Friday, July 11, 2008

Author Du Jour: Jennifer Haigh

(Stolen whole from Wikipedia)
Jennifer Wasilko Haigh is an American novelist and short story writer. Her critically acclaimed novel Mrs. Kimble (2003) won the PEN/Hemingway Award for Outstanding First Fiction.
Haigh was born in Barnesboro, PA, and is a 1990 graduate of Dickinson College. She earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Iowa Writers' Workshop in 2002. Her short stories have appeared in Good Housekeeping, The Hartford Courant, The Alaska Quarterly Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. She lives on Boston's South Shore.
Her second book, Baker Towers (2005), was a New York Times bestseller and won the 2006 PEN/L.L. Winship award for best book by a New England writer.
Her third novel, The Condition will be published by HarperCollins in July, 2008 traces the dissolution of a proper New England family when their only daughter is diagnosed with Turner's Syndrome, a chromosomal abnormality that keeps her from going through puberty.

Interview Links
Chester College School Paper
Eye On Books (audio interview)

Author's Official Website
Click here

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Rushdie Wins Hyperbolic 'Best Ever' Award
(But what happens when they hand out next year's?)

Via NPR:
Salman Rushdie is probably the Booker Prize's best-known winner. Now he is officially the best.Rushdie's 1981 novel "Midnight's Children" was named Thursday as the greatest-ever winner of Britain's most prestigious literary award. The book received more than a third of the 7,801 votes cast in a competition to mark the prize's 40th anniversary.

To continue this article, click here.

Book News, In Brief

Russia has banned a Hitler-themed history book because it contains quotes from der Fuhrer which are offensive to Russians and Jews. I guess they wanted a kinder, gentler genocidal madman.

Got cancer? The vultures at HCI are circling overhead, looking for cancer stories for an upcoming Chicken Soup for the Soul book. Note: They only want inspirational cancer stories. Sad ones, tragic ones, and ones that end in death simply do not sell. The submission deadline lifeline is August 31.

The 101 year old executor of Franz Kafka's estate has finally died, freeing up the author's until-now unseen private papers. Don't get me wrong, it's never nice when someone dies, but when you don't know that someone, and that someone has been selfishly sitting on a literary goldmine for the past forty years...well, I ain't crying, that's all I'm saying.

From WOOD TV: A Christian publisher Zondervan is facing a $60 million federal lawsuit filed by a man who claims he and other homosexuals have suffered based on what the suit claims is a misinterpretation of the Bible. Does anyone really think that this guy is going to win? In today's courts? The fact that they still make you swear in on a Bible leads me to believe that the case is doomed.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Disney Book News, In Brief

R.I.P. Thomas M. Disch, 68; prolific science-fiction writer and author of The Brave Little Toaster, the children's book that was later made by Disney into an animated film. For a longer, more fitting obituary, click here.

In a previous D.B.N. update, I mentioned the upcoming release of Jeff Kurtti and Bruce Gordon's long awaited book, Walt Disney's Legends of Imagineering and the Genesis of the Disney Theme Parks. Well, Didier Ghez has just posted an interview with Kurtti, and it's a good one.

Disney has released some new info about their upcoming comics venture, Kingdom Comics, at Wizard World Chicago. Here's a bit of it, via Adventures In A Strange Land: If you'll remember a month or so ago Disney announced that they were launching a comic book company called Kingdom Comics. Well, this was a panel to show that they are serious. They've hired Ahmet Zappa, and Christian Beranek to head it up and both were on hand to 'answer questions'. Unfortunately the company is just getting off the ground and they couldn't even announce a single title. All they said was that they intend to cull from the Disney library of live action properties throughout the ages, and they only intend to produce graphic novels, no monthly issues.

Disney corporate politics, via that bastion of truth, The New York Post: An ex-employee of Harvey and Bob Weinstein is writing an "explosive" book about their management of Miramax, based on files and tapes compiled over a period of 15 years, a source claims. The so-far-anonymous author claims, "The book, which is told from a deep insider's point of view, will detail the day-to-day manipulation of the Disney company by the Weinstein Bros." The author attached a seven-minute audio file in his letter to The Post, "just to prove to you this is not some kook writing you." The recording is of a Dec. 12, 1996, phone call between Harvey and Joe Roth, then president of Walt Disney Studios, in which the two complain about the $138 million severance deal that Mike Ovitz negotiated to leave Disney after 16 months. (Click here to hear the recording.)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Book News, In Brief

The New York City cottage where writer Edgar Allan Poe lived is slated for renovation and will be closed for a year -- something about a strange, heartbeat sound coming from the floorboards. Details can be found at the CBC.

Our best wishes go out to the owners, staff and patrons of fellow indie bookstore, Bunch of Grapes, over on Martha's Vineyard. This past 4th of July, a fire next door spread to the bookstore, seriously damaging it. The good news: Bunch of Grapes plans to rebuild.

We're in an election year, which means we're about to be inundated with a million different Best Of lists pertaining to every nuance of democracy. We already did our list months ago (Top 5 Election Books), but here's one from The Washington Post: Fightin' Words: Five Memorable Revolutionary Books.

Over at the venerable Guardian UK (it's where I steal an inordinate amount of my daily links from), writer Mark Hooper argues that sometimes the best way to bring a book to life is to first watch its film adaptation. (Methinks he's smitten by Beowulf's amber colored Angelina Jolie.) (Methinks me is, too.)

Cumming Coming, October 14th

Tg Cream
Da details.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Tom Wolfe vs. Michael Gazzaniga

The father of cognitive neuroscience and the original New Journalist discuss status, free will, the human condition at Seed
Click here for front row seats.

Book News, In Brief

I knew that Nick Hornby and I had more in common than an obsessive approach to women and music. Turns out he hates e-books, too.

I knew that Larry McMurtry and I had more in common than just jowls and an aura of dishevelment. Turns out he finds bookselling frustrating, too.

Okay, so I'd never even heard of Stella A. Estremera before today, but it turns out she and I have something in common, too: Every night, we have to choose between sleeping and reading.

This sort of volunteer work is supposed to inspire, but personally, I find it depressing as hell and an admission of obsolescence. Via The Bulletin: New bookstore opens; profit not required.