The Sun Singer's Travels

Malcolm R. Campbell's World

Book Bits: ‘Maus’ banned in Russia, ‘Finnegans Wake,’ Enoh Meyomesse released, Courtney Love Sued

prattWhile our national focus is on the tragedy of Baltimore, it’s somewhat reassuring to see that in the midst of the chaos the Enoch Pratt Free Library and Red Emma’s Bookstore have remained open. Due to safety concerns, today’s Baltimore Orioles game against the Chicago White Sox was scheduled to be played in Empty Camden Yards.

Today’s Book News

  1. mausNews: Graphic Novel About Holocaust ‘Maus’ Banned In Russia For Its Cover – “Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel about the Holocaust, Maus, has some very memorable cover art. It pictures a pair of mice — representing Jews — huddling beneath a cat-like caricature of Adolf Hitler. Behind the feline Hitler is a large swastika…For Russian observances of Victory Day, the holiday commemorating the Soviet Union’s defeat of Nazi Germany, Moscow has purged itself of swastikas. In an effort to comply, Russian bookstores cleared copies of Maus from their shelves.”  NPR
  2. Feature: Finnegans Wake – the book the web was invented for, by Billy Mills – “More interestingly, the move to the public domain meant that the Wake could more easily enter the world beyond print culture. There is an excellent annotated version of the text online which, when I discovered it, led me to think that the book, like other supposedly difficult modernist texts such as Eliot’s The Waste Land and The Cantos of Ezra Pound, is like an early iteration of hypertext. The book was, we can now see, crying out for the invention of the web, which would enable the holding of multiple domains of knowledge in the mind at one time that a proper reading requires.”  The Guardian
  3. causingchaosReview: “Causing Chaos,” by Deborah J. Ledford, reviewed by Malcolm R. Campbell – “While each novel in this very cohesive series has developed the characters of Walela and her boyfriend Steven Hawk, Causing Chaos belongs to Hummingbird in every possible way. While the novel is aptly categorized as a police procedural and thriller, it is also a deeply personal story for Walela as multiple layers of her past and her family/tribal relationships come to light. Among these is a childhood incident, a source of nightmares and latent fears, that may somehow be related to the fate of Paven and Shellie and to the puzzling Qualla Ghost cases.”  Malcolm’s Round Table
  4. News: Enoh Meyomesse, Cameroonian writer and activist, released from prison, by Alison Flood – “The Cameroonian poet, essayist and political activist Enoh Meyomesse has been released from prison this week after more than three years in jail. ‘It’s funny to see the prison from outside,’ Meyomesse told the writer Patrice Nganang, who campaigned for his release. ‘They practically threw me outside. It was quite forceful. But if it is kicking me outside to freedom, then there’s nothing to complain about.'”  The Guardian
  5. Bolick

    Bolick

    Interview: Kate Bolick (“Spinster”), with Catherine Hollis – “All of us spend at least part of our lives alone, possibly more so now than ever before, between the rising age of marriage, the ubiquity of divorce and our increasingly longer lifespans. My hope is that ‘Spinster’ will remind any reader that being alone, whenever it happens, is something to treasure, not fear.”  Book Page

  6. News: Courtney Love Is Sued by Co-Writer of Her Memoir, by Joe Coscarell – “Courtney Love, a founding member of the band Hole and the widow of Kurt Cobain, has been sued by Anthony Bozza, the biographer she hired in 2010 to help write her memoir for William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins…Mr. Bozza accused Ms. Love of failing to complete payment for his work since he delivered a 123,375-word manuscript in January 2014.”  The New York Times
  7. earlywarningReview: Jane Smiley’s elegiac look at an American family in ‘Early Warning,’ reviewed by Valerie Sayers – “Clocking in at almost 500 pages, ‘Early Warning,’ the middle volume of Jane Smiley’s three-volume saga of the Langdon family, is a good reminder of our culture’s conflicted tastes. In an era of tweets, texts and flash fiction, the big, juicy novel is ascendant again.”  The Washington Post
  8. News: Library Groups Join Effort for ‘Balanced’ Copyright, by Andrew Albanese – “The American Library Association and the Association of Research Libraries are among the organizations to join a new coalition dedicated to promoting ‘balanced’ copyright laws in the United States. Dubbed ‘Re:Create’ the group aims to ensure that copyright laws are ‘clear, simple and transparent, while also fostering innovation, creativity, education and economic growth.'”  Publishers Weekly
  9. News: Charlie Hebdo and the PEN Award: Petition sent to authors urging them to “disassociate ourselves” from honoring the magazine, by Erin Keane – “Days after six literary “table hosts” made public their decision to boycott the upcoming PEN American Center gala, which will honor, among others, French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo with the Freedom of Expression Courage award for continuing to publish after the January 7 massacre that claimed the lives of 12 people, including eight journalists, an anonymous email has circulated to PEN members asking them to sign in support of disassociating themselves from the award.”  Salon
  10. everyfifteenReview: “Every Fifteen Minutes,” by Lisa Scottoline – “A sociopath targets a suburban Pennsylvania psychiatrist whose success is only the prelude to a series of nightmarish reversals…A proficient, mounting-stakes actioner that proves Scottoline is just as comfortable with a shrink determined to go to the wall for a troubled teen as she ever was with Bennie Rosato’s all-female law practice (Betrayed, 2014, etc.).”  Kirkus Reviews
  11. Viewpoint: Academics Cope With Pressure to Translate, Publish in English, by Mary Jane Curry and Theresa Lillis – “English has become the valued language of publishing in many academic disciplines, resulting in growing pressure on scholars around the world to publish in English — especially in the high status journals included in Thomson Reuters indexes such as the Social Science Citation Index. English-medium publications are increasingly part of official evaluation criteria in a range of institutional contexts, for example, of individual scholars, their departments and institutions, and research grant awards. ”  Publishing Perspectives

KIndle cover 200x300Book Bits is compiled by Malcolm R. Campbell, author of “Conjure Woman’s Cat.”

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