This weekend, we witnessed the maiden voyage of the Wall Street Journal's new stand-alone Books section; Publisher's Weekly chats with editor Robert Messenger.
Farenheit 451, 2010: The Pentagon held a book burning on September 20th, destroying 9,500 hundred copies of Operation Dark Heart. The book's author, Anthony Shaffer, told CNN: "The whole premise smacks of retaliation. . . . Someone buying 10,000 books to suppress a story in this digital age is ludicrous." And if you can't burn 'em, ban them: September 25th marks the beginning of banned books week; did someone really think it was a good idea to ban Webster's Dictionary from a school library?
The 2010 PEN Literary Awards Winners have been announced. Paul Harding continues his winning streak by taking home the PEN/Robert Bingham Fellowship for Writers for his debut and Pulitzer prize-winning novel, Tinkers. Don Delillo won the Saul Bellow award for Achievement in American Fiction, and granted a rare interview. When asked about digital books and social media, Delillo answered: "The question is whether the enormous force of technology, and its insistence on speeding up time and compacting space, will reduce the human need for narrative—narrative in the traditional sense. Novels will become user-generated. An individual will not only tap a button that gives him a novel designed to his particular tastes, needs, and moods, but he’ll also be able to design his own novel, very possibly with him as main character."
Even critics who are lukewarm about the film version of Howl are praising James Franco's portrayal of the Beat icon Allen Ginsberg. It can't be easy to portray a man who was not only a poet but also a "grand guru of the counterculture—chief spokesman of the Beat Generation, shaggy incarnation of flower power, tireless crusader against the war in Vietnam," as John Palattella wrote in Bookforum in 2006. Franco has been preparing for his turn as a real-life writer, too: His book of stories, Palo Alto, will be published on October 19, and has blurbs from the likes of Amy Hempel and Ben Marcus.
Danielle Steel: not a romance novelist.
Vanity presses. Non-traditional publishing. DIY publishers. Publishing solutions. Indie publishers. Edward Nawotka looks at the evolving vocabulary of the book-making profession.