AJ Logo Get ArtsJournal in your inbox
for FREE every morning!

Wednesday, May 31

HMV Buys Ottakar's HMV has agreed to buy Uk book retailer Ottakar's. Why was Ottakar's for sale? "Over the past year the book market has undergone a significant change, with new levels of competition from the supermarkets and online retailers impacting all specialist booksellers and in particular those with insufficient scale to compete on equal terms." BBC 05/31/06

Whither CanLit's Greatest Champion? One of Canada's most venerable publishing houses, McClelland & Stewart (better known as M&S) has been the subject of plenty of rumors lately, and some observers are unhappily accusing Random House, which owns 25% of the company, of interfering in M&S's affairs. M&S insists that its relationship with Random House is purely a matter of sharing marketing expertise, but some fear the publisher could be on the verge of abandoning its history. The Globe & Mail (Canada) 05/31/06

Voltaire Letters Sold For 3/4 Million "A European collector has paid $750,000 for 26 letters sent by the French philosopher Voltaire to the Russian Empress Catherine the Great. The figure is a world record for handwritten correspondence from this period, said Sotheby's auction house. The 26 letters date from 1768-1777, when Catherine was ruler of Russia and Voltaire lived in Switzerland." BBC 05/31/06

Tuesday, May 30

For Sale - A Spot On Our "Recommended" List WH Smith - Britain's biggest bookseller - is "demanding payments of £50,000 a week from publishers to get books on its supposedly impartial list of 'recommended' reads in the run-up to Christmas this year." Sunday Times (UK) 05/28/06

The New Indie Biz Indie presses are reinventing their businesses. "In big publishing, the line is that people don't read, and we're all competing for the same dwindling pool of readers. That's not true. We're going out and finding new readers, and showing people that reading can be provocative and exciting." Village Voice 05/30/06

Pirates Hurting The Super Heroes Digital piracy is hurting the small-margin business of comic books. "Digital scanning and sharing of comic books have begun to make a dent in the business, driven by easy-to-use file-sharing tools and a culture in which enthusiasts eagerly pass along their copies to one another." Los Angeles Times 05/29/06

Monday, May 29

Has Success Of the Modern Novelist Dimished The Art? "In 2006, the novelist has become a cross between a commercial traveller and an itinerant preacher. The cultural historians of the future will surely pick over the larger meaning of this festival fever, but one thing is indisputable: in just over a generation the novel has gone public in the most astounding way. In the process, the genre has sold out and become big business, the preferred medium of self-advancement and self-promotion for Blair's children, and almost unrecognisable to fiction-lovers raised on the literary names of the Forties and Fifties." The Observer (UK) 05/28/06

A World-Changing Poem, 50 Years Later "First published in November 1956, Alan Ginsberg's "Howl" has sold nearly a million copies. The 1957 obscenity trial over it helped break down barriers against free expression, forcing American society to reassess what was and wasn't acceptable to say. Ginsberg's ardent anti-establishment stance laid the groundwork for both the upheavals of the 1960s and the marketing juggernaut we call "youth culture" today. As "Howl" marks its 50th anniversary, then, it seems important to ask how (or whether) it continues to resonate, what it has to offer a new generation." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 05/28/06

Canadian Book Chain Banishes Harper's Mag From Its Racks Canada's largest book chain has pulled this month's issue of Harper's magazine off its shelves. "Indigo Books and Music took the action this week when its executives noticed that the 10-page Harper's article, titled Drawing Blood, reproduced all 12 cartoons first published last September by Jyllands-Posten (The Morning Newspaper). The article also contains five cartoons, including one by Art Spiegelman and two by Israelis, 'inspired' by an Iranian newspaper's call in February for an international Holocaust cartoon contest 'to test the limits of Western tolerance of free speech'.” The Globe & Mail (Canada) 05/28/06

Pages Vs. Electrons - A Battle Even Grizzly Bears Would Love The battle is shaping up - between those who believe the literary world needs to man the ramparts and defend the printed page and the traditional structures that support it, and those who believe the electronic world will liberate knowledge. John Updike and Chris Anderson duke it out at Book Expo. The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) 05/28/06

Friday, May 26

The New Yorker To Get A Digital Upgrade Editor David Remnick "promises that by year's end, the 81-year-old New Yorker, which didn't regularly run full-page photographs until 1992, will dramatically upgrade its Web presence. More video, more audio, more flash media, more reader interaction. The publication is about to hire its first Web editor this month, and Remnick understands new media well enough not to drop Web-only 15,000-word anvils on the site." San Francisco Chronicle 05/26/06

