The Sun Singer's Travels

Malcolm R. Campbell's World

Book Bits: Claire Vaye Watkins, Folio Prize, Tim Horvath, ‘Homeland,’ Jonathan Dee

shamrockphotoSt. Patrick’s Day is an enchanted time – a day to begin transforming winter’s dreams into summer’s magic.” – Adrienne Cook

Have a magical day tomorrow. Meanwhile, here are some links for today:

  1. Viewpoint: Are You Too Old to Write a Bestseller? by John Yeoman – “I have a bus pass, ten pairs of spectacles in my sock drawer, and—at age 65—the crotchety disposition that arrives only when you overhear your neighbor describe you as “that funny old fellow next door.” Yes, I am old. But too old to write a bestseller?” Wordplay
  2. VayeWatkinsNews: Claire Vaye Watkins wins U.S. Story Prize for short fiction – “Author Claire Vaye Watkins won the annual Story Prize for short fiction on Wednesday for her collection of short stories that focus on the American West. Watkins, an assistant professor at Pennsylvania’s Bucknell University, won a $20,000 cash prize for “Battleborn,” a series of 10 stories published by Riverhead Books that delve into the struggles of characters in both the historical and contemporary West.” Reuters
  3. Lists: PW Picks: The Best New Books for the Week of March 18, 2013, by Gabe Habash – “This week, what we don’t know about memory, rethinking caveman nostalgia, and hidden cities. Plus: Aleksandar Hemon’s fist book of nonfiction.” Publishers Weekly
  4. folioprizeNews: New Folio Prize to reward English-language fiction, by Jill Lawless – “A new literary prize is hoping to beat the Booker to the title of Britain’s most prestigious fiction award — in part by including Americans. Unlike the Booker Prize, which is open to British, Irish and Commonwealth writers, organizers said Wednesday the new Folio Prize will be open to any English-language writer whose work has been published in Britain. ” Associated Press
  5. Event: Author Smoky Zeidel will speak about Fantasy and Magical Realism in Historical Fantasy and her novels “The Storyteller’s Bracelet” and “The Cabin” at College Bookfaire in Whittier, CA, on Saturday, March 23.
  6. roseredLists: The Flâneur in Fiction: Great Books About Wandering the City, by Chloe Pantazi – “Baudelaire once defined the flâneur as “lounger or saunterer, an idle ‘man about town.’” Walter Benjamin’s writing on the arcades of Paris reads like a blueprint. Woolf haunted the streets of London by night, as did Dickens before her. Even Freud got stuck in the city, as walking in Rome invoked an “uncanny” experience, thus informing the polemic for which the father of psychoanalysis is most famous. These authors inspired us to compile a list of our favorite writing on wandering. Saunterers, loungers, and loafers: don’t forget to comment with your favorite walking stories.” Flavorwire
  7. pymFeature: Barbara Pym gets rediscovered — again, by Laura Miller – “From Paula Fox to Richard Yates, literary rediscoveries are in vogue. The latest model is wry satirist Barbara Pym ”  Salon
  8. Feature: Irish Influences on English, by Mignon Fogarty – “In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, this week I have some interesting ways that Irish English differs from American English and some words and phrases that have Irish origins.” Grammar Girl
  9. Quotation: “Words bounce. Words, if you let them, will do what they want to do and what they have to do.” ― Anne Carson
  10. horvathInterview: Tim Horvath (“Understories”) with Brad Listi – The Minneapolis Star-Tribune calls Horvath’s new book “Profound . . . with more to say on the human condition than most full books… A remarkable collection, with pitch-perfect leaps of imagination….Monologue topics: AWP, silent judgment, my thing, your thing, feeling peripheral.” Other People
  11. Viewpoint: Literary Asia on the Rise and Translators Are Key, Says Agent, by Roger Tagholm – “Literary agent Kelly Falconer, who this week formally celebrates the launch of her Asia Literacy Agency (ALA) in Hong Kong, has some strong words to say in defence of a group of people she feels are overlooked by the industry.” Publishing Perspectives
  12. Essay: So God Made a Writer, by Aboubacar Ndiaye – “And on the 8th day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, “I need a chronicler.” So God made a writer.” McSweeney’s
  13. homelandReview: “Homeland,” by Cory Doctorow (ages 13 – 18) – “Doctorow strikes a successful balance between agenda and story in his newest near-future, pre-dystopian thriller…Outstanding for its target audience, and even those outside Doctorow’s traditional reach may find themselves moved by its call to action. (afterwords, bibliography)” Kirkus Reviews
  14. Essay: What do university presses do?  by Jason Weidemann – “This journey, from dissertation to published book and beyond, provides a counter narrative to the rhetoric about scholarly publishers these days, rhetoric which paints us as parasites sucking profit and capital out of the work of scholars, structured around a “conflict” between publishers, libraries, and scholars often oversimplified into a binary. Publishers are interested in profit. Libraries and scholars are not. ” University of Minnesota Press
  15. kindlefireHDNews: Amazon Lowers Price of Kindle Fire HD, Launches it in Europe, Japan – “Amazon will lower the price of the 8.9″ Kindle Fire HD in the U.S. at the same time that it launches the device elsewhere in the world, the retail giant announced. In the U.S., the 8.9″ model–the largest of the Kindle Fire tablets–will now start at $269 for the wi-fi version and $399 for the 4G version, down from $299 and $499, respectively. The device is now available for sale in the U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Japan.” – ShelfAwaremess
  16. News: Student Finds New Work By First Published African-American Poet – “It’s the handwriting that stands out to Cedrick May. As an associate professor of English at the University of Texas, Arlington, he assigned his doctoral students to find some of the known works by Jupiter Hammon, the first published African-American poet. Hammon’s works date back to 1760.”  NPR
  17. thousandpardonsInterview: Jonathan Dee (“A Thousand Pardons”) with Eliza Borné -“In Jonathan Dee’s sixth novel, A Thousand Pardons, a stay-at-home mother goes back to work after her husband’s dramatic breakdown. In her new role, she cultivates her gift for convincing powerful men to apologize on a grand scale. Dee likens this act to an ancient religious ritual.”  Book Page
  18. News: Judge Fast-Tracking Bookseller Suit, by Andrew Albanese – “Days after tersely rejecting the parties proposal to delay the proceedings, Judge Jed Rakoff, yesterday set an aggressive schedule in Book House Of Stuyvesant Plaza, Inc. et al v. Amazon.Com, Inc. et al, in which indie booksellers are suing Amazon and the big six publishers over their exclusive Kindle agreements. ” Publishers Weekly

“Book Bits” is compiled by Malcolm R. Campbell


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