Words

Puzzlement: How Did A Hardcore Economics Book Become A Bestseller?

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“Somehow, ‘Capital in the Twenty-First Century’ by Thomas Piketty has become a conversation piece among well-read people. Its graphic red-and-ivory cover is inescapable. Early in its launch, it hit No 1 on Amazon’s bestseller list and the paper version – a doorstop in punishing, heavy hardcover – sold out in major bookstores.”

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García Márquez’s Books Finally Get U.S. Digital Release

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“Vintage Books will release nine of García Márquez’s works as e-books on October 15th, marking the first time his books will be available digitally in the United States.” Not included are One Hundred Years of Solitude and No One Writes to the Colonel, which are published by HarperCollins.

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How To Tell If You’re In An MFA Workshop Story

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“You drink in a way that is simple and direct and not at all in imitation of Hemingway or Carver, and if it is then it’s an homage, a subtle, searingly thought-provoking homage, and the bartender is a charming old gent who calls you ‘hoss’ and not a college girl with a swallow tattoo on her breastbone.”

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Author Rolls Her Eyes At Controversy Over Short Story

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Hilary Mantel: “I think it would be unconscionable to say this is too dark; we can’t examine it. We can’t be running away from history. We have to face it head on, because the repercussions of Mrs. Thatcher’s reign have fed the nation. It is still resonating.”

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So What Exactly Is It About Young Adult Literature That Gets Certain Critics So Upset?

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“The idea that pleasure should be relegated to adolescence seems a dreary recipe for adulthood indeed, but whose pleasure, exactly, are we discussing here? What of people who have been persecuted solely on the basis of their pleasures, for daring to be joyful in bodies regulated and punished for those pleasures by the apparatus of the state?”

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Why It’s So Easy To Buy Stereotypes In Fiction

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What gets published by or about South Asians in the U.S.? “Mangoes, spices, and monsoons … saris, bangles, oppressive husbands/fathers, arranged marriages, grains of rice, jasmine, virgins, and a tacky, overproduced Bollywood dance of rejection and obsession with Western culture.”

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In The Age Of The Internet, Who Needs Footnotes?

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“For a book to be taken seriously, does it have to take us right to the yellowing page of some crumbling edition guarded in the depths of an austere library, if the material could equally well be found through a Google search? Has an element of fetishism perhaps crept into what was once a necessary academic practice?”

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Did Henry James Write YA Fiction?

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“In fact, James is every bit as concerned with innocence recoiling at adulthood … The difference is that James writes about women, instead of wild boys. The archetypal Jamesian character is a young American woman – Daisy Miller, Isabel Archer, Milly Theale, Maggie Verver – whose innocence is manipulated and ultimately destroyed by the forces (usually British or European) of experience.”

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“It’s Not Literary” – Why It’s Such A Breakthrough For Alison Bechdel And Roz Chast To Be Getting Book Prizes

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Alexander Chee: “‘I don’t know how to evaluate this.’ ‘Shouldn’t comics have their own category?’ ‘This isn’t literary.’ As a frequent juror on prizes, colonies and fellowships, I am, it could be said, so tired of this, that in fact, I will fight you for Roz Chast’s right to be on this list. I will fight you for the right for Bechdel to get that MacArthur.”

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Why You Should Read Alison Bechdel’s Old Comic Strip

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“Just as Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City series wended its leisurely, funny and warm way through the evolving gay and transgender communities in San Francisco, Dykes to Watch Out For dives deep into a fictional lesbian community, considering the impact of transgender politics, marriage and even the death of independent bookstores on her characters. … Did I mention that the strip is fabulous, funny reading?”

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Canada’s Prestigious Giller Prize Doubles To $140,000

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“Founder Jack Rabinovitch announced Tuesday that the Scotiabank Giller Prize is now worth $140,000. The winner will get $100,000 and the other four finalists $10,000. It represents a doubling of the prize and makes it the highest payout for a literary prize in Canada, richer even than Britain’s Man Booker Prize of 50,000 pounds (about $89,000 Canadian).”

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Martin Amis’s Latest Book Rejected By German, French Publishers

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“In France, they say they’re puzzled by the humor. In Germany, they say it will be difficult to market. Martin Amis’s latest novel, The Zone of Interest, a satire set in a concentration camp during the Second World War, is having trouble gaining traction in Europe, where his longtime French and German publishers have rejected it.”

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Small Philadelphia Museum Losing Big Maurice Sendak Collection

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“Nearly half a century ago, the Rosenbach Museum and Library began building a relationship with the young author and illustrator Maurice Sendak, who very quickly started using [it] as a repository for his original drawings, manuscripts, proofs, and rare editions. Through the years the numbers mounted, and today about 10,000 items of Sendakiana … fill the Rosenbach – the museum’s best calling card with generations that grew up with his books. But now that card is being recalled.”

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Making E-Readers (And E-Books) Poet Friendly

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“Of all the literary genres, poetry has proved the most resistant to digital technology, not for stodgy cultural reasons but for tricky mechanical ones. Most e-readers mangle the line breaks and stanzas that are so crucial to the appearance and rhythm of poetry.”

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The Notorious Million-Word Novel Is Now Finished

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“Comics legend Alan Moore has finished the first draft of his second novel, Jerusalem – and it runs to more than 1m words. His daughter, Leah Moore, made the announcement on Facebook on Tuesday, adding with a wink that ‘now there’s just the small matter of copy editing’.”

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Apple Sued By Its Own Shareholders Over Ebook Price-Fixing Fiasco

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“According to a complaint filed on Thursday in California state court, [CEO Tim] Cook and other senior Apple figures bear ‘responsibility for ensnaring Apple in a multi-year anticompetitive scheme’ that resulted in a highly-publicized trial and a proposed $450 million payout … The shareholders claim that Cook and others … breached their fiduciary duty to the company and engaged in ‘waste of corporate assets’.”

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Save The Footnote!

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Nathan Heller: “Online, explicit source citation tends to be redundant: you don’t need notes, because, ideally, you can click to an original source. In this context, the removal of back matter makes some kind of sense. But publishers aren’t taking endnotes off the Web. They’re putting them on the Web. Instead, back matter is starting to vanish from books, the one place where it’s still very much needed.”

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Some French Bookstores Refuse To Stock Tell-All By President’s Ex-Wife

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“As Merci Pour Ce Moment (Thank You For This Moment) hit the bookshelves last week, signs appeared in some bookshop windows across the country to explain to readers why they wouldn’t find Valérie Trierweiler’s opus in store. ‘This bookstore doesn’t aspire to be a washing machine for Madame Trierweiler’s dirty laundry,’ one read.”

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