The Writing Machine Author James Patterson was "raised in upstate New York, the son of an insurance salesman. At 19, he took a job as a night shift psychiatric aide in a Massachusetts mental hospital, a move that would set off a series of what he calls "accidents" that eventually created the phenomenon of Patterson the master marketer, the man who can write no flop. Patterson has published 35 books, 18 of which hit No. 1 on the New York Times list of bestsellers. He's sold 100 million copies, grossing $1 billion in sales." Los Angeles Times 05/26/06

Thursday, May 25

Literary Success - It's All In The Timing "The divide between sales of literary and commercial fiction has always been vast — the 345,000 copies that Marilynne Robinson's Pulitzer Prize-winning 2004 novel "Gilead" sold in hardcover and paperback is an impressive figure, but not when compared with the more than 18 million copies of "The Da Vinci Code" in print in North America, and more than 60 million worldwide. These days literary fiction has to contend with two factors that are increasingly central to the publishing process: timing and volume." The New York Times 05/21/06

More Writing, Less Reading (What's Wrong Here?) "The creative writers in this country—those who have earned an MFA and those who haven't—produce untold millions of poems, stories, novels, and essays. But for whom are they writing? Where is the readership to support this prodigious output? Certainly, bookstores and libraries prove that there are still readers out there. Yet Reading at Risk sounds the alarm that the practice of literary reading in America is in serious decline. How can it be that MFA programs in creative writing flourish in a country where literary reading does not?" Poets & Writers 05/06

Want Higher Test Scores? Buy Books A UK study reports that increased spending on textbooks translates directly into highe test scores. That same increase is not ween with increases in technology spending. Yet, tech spending is up while book-buying is down... The Times (UK) 05/23/06

Big Read - A Big Chore? So the National Endowment for the Arts is launching a big program to try to get people to read more books. But Sara Nelson wonders if the whole thing doesn't sound too much like homework. "I can't help wondering whether it's the role of the NEA to be the substitute teacher, a stranger granted authority to give a reading assignment. It's like homework. Will even the most well-meaning outreach, participation by individual communities and NEA-provided educational materials really inspire a heretofore reluctant reader to pick up the titles he shunned in high school?" Publishers Weekly 05/15/06

Living And Dying By The Book Superstore Book superstore chains have been putting small bookshops out of business. "Ultimately, though, the greatest vulnerability of chains may be their muscle-bound nature. If print-on-demand technology, though still poky and faintly disreputable, ever achieves the availability and quality of traditional books, the need for overstock returns, remainders, and huge retail spaces may evaporate. Strange to say, someday superstores may be the historical curiosity that indies are now in danger of becoming." Village Voice 05/23/06

Wednesday, May 24

Guy Lit Strikes Back Benjamin Kunkel's debut novel, Indecision "is the latest in a spate of books that have collectively been dubbed "lad lit," the male riposte to "chick lit" — that juggernaut spearheaded by Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones's Diary in 1996, which sold two million copies and spawned both a sequel and a companion book, two films, and countless imitators. Each of the recent lad novels is a sort of anti-bildungsroman, in which a sardonic, clever, unapologetic slacker refuses to grow up, get a meaningful job, commit to relationships, or find any meaning in life." Chronicle of Higher Education 05/26/06

Canadian Writers Get Some Help "Canada's writers, on average, earn less than $9,000 annually, according to a 2003 study for the Department of Canadian Heritage. "This week, the Writers' Trust of Canada will add a little fat to the bones thanks to a $1.87-million bequest -- said to be the largest cash gift to writers in Canadian history -- from the estate of literary giant George Woodcock and his wife Ingeborg."
The Globe & Mail (Canada) 05/24/06

Schiff's Franklin Wins Washington Prize "Biographer Stacy Schiff has won the second annual George Washington Book Prize for "A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America" -- walking away with $50,000 and proving once again that the Founding Father industry is alive and well."
Washington Post 05/24/06

Tuesday, May 23

Indigo's Fat Sales Gains Canadian book giant Indigo had a terrific year, with big gains in sales. "Revenue growth was led by its superstores, where comparable store sales increased 10.2% and at its online arm, chapters.indigo.ca, which had a 22.8% sales increase to C$79.5 million. Same store sales even rose at Indigo’s smaller store, rising 4.3%." Publishers Weekly 05/23/06

