paper trail

Enthusiasm is high at the Frankfurt Book Fair

Juergen Boos

According to Publisher’s Weekly, professional attendance was down at the Frankfurt Book Fair, but general enthusiasm was up, and “business was brisk.” HarperCollins CEO Brian Murray, who spoke at the fair's opening ceremony, proclaimed it a time for digital experimentation. Frankfurt Book Fair director Juergen Boos suggested that the fair itself is planning many changes, announcing that in 2015, English-language publishers will move to a more central location. “We know that digital is going to stay, print is going to stay, Amazon is going to stay," Boos said. "But it is not the end of the world. I am not scared to change.”

David Plotz, who left his position as editor in chief at Slate in July, has announced that he has taken a job as the chief executive of Atlas Obscura. The website, cofounded in 2009 by Joshua Foer (author of Moonwalking with Einstein) and Dylan Thuras, focuses on “extraordinary, weird, and fascinating places—both around the world and around the corner.” Plotz, the author of The Genius Factory, calls the site “Nice Vice,” and is seeking investors to help him add new staff and relaunch the site next year.

At Women’s Wear Daily, David Remnick talks up this year’s New Yorkerfestival, reflects on the evolving role of the editor, and takes a firm stand on “native advertising”: “What I object to is tricking the reader and blurring the lines so that unsuspecting readers, thinking that they are getting something that is assigned and edited by the editorial side, are getting something quite different. They are getting an advertisement.”

According to the Guardian, a well-known British performer (whose name is withheld) has been banned from publishing a memoir that details his childhood experiences of sexual abuse. Using an obscure Victorian law, the performer’s ex-wife obtained a legal injunction, arguing that she did not want their child to read the book. The book has been shelved, and the case will now go to trial.

Salman Rushdie is attacking the “hate-filled rhetoric” that is currently persuading “hundreds, perhaps thousands of British Muslims to join the decapitating barbarians of Isis.” He points out that he “may not have survived if The Satanic Verses had been published today.”