Top o’ the Morning

  • Paul Collins has unearthed a new scandal. It seems that author Misha Defonseca was denied royalties for her Holocaust memoir, Misha: A Memoir of the Holocaust Years. A state appeals court upheld a $22.5 million award to Defonseca and her ghostwriter, Vera Lee of Newton. The specific publisher was Mount Ivy Press, founded by Jane Daniel. The court docket for the case can be found here. While Judge Kantrowitz’s opinion is not yet posted, it appears that the judgment amount may have been amended. The question here is whether $22.5 million was genuinely withheld from the two writers or whether the damages might be punitive. (via Moby Lives)
  • Scott Esposito talks with Richard McCann.
  • If Bill Clinton’s memoir wasn’t plodding enough, the paperback version will have additional pages. But get this: the extra pages are being added to acknowledge the criticisms about length. Isn’t that a bit like lighting up a cigarette in front of a cancer patient after you’ve been repeatedly asked to put it out?
  • Apparently, David Cronenberg wasn’t even in the running for the Palme d’Or for his new film, A History of Violence. As a Cronenberg fan, I blame Toni Morrison.
  • The University of Texas, now in the business of withholding books and volumes from undergraduates, will be getting Norman Mailer’s archives. The archives will be shipped with a full-scale reproduction of Mailer’s ego for articulate Third Wave feminists to whittle down in a nanosecond.
  • The “dead white male” reading list debate has been revived on the East Coast. But it appears that some teachers may be playing the multicultural card because Great Expectations is too hard for some students to read and because dense books like Heart of Darkness can’t be taught by teachers, even after playing the film Apocalypse Now in class. One reading list replacement is John Irving’s A Prayer for Owen Meany. Irving is inarguably white and male and some might argue that he is dead on page.
  • A $53,609 check was awarded to Claire Tomkin, a 21 year old fiction writer. The Sophie Kerr Award is the largest undergraduate literary award in the nation.

One Comment

  1. You gotta love something about Willie. Not only does he write the hugest memoir in recent memory, but then he tacks on for the paperback version to assail critics of the cloth edition.

    I can’t help it man. He was a middle-of-the-road corporate-friendly Democrat, but I still miss him.

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