Book Expo Panel On Publishing Conservatives "Saturday afternoon at the huge new Convention Center here, filled to capacity this past weekend by that massive annual trade show of the book biz called BEA (BookExpo America), a group of conservative editors and sales execs took a chance. They gathered in their chosen venue, Room 203AB, for a panel on 'Selling and Promoting Right of Center Books Via Left of Center Channels'." Philadelphia Inquirer 05/23/06

Monday, May 22

Is Book Fashion Going Over The Top? "The latest trend in book design is similar to fashions in clothing and decor. There is an abundance of lyrical, embellished covers with elaborate vintage typefaces. Almost an overabundance..." Sydney Morning Herald 05/23/06

The New Libraries Not so very long ago, libraries housed books, microfiche, frequently impenetrable card catalogs, and not much else. And it was fine, really. No one complained. But as the internet age came and flourished, libraries had a hard time keeping up, and many of the services they provided became easier to find online. But today, libraries around the world (or at least, those lucky enough to have the resources) have begun to reinvent themselves as multipurpose facilities that are once again relevant to students, scholars, and anyone looking for an answer. The Herald (UK) 05/23/06

Updike Savages Book World's "Digital Revolution" Assessing the impact of the internet on the publishing world has become a cottage industry in itself, and even more than a decade into the online age, no one is truly sure of what the eventual balance between paper and screen will be, and the battle between the "technorati" and the "literati" is raging behind the scenes. This weekend, at one of the publishing industry's biggest annual events, the oft-subsumed debate exploded into the open, courtesy of the mouth of author John Updike. Washington Post 05/22/06

Amidst The Hype, Struggling For Attention BookExpo America is a massive event, bringing together "some 25,000 publishers, booksellers, authors and agents." With a crowd like that, you'd suppose that an up-and-coming author looking for a book deal couldn't help but strike pay dirt. You'd suppose wrong. "Getting the attention of the booksellers, who are besieged by the blitzkrieg campaigns of the large and medium-size publishers, is particularly difficult for small presses or self-published authors, who often must overcome negative perceptions." The New York Times 05/22/06

Real Sales With Bill Maher Amazon.com has enlisted the service of comedian Bill Maher to host a new online talk show intended to help sell the books and music Amazon proffers. But will Maher (who is one of the most vocally political comedians since Bill Hicks) be able to keep his political views out of the program and avoid alienating a sizable demographic? Amazon is banking on it... The New York Times 05/22/06

Sunday, May 21

The Best Work Of Fiction In The Past 25 Years? "Early this year, the New York Times Book Review's editor, Sam Tanenhaus, sent out a short letter to a couple of hundred prominent writers, critics, editors and other literary sages, asking them to please identify "the single best work of American fiction published in the last 25 years." The results - in some respects quite surprising, in others not at all - provide a rich, if partial and unscientific, picture of the state of American literature, a kind of composite self-portrait as interesting perhaps for its blind spots and distortions as for its details." The New York Times 05/21/06

Amazon To Sell New Copies Of Out-Of-Print Books "Amazon.com Inc. has started a program with publishers that allows out-of-print titles and lower-volume books to be printed and shipped on demand when consumers place orders... Amazon.com is helping publishers cut costs by eliminating the need for inventory. The Internet retailer acquired BookSurge in April 2005 to enter the print-on-demand book business. BookSurge has more than 10,000 titles, many of them out of print." Los Angeles Times 05/20/06

DaVinci's Real Scandal? The Book Stinks. If the Catholic Church really wanted to expose the controversy behind The DaVinci Code, says Dominic Papatola, they could leave all the religious babble behind, and just point out what a truly awful read it is. "The book seems to be written at about a sixth-grade readability level. The plot advances in a series of enough improbable 'a-ha!' moments to burn through a couple of grosses of light bulbs. And the galloping, thinly strung conspiracy theory makes your typical Kennedy assassination theorist look scholarly by comparison..." St. Paul Pioneer Press 05/21/06

Friday, May 19

Those Book Tours... They're Brutal "There is a quality of melancholy to sitting alone at a little table with your ego and a year's work piled in front of you and no one paying a lot of attention. Some authors have no trouble selling themselves, but I'm not a born book hustler. I sit there like an abandoned dog, waiting for someone to buy the book, at which time I sign it." Los Angeles Times 05/19/06

