Month: April 2007

  • Books I shouldn’t want to publish…

    … but that I wish I had. Any writer who can use the phrase “boughten woman” is okay by me. More lurid pulp fiction covers at the sadly defunct Cover Art Gallery.

  • The author’s slice of the pie

    Jonathan Heawood has an interesting perspective on publishing: While readers have an interest in seeing a wide range of high-quality writing for all tastes, and authors have an interest in a marketplace which can generate income from their idiosyncracies, the print market itself is geared towards promoting ever smaller numbers of increasingly conventional titles. Whether […]

  • Raj Redux

    William Dalrymple in the NYRB: Two new books on the British in India, both of them sophisticated works by established scholars, demonstrate how polarized the debate has now become. For Nicholas Dirks, who concentrates on the India of the East India Company, the British Empire is a terrible blot on world history comparable to slavery […]

  • The Man Booker… international?

    Stuart Kelly grumbles about the 2007 Man Booker International Prize shortlist: So I was eager to see the 2007 shortlist. When I did, bemused boredom swiftly turned to gnawing irritation. For the record, the novelists contending this year are Chinua Achebe, Margaret Atwood, John Banville, Peter Carey, Don DeLillo, Carlos Fuentes, Doris Lessing, Ian McEwan, […]

  • Literary readings and other merde

    Mik Awake questions the 21st century hustle known as the literary reading: In its producer-consumer format, in its faux-democratic approach to literary discussion, in which readers are encouraged to disagree only on which passage of a book was their favorite (Merde!), the literary reading is a perfect example of market culture’s damaging influence (Merde!) on […]

  • How to sell your book

    Easy. Recruit your fridge and stovetop as marketing personnel. (From MaudNewton): Miranda July uses the top of her fridge as a dry-erase board to promote her book, No One Here Belongs More Than You. I’m buying it. In yellow.

  • Kurt Vonnegut Jr, 1922-2007: Last line of book

    New York Times; SFGate; The Guardian; Globe and Mail. From Slaughterhouse Five: All this happened, more or less. The war parts, anyway, are pretty much true. One guy I knew really was shot in Dresden for taking a teapot that wasn’t his. Another guy I knew really did threaten to have his personal enemies killed […]

  • Stealing books is right/ wrong?

    John Lanchester does a great piece on Google and copyright–yes, there is something new to say, and he says it: So: 20% of all books are out of copyright, and Google can have them with everyone’s blessing; 10% are in print, and the lines of argument are fairly clear. The other 70% of books are […]

  • No more Aurelio Zen

    Michael Dibdin died in Seattle this week at the age of 60–The Telegraph has an intelligent tribute: Dibdin deliberately tapped into British middle-class fantasies in the Aurelio Zen series. The appeal of the books lay partly in his decision to set each one in a different part of Italy (starting in the beautiful medieval city […]

  • For Shakti

    I met Shakti at a boring Delhi party over two years ago; she and Jeet had just moved back to Delhi from New York, and Shakti was doing what she did best–making friends. We chatted for a bit; she told me I needed sexier shoes (I still do, Shakti, you had the jump on me […]