"Chicano writers from El Paso are the most progressive, open-minded, far-reaching, and inclusive writers of them all."

Octavio Romano

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Writing and Book News; Digital Updates, Chisme, Turkish Prisons, Broken Mirrors, and more

Writing and Book New; Digital Updates, Chisme, Turkish Prisons, Broken Mirrors, and more

South American Book News

"Colombian author and Nobel Prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez is putting the finishing touches on a new novel and is about to publish his first book in six years, his editor said Thursday," says the AFP. READ MORE. 

Check out this New York Times article on Mario Vargas Llosa, back to Princeton after winning the Nobel Prize: Prize in Hand, He Keeps His Eye on Teaching.

Is the MFA system corrupt and undemocratic?

Is the MFA system corrupt and undemocratic? asks Anis Shivani. (Huffington Post). "Just as the guild structure was socially conservative--and hence easily superseded when the more progressive market system, flourishing along with the industrial economy, came along--so is the present MFA credentialing system." READ MORE.

Wife No. 3 v. children: battle over Steinbeck's literary rights

"In the latest—and perhaps final—round of a bitter battle for a control of the John Steinbeck literary estate, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals this week affirmed an earlier dismissal of claims brought by Steinbeck’s son, Thomas Steinbeck, against the heirs of the great American author’s third wife, Elaine Steinbeck, and literary agency McIntosh & Otis." (Publishers Weekly). READ MORE.

Read Pluma Fronteriza's interview with Felipe Ortego on Steinbeck's Tortilla Flat.

Watch what you say

Watch what you say. Award-winning author Arundhati Royttu was arrested and charged with sedition for advocating Kashmer separatism. READ MORE. What does this have to do with Guy Fawkes? For you literature buff, take this quiz on Literature and Sedition.

Five weeks since my baby's been gone

We are featuring an interview with Diego Vasquez, Jr. this month and he relates how he is a slow novelist. But what about those classics, The Scarlet Letter or On the Road, that were busted out in just week? See In just 30 days, you too can write a masterpiece.

Digital Revolution

Is the ebook the new hardback? asks The Guardian:

"Four or five years ago it would have been unthinkable for most newspapers to give away their stories and pictures on the internet for nothing. That was all newspapers had: content. Nowadays, with the exception of Rupert Murdoch's stable, there are very few newspapers that don't operate a web-first policy." READ MORE.

Should e-books have ISBN numbers? Read more.

On the digital topic, Are Writers Powerless to Make a Living in the Digital Age?: "As paper and ink give way to electronic gadgetry, questions arise. What will reading be like in the future? Will long-form prose survive? Will the quality of literature get better or worse? To Jaron Lanier, those are the wrong questions." READ MORE.

Before you start printing your books in total digital read The Trouble with E-Readers by David Pogue: "This past summer Amazon made a shocking announcement: for the first time (and ever since), it sold more electronic books than hardcover ones. Now, that headline should have had half a page of footnotes. Amazon provided only the relative proportions of sales, not the actual quantities. It didn’t mention that its e-books of most best sellers cost a flat $10, compared with, for example, $25 for the same book in hardback. And it didn’t say anything at all about paperback sales (which sell the most of all)." READ MORE.

Now authors can sign your e-book. See Open Road, Autograph Offer Novel Solutions to Personalizing and Signing E-books.

Is the Internet melting our brains? See Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing To Our Brains. (The Millions).
Could Online Writing Communities Replace Creative Writing Programs? asks Publishing Perspectives: "Two months ago we launched Quilliant.com , a new online writing community that aims to recreate the classic writing group over the web. It is a different type of site for writers; it is about developing your work-in-progress with like-minded others and working together towards your aims." READ MORE.

Have you ever been in a Turkish prison?

"A Turkish publisher on trial for publishing a classic erotic novel by French writer Guilliame Apollinaire has been recognised with a special award by the Geneva-based International Publishers Association." (The Guardian). READ MORE.

Student prefer old school

A "new study by OnCampus Research, a division of the National Association of College Stores, reaffirmed last fall’s OnCampus Student Watch study that 74% of college students prefer print." Read now.

Literary Piracy?

"...China-based readers attempting to circumnavigate copyright laws by joining British libraries and plundering their virtual collections for free – publishers have now threatened to prevent libraries from accessing ebooks,"  says The Guardian. READ MORE.

Poem worth the reading?

What makes a poem worth reading? asks The Atlantic: "In the right corner: "the mainstream," who felt poetry should appeal to a common reader, communicating universal experiences in a plain and "accessible" language (stock examples: Billy Collins, Mary Oliver; Poetry magazine). In the left* corner: "the experimentalists," who felt that language should challenge universality, undermine conventions, and renew language's "strangeness" (stock examples: Susan Howe, Charles Bernstein; L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E). " Read more.

Maya papers

The New York Times reports that Maya Angelou's papers/archives have been purchased by the Schomburg Center in Harlem. Read Schomburg Center in Harlem Acquires Maya Angelou Archive.

Great writer, or great editor? 

READ MORE. Also see Sense, sensibility ... and the truth about an author named Jane. How about both?

Top Supernatural Families in Literature

The Weasleys (Harry Potter), the Murry family (A Wrinkle in Time). Which families are the top supernatural families in Literature? See Jennfer Lyunn Barnes list. SEE IT NOW.

Great _____________ Novel?

While on greatness, you've heard of the Great American Novel, how about the Great European Novel? "In his introduction to the forthcoming anthology of short stories, European Fiction, 2011, Colum McCann wonders why, when there is so much hype and hysteria over the search for the Great American Novel, there is not the same fervid interest in the idea of a Great European Novel." READ MORE.