A "Da Vinci" Boom A whole mini-publishing industry has sprung up around the Da Vinci Code. "Many of at least 20 Da Vinci Code titles have found success by glomming onto the mania surrounding Brown's successful and controversial thriller. More are being squeezed out, thanks to big buzz for the movie adaptation starring Tom Hanks and due in theaters today." Chicago Sun-Times 05/19/06

Thursday, May 18

Venture Capital + Literature = ...Um, We'll See "The Literary Ventures Fund is a tiny nonprofit, founded last year with offices in Boston and New York, that 'seeks to challenge the status quo of literary publishing,' as its Web site boldly proclaims. LVF hopes to help exceptional works of fiction, literary nonfiction and poetry find the readership they deserve -- by using an economic model more frequently associated with Silicon Valley." Washington Post 05/18/06

Wednesday, May 17

Arts Council England: Where Are Books By Asians, Blacks? Why don't UK publishers publish more black and Asian poets? Arts Council England wants to know. "The move comes after research indicated that 8% get work into print despite their popularity at poetry readings." The Guardian (UK) 05/17/06

Harper's Returns To A Serial Diet Robert Lennon is "becoming the first writer in 50 years to have his fiction serialized in the pages of Harper's Magazine. While the serialization is noteworthy—the magazine will run Lennon's Happyland over the course of five issues starting in July—how Lennon's novel wound up at the magazine is almost more so." Publishers Weekly 05/17/06

Mourning Indie Bookstores - Just Nostalgia? "Ever since the rise of the book superstore in the 1990s, we have been flooded with lamentations for the rapidly disappearing independent booksellers. The real change in the book market is not the big guy vs. the little guy, or chain vs. indie stores. Rather, it's the reader's greater impatience, a symptom of our amazing literary (and televisual) plenitude." Slate 05/15/06

Tuesday, May 16

When Will Canadian Book Prices Fall? (They Should) The Canadian dollare has been rising in value against the US dollar. Theoretically that means book prices ought to be coming down. "Savvy consumers have been objecting about the big price difference between the U.S. dollar price printed on the back of a book and its Canadian dollar equivalent." CBC 05/16/06

Take Your Author To Work Day "With authors fiercely battling for attention in a media-saturated world, an increasing number of writers — from first-time novelists like Ms. Dean to celebrities like Madeleine K. Albright, the former Secretary of State — are visiting people where they spend much of their time: at work... A growing roster of corporations, including Microsoft, Boeing, Google and Altria, the owner of brands like Philip Morris and Kraft Foods, have played host to writers in their offices. Even the United States Treasury Department has invited nearly 40 authors to speak over the last two years. Executives see the author readings as akin to other perks like in-house gyms, subsidized cafeterias and financial advice." The New York Times 05/16/06

Monday, May 15

The Great eBay Publishing Experiment "A first-time author has bypassed the traditional route of getting an agent, and is publishing a collaborative thriller on eBay. The novel is being written one page at a time, one writer to a page. As each installment is finished, the chance to create the next is offered for auction on eBay. So far, 17 pages have been completed, with 234 to go, and while the quality of the writing might charitably be described as variable, there is no shortage of plot." The Guardian (UK) 05/16/06

How Did The Da Vinci Code Become A Breakout Hit? "To hear some people tell it, author Dan Brown stumbled on the literary equivalent of turning lead into gold. They say his was a formula that mixed clumsy, forgettable sentences with breakneck pacing, lectures on art, history and religion, sinister conspiracies, evil villains, puzzles and cliffhanger chapter endings to produce literary gold. While some like novelist Salman Rushdie called the book "typewriting" and others, like critic Laura Miller, called it "cheesy," book industry professionals refuse to sneer, saying this was far from a case of good things happening to a bad book." Yahoo! (AP) 05/15/06

Sunday, May 14

The End Of The Book Party? Once, book parties "were as central to the book-publishing experience as collecting blurbs and freaking out over your book jacket. How else could you get through this self-induced ordeal without imagining the scene: reviewers and critics and editors and writers. . . . The hugging, the raised glasses, the rueful toast by one's editor about how long the book took, the copies displayed on a mantelpiece. Not so now. In these cost-cutting days, the book party is no longer to be counted on as a well-earned prize." The New York Times 05/14/06

Wales Book Fest An Unlikely Lit Hit "The Hay Festival, which began in 1988 as an insane glint in the eye of its organizer, Peter Florence, has expanded and expanded to become one of the world's best-known and most exciting literary events — the 'Woodstock of the mind,' as former President Clinton, a participant several years ago, put it. (Think of it as a literary Sundance festival, minus the Hollywood swag.)" The New York Times 05/14/06

