, but they’re thriving in Indonesia.
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One Comment

  1. And she writes “natch” – a level-one offense in my world.
    Am I a hippocrit for not going to a referred dentist because she could not spell? Absolutely.

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Roundup

  • Cory Doctorow’s Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town, a very nutty-looking novel about Alan, the son of a mountain and a washing machine, is, like Cory’s other books, available for download under a Creative Commons license.
  • Well beyond the war over “chick lit” (a term that, as far as I’m concerned, refers to those tasty square blocks of gum rather than books) is the more visible war over “women’s fiction.” Elizabeth Berg is the latest to complain.
  • In an unfortunate scenario straight out of Nicholson Baker’s Double Fold, Matthew J. Bruccoli has put out a $1,000 reward for missing volumes of the Pottsville Journal between 1924 and 1926. On those microfilms are John O’Hara’s early newspaper work. Bruccoli believes that Gibbsville, O’Hara’s infamous town modeled after Pottsville, was formed in this early journalism.
  • An NYU academic claims to have figured out how “The Waste Land” was written. Even stranger, it involves the FBI.
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  1. Ed – that’s York University, not NYU.

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Roundup

  • As reported several places, Jonathan Coe has won the Samuel Johnson nonfiction prize for Like a Fiery Elephant: The Story of B.S. Johnson.
  • Edward Jones has won this year’s IMPAC award.
  • The Blog Story thing is making the rounds. Sarah and Gwenda have offerings.
  • In Congo, 1,000 die per day: why isn’t it a news story?
  • To hell with Michael Jackson. Apparently, Pretenders frontwoman Chrissie Hynde, who is a big fan of Martin Amis, got drunk and attacked him at a book signing. The moral of the story? Celebrities are scarier than regular Joes.
  • Ellen Feldman’s new novel speculates on what happened to Peter van Pels, the boy that Anne Frank had a crush on.
  • Haruki Murakami still contends that he’s not part of the literary establishment. There’s also some stuff in the article about writing routines and the like.
  • It looks like the Village Voice might be taken a cue from the litblogosphere. Not only has their books section included readings, but they’re now sending Ed Park to cover book signings.
  • Online dating services are doing big box office in Australia. We’re talking $15 million a year. What’s interesting is that the people who use this dating services (at least in Australia) seem terrified by the idea of meeting someone at a pub. There are some 1,700 services that exist which cater to specific crowds. And now there’s a consumer’s guide available purporting to explain whether these services actually work.
  • Tiffany Murray lists her top ten dark comedies.
  • Bono on Bono: Must we feed this man’s ego any further by printing a book on this?
  • Birnbaum dances with Alma Guillermoprieto.
  • And Galleycat gets to the bottom of this whole eBay ARC-selling bidness.
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