Hilary Mantel

Starting today, the New Republic is walling off its print content, creating the "TNR Society," a place where connoisseurs can imbibe the magazine's "premium content," and enjoy "other new perks, like insider newsletters, articles, and invitations to high-profile events." As for the clubby vibe, TNR has never prided itself on being overly friendly; as editor Leon Wieseltier said after James Wood left for the New Yorker, "David [Remnick] believes that civility is a primary intellectual virtue. I believe it’s a secondary intellectual virtue, or no intellectual virtue at all.”

Over at the Morning News, the Tournament of Books has come to a thrilling close with a showdown between Barbara Kingsolver's The Lacuna and Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall.

In 1996, the small publisher Orchises Press managed to land J. D. Salinger's novella Hapworth 16, 1924—and then they lost the deal. Orchises's owner Roger Lathbury explains how.

There's Twitter chatter that fab American figure skater Johnny Weir—who was chastised for seeming too gay in his typically glitterific performances—may be shopping a memoir.


Tonight at New York City's Highline Ballroom, novelists Sam Lipsyte and Colson Whitehead will be joined by porn star Lorelei Lee to read their work.

William Bowers

Say it ain't so, Tommaso! The New Yorker's Judith Thurman has uncovered more fraud by Italian journalist Tommaso Debenedetti, who fabricated interviews with Philip Roth, Toni Morrison, E. L. Doctorow, and a growing list of top flight authors. Debenedetti isn't yet admitting any wrongdoing, saying he’s “shocked and saddened” that his subjects deny their Obama-bashing chats.

Jack Estes, who runs Pleasure Boat press, proclaims that publishing is alive and well. Just don't expect to sell more than four hundred copies, or make a profit: "If you are writing to be published, if that's your goal, you're probably writing for the wrong reason. If you're writing to get rich, you're really writing for the wrong reason."

The Rumpus has posted a moving meditation on William Bowers's criminally underrated essay, "All We Read Is Freaks." Bowers was once deemed Page Six material by the New York Post's Liz Smith, and scored a book deal, but since then, nothing. What happened?

Over at the Los Angeles Times, Carolyn Kellogg poses the somewhat tired, but still zeitgeisty query: "Are Twitter and Facebook good or bad for writers?" While some writers thrive online, others, like Malcolm Gladwell, avoid it. According to Jonathan Franzen, the web is writers’ Kryptonite: "It's doubtful that anyone with an Internet connection at his workplace is writing good fiction."

 


Publishers Weekly has been purchased by PWxyz, a company run by George Slowik, who was the magazine's publisher in the eighties and early nineties.

HarperStudio, the HarperCollins imprint with an innovative plan for paying writers  (by withholding their advances), is calling it quits.

Noah Baumbach—who directed the bookish family bummer film The Squid and the Whale and, more recently, Greenberg—will adapt Claire Mesud's novel The Emperor's Children for the screen (via the Millions).

Norris Church Mailer was Norman Mailer's sixth wife. But she was also his last. (Lucky for her, she wasn't the second, Adele Morales, whom Mailer stabbed.)

George Saunders

Carla Blumenkranz has irrevocably shattered our illusion that book publishing is a humane, just, and kind industry. Blumenkranz offers a cutting portrait of publishing-house grunt work: "She showed me how to read manuscripts she didn't want from agents—by shuffling the pages until they looked like they'd been read," Blumenkranz writes of one editor, who also taught her "how to respond to unsolicited work—'Sorry to say that Trouble in Venice just didn't speak to me the way I'd hoped it would.'"

The Daily Beast inaugurates its "Writers to Watch" series, with the first installment's author going gaga for Julie Orringer's debut novel, The Invisible Bridge, a "grand historical work."

The Book Examiner's "Reviewerspeak Awards" slaughters a long-suffering species: the formulaic book review. What does the Examiner add to what is perhaps the easiest nit-picking critique since ridiculing an athlete's post-game statements? Not to get all Believer-y on you, but how does this snarky "award" help anyone? The author explains: "Clichés are leeches. They drain the blood out of everything a reviewer is trying to say, blood that would be better off pumped straight from the writer's carotid artery onto the page."

Satirist George Saunders pledges his love for “the UK. Or, you know, of, ah, England. That is to say, I guess—Britain? You know what I mean."


Dial-A-Poet John Giorno

Celebrate National Poetry Month by dialing up Ubuweb's digitized version of Giorno Poetry Systems Dial-A-Poem Poets. It is well worth the dime.

You might think that higher e-book prices would benefit writers, but if you do the math, you find that publishers collect the extra dough.

Does a writer's life get any better than a cushy Cullman Center fellowship? An ornate office at the 42nd Street library, a $60,000 stipend, access to the library's vast research collection (presumably unhampered by the NYPL's Kafkaesque bureaucracy), and the right to call yourself a Scholar (with a capital "S"). This year's winners have been announced; they include fiction writers Mary Gaitskill and Wells Tower, New Yorker writer Larissa MacFarquhar, and historian Annette Gordon-Reed, among others.

The Awl's Choire Sicha pretty much sums up our feelings on the redoubtable iPad, due out tomorrow: "a gigantic iPhone that doesn't make phone calls, and basically looks like a thumbprint and hand grease analyzer."


Jennifer Gilmore is reading at Greenlight Books this evening at 7:30. It is the place to be tonight. No foolin'.

Our picks for great April and May reads, from Pub Dates, including new books from Robert Walser, Greil Marcus, and Graham Robb.

Got us, Ed, Happy April Fools'.

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