Seems like only yesterday that The Babu was ploughing through a huge volume of the collected shorter writings of the ever-prolific John Updike, who is back with his 20th novel–Seek My Face. The Independent has an interview with the 70-year-old author, who comments on the practice of the interview itself: “When I first set out on this trail, in the Fifties, writers were not expected to promote their books, go on the road, or sign them, none of that… Now producing the book is almost the beginning of your real responsibilities, which are to get out and sell it.”

Don’t blame the Potter plagiarists (who popped up in Bengal with the adventures of Potter and a young Calcutta boy called Junto), it’s not their fault–they had to do something to fill in the long wait for J K Rowling to finish the fifth Harry Potter book. The BBC on this interesting, but ultimately ineffectual, argument.

This sounds way more Beckettesque (is there such a word? Of course not. The Babu made it up.) than Joycean. Three thousand runners competed in the annual James Joyce race in Boston while actors declaimed from Dubliners, Portrait, Ulysses and the rest. (From The New York Times–registration required.)

Should one applaud the loyalty of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, or deplore his refusal to condemn Fidel Castro for the recent crackdown on Cuban dissidents? The Guardian has a brief news story on what happened when Susan Sontag challenged the world’s greatest living writer.

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