Lisa Pearson of Siglio Press.
Most people know they they should read between the lines on book blurbs, and a recent, particularly egregious case of blurbing involving Washington Post fiction editor Ron Charles demonstrates why. Despite reviewing Martin Amis’s new novel, Lionel Asbo, so brutally that the review was a finalist for the Hatchet Job award, Charles was surprised to find that a Washington Post blurb ended up on the novel. Problem was, it wasn’t his: “on the new paperback—on the front cover, no less—appears this ringing endorsement from The Washington Post: ‘Amis is a force unto himself... There is, quite simply, no one else like him.’ All true. But caveat emptor. That line is drawn from a review of London Fields that my colleague Jonathan Yardley wrote...23 years ago.”
The Believer has run a great short interview with Lisa Pearson, the founder and publisher of Siglio Press.
To promote their new extended flight routes, Australian airlines Quantas has come up with a novel idea: they’ve commissioned novellas and nonfiction that are supposed to take as long to read as the flight itself. Aussie ad agency Droga5 collaborated with Hachette publishers to work on the series, which “contains a range of varying genres to appeal to the airline's mostly male Platinum Flyers—non-fiction, thrillers, crime-based short stories... City of Evil and Australian Tragic are among the titles.”
James Franco’s adaptation of William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying was not well-received at Cannes.
Claire Messud's much-talked-about response to a Publishers Weekly interviewer has inspired The New Yorker to organize a forum on “likeability” in fiction; rounding up writers such as Margaret Atwood, Donald Antrim, Jonathan Franzen, and Rivka Galchen to take on the issue. Our favorite response came from Franzen, who remarked “I hate the concept of likeability—it gave us two terms of George Bush, whom a plurality of voters wanted to have a beer with, and Facebook.”
It Books publisher Cal Morgan has been promoted to senior vice president and executive editor at Harper. Morgan will be replaced by Lynn Grady of Morrow/Voyager/Avon Books.