Thursday, May 11

Frey Admits More Fabrications In an author's note in his sequel to his best-selling (but discredited) "A Million Little Pieces," james Frey now acknowledges that "significant" parts of "My Friend Leonard," a best-selling story about his friendship with a gangster, were also invented. Yahoo! (AP) 05/11/06

UK Out-publishes US For the first time in 20 years, the UK has published more books that the US has. "U.S. output dropped for the first time since 1999 while the number of British titles surged 28 percent, according to new data from research firm Bowker. Britain, with one-fifth the population of the United States, has long been the world's largest publisher of new books per capita in any language, but a steep decline in U.S. publication of general adult fiction and children's books helped boost the UK's total volume to the top English-language spot. UK publishers issued 206,000 new books in 2005 compared with 172,000 in the United States, which saw an 18 percent drop in production." Yahoo! (Reuters) 05/11/06

Why We Won't Stop Using Paper Books "Our current students are unused to paper and attribute the frustration they feel when they use it as a mere lack of usability when in fact they simply haven’t figured out how it works. Older scholars, meanwhile, tend to forget about paper’s unique utility because using it has simply become second nature to them." InsideHigherEd 05/10/06

Wednesday, May 10

Famed Bay Area Berkeley Bookstore To Close "Cody's Books, the venerable independent bookstore that has served generations of UC Berkeley students, has announced that it will close its flagship store on the south side of campus because of declining sales and competition from chain stores and the Internet." San francisco Chronicle 05/10/06

Do Magazines Matter Anymore? "This is, by consensus, the time to be violently shaking up magazines. The Web has arrived; the readers are leaving; the industry’s grip on the pinnacle of the words-and-pictures trade is getting sweatier and slipperier. Many Condé Nast magazines are about to skip excitedly into the Web business. All around, it’s a time for youth and change, or something like them." New York Observer 05/10/06

A Culture Of Plagiarism? "We have become a culture of borrowers—musicians sample, painters appropriate, computerists worship open-source software. Cool. The problem is that at the same time we’ve forged a society in which misrepresentation is routine, encouraged, obligatory. For all her sweet Hogwarts dreams, an observant, canny, IvyWised-up kid is bound to draw certain conclusions about the way the real world works. She might have noticed, for instance, that the “announced” first printing of her novel was 100,000, about twice the number that shipped—and if she asked why, she would’ve learned that 100 percent exaggeration is simply publishing’s rule of thumb." New York Magazine 05/08/06

Banville's "Art" Comments Irk Critics Irish writer John Banville caused an uproar when he won the Booker Prize. "In a low, steady voice of thanks, he said: 'It is good to see a work of art being recognised!' Many cheered, whether for the unapologetic arrogance of the remark or for the truth of it, or perhaps stirred by the whiff of drama in the room. But the sense of outrage among certain of the glitterati only ratcheted up a notch, to spew out the next day in newspaper column-centimetres of invective." The Age (Melbourne) 05/10/06

Number Of Books Published In US Declined Last Year Book sales are down. So publishers have started cutting down on the number of books they publish. "The number of new books and new editions of old works published last year dropped to 172,000, about 18,000 less than in 2004. Publishers, especially small and middle-sized ones, all cut back." Yahoo! (AP) 05/09/06

Tuesday, May 9

Report: Minorities Underserved By Industry A report issued by the UK's federal Arts Council says that publishers and booksellers are neglecting minority groups, citing research that says "only 50 of the top 5,000 best-selling books in 2006 so far are by black and minority ethnic writers." BBC 05/09/06

Monday, May 8

Did Publisher's Business Plan Contribute To Plagiarism Debacle? "Since the downfall of Kaavya Viswanathan, the Harvard sophomore whose novel was yanked from stores and whose two-book contract was canceled by her publisher last week, attention has focused on Alloy Entertainment, the little-known book packager that shared the copyright with her. What has received scant notice is that the parent company, Alloy Media + Marketing, is not really in the publishing business. It is an advertising and marketing firm that specializes in selling stuff -- and helping others sell stuff -- to teenagers and preteens." Boston Globe 05/08/06

