paper trail

Nov 19, 2012 @ 12:31:00 am

TS Eliot

In the first extensive interview since he revealed that has stopped writing fiction, Philip Roth talks to the New York Times about what he’s doing with all his free time (”Every morning I study a chapter in iPhone for Dummies...”), the process of working with biographer Blake Bailey, and the Post-it note that motivates him to enjoy his retirement.

When he decided to publish his new book with Amazon, bestselling author Timothy Ferriss (The 4-Hour Body) knew that he’d have trouble getting bookstores to carry it. So, with the book coming out soon, Ferriss is taking a more unorthodox route to promote The 4-Hour Chef—a file-sharing site. According to publicity material, Ferris will release excerpts of what he believes might become “the most banned book in US history” on BitTorrent, even though the site is more often used to steal books than to promote them.

A Toronto used bookstore has devised an ingenious way to offload its dollar-bin books: A book vending machine.

Here’s the thinking behind a mommy-oriented listserv that organizes readings around Manhattan: come for the book, stay for the apartment. By holding literary events in high-end apartments, organizers hope that books will attract buyers. “Authors are selling books and the books give such value to the events,” founder Lyss Stern told the New York Times. “There is no better way to get buyers into these beautiful apartments.”

The dirtier details of TS Eliot’s life may soon be aired in the wake of his wife and executor Valerie Eliot’s death last week. While Valerie was keen to publish her husband’s letters (reviewed here by Marjorie Perloff), she was notoriously controlling about his documents, and never allowed biographers to examine them without careful supervision. Now, members of Eliot’s estate say that they’re prepared to give full access to the late poet’s papers to an official biographer. The Guardian headline gets right to business: "Secrets of TS Eliot's tragic first marriage and liaisons to be told at last."