paper trail

Jun 28, 2012 @ 12:47:00 am

Louisa May Alcott, the inspiration for Fifty Shades of Louisa May.

London has just been poetry-bombed. As part of the build-up to the summer Olympics, on Tuesday night, the Chilean art collective Casagrande dropped one hundred thousand poems from a helicopter on the south bank of London.

Summer in New York City can be bad now, but imagine what it was like before air conditioning. Arthur Miller recalls, “people on West 110th Street, where I lived, were a little too bourgeois to sit out on their fire escapes, but around the corner on 111th and farther uptown mattresses were put out as night fell, and whole families lay on those iron balconies in their underwear.”

The New Yorker remembers contributor Nora Ephron.

Harper Perennial’s Forty Stories, a collection featuring work by Shane Jones, Catherine Lacey, Adam Wilson, Blake Butler, Jess Walter, and Roxanne Gay, is now available to download as a PDF.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies put a camp twist on classic literature, but what if classic literature can put a twist on camp? That’s the proposition OR Books is making with Fifty Shades of Louisa May—a Fifty Shades of Gray-inspired “erotic diary” about Louisa May Alcott’s sex life.

Brazil has implemented an innovative new program to get prisoners reading—by bribing them with reduced sentences. According to Reuters, Brazilian prisoners are now able to slice up to forty-eight days a year off their prison sentences by reading books and writing reports on them.

The earliest printed atlas of the Americas has been restored to Sweden’s Royal Library after being discovered in Manhattan a year ago. The atlas was stolen from the Library by Anders Burius, a senior librarian dubbed “Royal Library Man” by the Swedish media after it was discovered in 2004 that he had been secretly selling off rare books. The atlas’s buyer, a New York map dealer, purchased the map at a Sotheby’s auction in 2003 for $100,000—roughly $350,000 below its estimated value.

In the wake of ongoing investigations into the News of the World phone-tapping scandal, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. is considering dividing its “publishing” division, which includes the newspapers the Wall Street Journal, the (London) Times, and the New York Post, from its far more lucrative entertainment segments. According to the New York Times, the papers have long been a financial drag on the $53 billion company, and given the hit that recent scandals have dealt to News Corp.’s reputation, talk is in the air of separating them from the cable channels. News Corp. editors and publishers met in New York on Wednesday, and a decision on the matter is expected any day now.