Sunday, May 7

Ramona And The Movie Deal Anyone who was ever a child has probably read at least one Beverly Cleary book, and most of us have read far more than that. "Although Cleary's 39 books have not achieved the quick sales numbers of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series (120 million copies) or Lemony Snicket's books (50 million), they've never gone out of print. And since 1950, when Cleary's first children's novel, Henry Huggins, was published, she has sold more than 90 million copies." Now, at age 90, she has finally agreed to allow her popular "Ramona" series to be made into a movie, but is zealously guarding the character against the rampant commercialization she so detests. San Francisco Chronicle 05/06/06

Friday, May 5

Reconstructing The Books That Didn't Survive Most historians focus on works that actually existed. Stuart Kelly has gone in search of books which were "burned, misplaced, abandoned, suppressed, never finished, never started..." The New York Times 05/05/06

Thursday, May 4

Calling All (Canadian) Poets "The two-year term of current poet laureate Pauline Michel runs out Nov. 16. The Library of Parliament has called for nominations to the post and a selection committee will look at applicants. The job description? Write poetry, sponsor poetry readings and get Canadians interested in poetry." CBC 05/04/06

da Vinci Code Losers Late On Legal Fee Payment The pair who sued Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown for plagiarism and lost, are late on their court-ordered payment of Brown's legal fees. "Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, who sued publishers Random House, were ordered to pay 85% of the company's legal bill, estimated at £1.3m. Their first instalment of £350,000 had been due on Friday. But they have applied for more time to pay." BBC 05/04/06

Wednesday, May 3

The Art Of Book Blurbing "The blurb is a longstanding practice in publishing — nowadays, it’s jarring to find a book that isn’t garnished with adoring verbiage. While there’s no empirical proof that blurbs help sell books, no publisher would dare print a book without one." CBC 05/03/06

Behind The Book "Packager" What exactly is this "Alloy Entertainment", the book packager responsible for the now infamous Kaavya Viswanathan book now withdrawn for plagiarism? "They have writers who don’t exist, and they have writers who don’t really write the stuff, and they have one series supposedly by one author that are by many. There’s no one-to-one alignment between anything that gets produced and the producer. There’s no literary accountability." New York Observer 05/03/06

Lost Out Of Translation Only three percent of the books published in the US are translations, compared with almost 70 percent in Italy. What does that mean for the American reading public? "To reduce translation to this miserable 3 percent is to lose your sense of what is out there." Philadelphia Inquirer 05/03/06

Tuesday, May 2

Bid To Buy Waterstone's Fails Waterstone's founder Tim Waterstone has withdrawn his bid to buy back the bookseller from HMV. "Mr Waterstone, who founded the business almost 25 years ago, claimed HMV had imposed 'ludicrous' conditions for the deal, leaving him and his backers, Lazard European Private Equity Partners, with no alternative but to withdraw." The Guardian (UK) 05/03/06

More Plagiarism In Viswanathan Book More plagiarism charges have been made against Kaavya Viswanathan's "How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life." At least three passages "bear striking similarities to writing in 'Can You Keep a Secret?,' a chick-lit novel by Sophie Kinsella. The copying from Ms. Kinsella's book does not seem to be as extensive as Ms. Viswanathan's borrowing from two novels by Megan McCafferty, 'Sloppy Firsts' and 'Second Helpings,' both published by Crown, a division of Random House. In that case, Crown contends that more than 40 passages were copied from Ms. McCafferty's books." The New York Times 05/02/06

Philip Roth Wins PEN Lifetime Award Philip Roth, whose many novels include "Portnoy's Complaint" and "The Plot Against America," has received the PEN/Nabokov Award for lifetime achievement, a prize worth $20,000. Yahoo! (AP) 05/01/06

Mumbai's Street Book Trade Endangered Mumbai, India has a thriving street book-selling business. Or rather, had one. "Most of Mumbai's pavement booksellers on Veer Nariman Road between Churchgate Station and Marine Drive are now an endangered species. A municipal clean-up is getting rid of hawkers in a city-wide drive to make Mumbai more like modernising Shanghai. Last summer, the city's municipal agency evicted more than 50 of the roughly 75 pavement booksellers and carted away more than a dozen truckloads of books." The Guardian (UK) 04/29/06

Monday, May 1

Bedtime Stories - Not When You're 12 "According to a a survey, parents start out reading to small children but abandon it as they grow up, to the point where just 3% of children aged 12 say they are read to every day." The Guardian (UK) 04/29/06

Home | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy
Copyright ©
2002 ArtsJournal. All Rights Reserved