The Irish and the Short Story

Why are the Irish so good at the short story, and why do they love it so much, asks Anne Enright of The Guardian: " READ MORE.

Freudian type

Do your fingers know when you make a typo? See Your Fingers Know When You Make a Typo in Wierd Science.

By-passing Publishers

Can you have a successful self-publishing career. In NPR's story Sci-Fi's Cory Doctorow Separates Self-Publishing Fact From Fiction": 

"He's distributing his latest book, a collection of short stories called With a Little Help (read an excerpt here), without the aid of a publishing house.  Instead, he has turned to his online community, and social networks like Facebook and Twitter, to help build buzz, get advice and even copy edit his new book."

Morrison receives French literary prize

Toni Morrison was awarded the highest French accolade as minister calls her 'the greatest American woman novelist of her time': READ STORY.

Nak for Paster

With the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Zhivago, a news translation is out, but Ann Pasternak Slater of The Guardian says it "loses much of its force." READ MORE. While on the topic of Russian writers, check out My Hero Alexander Pushkin. Also Chekhov's genius will always elude us says: "What also intrigues me is the way writers are drawn to him as well, and not just as translators."

Moving up the Retirement Age

What do writers do after they retire? Or do they? Check out Michael Halroyd's Do Writers Retire.: "While writing the final paragraph to the epilogue in my latest book, A Book of Secrets, I saw that I had called it "my last book". I had not intended to use those words – and of course "last" may mean "most recent" or it may mean "final". This time it means final. It is better to put away my pen (I still use a pen for my first drafts) than to wait for friends and reviewers to beg me to do so..." READ MORE.

Mirror, mirror on the wall
The best mirrors in literature: Snow White, Lady of Shalott? See the list of the Best Mirrors in Literature. Also the roll of forests in fairytalkes and horror: The forest: from fairy tales to horror films. Also see Kate Mosse's Top 10 Ghost Stories.

Paul Revere, incompetent

Bernard Cornwell, author of the famed Sharpe's novels practically says Paul Revere was an idiot. He was court marshaled for incompetence. See the Interview. He also comments on how the English made the Welsh Arthur English, then from Pagan to Christian, and then how a French writers injected adultery into the story. Read more.

Teens reading for Pleasure?

If you've been reading our series, Our People are Not Reading Our Literature, check out the Washington Post for Teens haven't shelved reading for pleasure: "Recreational reading has changed for teens in an era of ebooks and laptops and hours spent online, but experts and media specialists say there are signs of promise despite busy lives and research findings that show traditional book reading is down." READ MORE.

Editors and Book Prizes: Not

An interview with the Paris Review's Lorin Stien, he says "There is a tendency for the big institutions to try to evangelize and give big prizes to under-known writers or to use prizes to bring writers into the public view. And I think that’s often a mistake because they may be overspending their cultural capital." Read Lorin Stein Guardian of the Pantheon.

All my Taxes live in Texas

Amazon is allegedly behind in taxes to the state of Texas: "Texas issued an assessment saying that Amazon owed the state $269 million for uncollected sales tax for the December 2005 to December 2009 period." (Publishers Weekly) READ MORE.

One book is Two Books by Alexie

I recently saw Sherman Alexie on PBS Independent Len's screening of the film Reel Injun: On the Trail of the Hollywood Injun. "The "One Book, One Philadelphia" project, which aims to promote literacy and bring the community together by suggesting one book for all Philadelphians to read, is recommending two for the 2011 program, " both by Alexie. READ MORE. (Philadelphia Inquire).

How much is too much with a literary prize

What happens when your book is nominated for a prize? How many books should your publisher dish out? "...for the small literary house McPherson & Co. in Kingston, N.Y., the nomination represents a quandary: how many copies should it publish? If it prints too many, McPherson risks drowning in a sea of returned books in three months. If it prints too few, it may miss out on what could be its biggest selling title." (Wall Street Journal) READ MORE.

What Kind of Self-Publishing have to be taken in consideration? 

Asks Elena Ornig on her blog. "All authors know that every publishing company will receive thousands and thousands of new manuscripts each year, including those coming in from professional agents who are not available to, or affordable for, every new author. The competition is huge and your manuscript will not necessarily be processed quickly." READ MORE.

New Courtesy o the Electronic Frontier Foundation

A criminal justice blog that provides resources for difficult-to- prosecute murder cases is fighting bogusinfringement claims from copyright troll Righthaven LLC andasked a Las Vegas judge Friday to dismiss Righthaven's baseless attempt to seize the site's domain name.  READ MORE.

Back in 2007, Stephanie Lenz posted a video to YouTube of her children dancing and running around in her kitchen. But a few months later, Universal Music Corp. had the video removed, claiming that it infringed its copyright. With help from EFF and Keker & Van Nest, Lenz fought back. Now Lenz has filed a motion for summary judgment asking the judge to rule that Universal violated the law.  READ MORE. See Dancing Baby.

Protecting journalists from Firesheep

"There's been a great deal of coverage in the last day or so of Firesheep, a plugin for Firefox that lets you take over the Facebook and Twitter accounts of others on your local network. If you use Firesheep, you can pick one of the people on, say, the same open wireless at your nearby cafe, and then easily view, delete, and add comments using their name on these sites." (Committee to Protect Journalists). READ MORE.

A federal judge ruled that requests by the government for detailed information about Amazon.com customers could have a chilling effect on the First Amendment. READ MORE.

A Google engineer has created a Google Chrome extension that will presumably prevent the one million sites that use Facebook Connect from sending data back to Facebook. READ MORE.

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