Siddhartha Deb

A hoax website claims that Slavov Zizek and Lady Gaga are close friends, and the New York Post falls for it.

In February, Caravan Magazine published an excerpt from Siddhartha Deb’s forthcoming book about contemporary India, The Beautiful and the Damned, published by Penguin in India. The excerpt, “Sweet Smell of Success: How Arindam Chaudhuri Made a Fortune Off the Aspirations—and Insecurities—of India’s Middle Classes,” is a critical take on Arindam Chaudhuri and the business approach of Indian Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM). Now, the IIPM is suing Caravan, its proprietor the Delhi Press, Deb, Penguin India, and Google India for “grave harassment and injury.” The Beautiful and the Damned is scheduled to be published in the US by Faber & Faber this August.

Indie bookstores find a new source of revenue by charging admission at author events.

A new chapbook includes a chapter from Richard Hell’s forthcoming memoir, I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp. (Bonus material: Valencia author Michelle Tea interviews Hell here. "I am a Libra which I guess means that I am enough of a prig and a snob that I can’t take seriously anybody who asks me what sign I am.")

Ray Nagin, the Katrina-era mayor of New Orleans, has self-published a book that blames much of the havoc caused by the hurricane on President Bush. Can you blame him? He’s trying to make a living as a “disaster consultant.”

Celeb book news: Keanu Reeves’s book of poetry is a “gentle tease about how we cope with life’s sorrows.” (Excellent or bogus?) 50 Cent pens a young-adult book against bullying.

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