paper trail

May 8, 2012 @ 4:00:00 am

Joshua Clover

Poet and cultural critic Joshua Clover (1989: Bob Dylan Didn't Have This to Sing About) and eleven University of California students may face up to eleven years in prison and million in damages for their alleged participation in Occupy Wall Street protests that led to the closure of a U.S. bank on the UC Davis campus. According to a press release, "District Attorney Jeff Reisig is charging campus protesters with 20 counts each of obstructing movement in a public place, and one count of conspiracy." Davis students have started a petition urging the administration to drop the charges.

Since no Pulitzer was awarded for fiction this year, the New York Times took it upon itself to query critics about who the award should have gone to. Among the results, Sam Anderson named David Foster Wallace's The Pale King; Maud Newton voted for Mat Johnson's Pym; and John Williams nominated Teju Cole's Open City. This exercise has reignited debate, but perhaps not in the way the Times had hoped: Responding to the list, one commenter snarkily replied, "Having read these alternate suggestions, I'm actually more confirmed in my view that the Pulitzer Committee was right not to make an award this year."

"No, no, the other Shades of Gray..." Due to bad publishing timing, author Ruta Sepetys has been spending a lot of time explaining that her young adult novel, Between Shades of Gray, is about a Lithuanian girl in a Stalinist camp—not the "mommy porn" novel taking the world by storm (and getting banned from a Florida library).

After four decades and posts ranging from clerking to editing, longtime Los Angeles Times books editor John Thurber announced his retirement on Monday.

In other Los Angeles Times book news, Susan Salter Reynolds—who was the LAT's book critic for fifteen years before they fired her, re-hired her as a freelancer, then fired her again—talks with The New Inquiry about book reviewing and the precarious nature of being a professional writer.

A modest proposal for a new reality TV show: America's Next Top Writer.

Here's book designer extraordinaire Chip Kidd—who you may remember from such covers as Haruki Murakami's 1Q84 and Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park—delivering a TED Talk about his profession.