paper trail

Apr 23, 2013 @ 12:01:00 am

E.L. Konigsberg

At The Millions, Ben Greenman explains how he often comes to understand his own book projects by discovering paintings that share the book’s spirits.

In celebration of World Book Night, the publishing industry will give away 500,000 books including Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaiden’s Tale, Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist and Willa Cather’s My Antonia at selected events across the country tonight.

Instead of heading to the William Gaddis archives at Washington University to dig through the writer’s papers, Matthew Erickson decided to go hunting for Gaddis’s ‘realia’—”that archival category of physical, three-dimensional objects.” What he founded included a zebra-skin rug, a pair of white womens’ heels, and an early twentieth century player-piano roll for “Foxtrot for Player Piano.” This isn’t a scholarly endeavor, Erickson explains—he just “wants to take a starry-eyed stroll through the museum of mundane objects.”

Choire Sicha recommends that we all read a new book called Plane Queer: Labor, Sexuality, and AIDS in the History of Male Flight Attendants, which he claims is probably the “SINGLE MOST 80s BOOK TITLE OF OUR TIME.”

A man who bought a hardcover edition of Martin Luther King’s biography for $4.50 off Amazon was delighted to discover that the book contained a personalized message to the previous owner that appears to have been written by King himself. The buyer took to Reddit to confirm the inscription, and a number of commenters positively compared the writing to King’s verified signature. “Definitely not thinking of selling it,” wrote buyer Captain-fishy. “It’s one of the luckier things that’s ever happened to me if it is real.”

Children’s book author E.L. Konigsberg died over the weekend after suffering a stroke last week. The two-time Newbery Medal winner was the author of The View from Saturday and The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, among many other books. At the Atlantic Wire, Jen Dolls pens a nice remembrance to the beloved author.