Book Bits: Jim Obergefell, Hellen Garner, SOAR, ‘Let Me Explain You’
Amazon removed, then un-removed Michael Dreese’s nonfiction book, one of six about the Civil War, because it has a Confederate flag on the cover. What kind of political correctness or hysteria removes a book called This Flag Never Goes Down as though it’s somehow a call to racism? This is history folks: do we plan so much cultural cleansing we plan to hide it and ultimately deny it in the way some fools deny the holocaust? We are running amok if we allow this kind of thing to happen.
Today’s publishing links:
- News: New Harper Lee Book Already Million Seller, by Hillie Italie – “HarperCollins announced Monday that “Go Set a Watchman” in its combined print, electronic and audio formats has sold 1.1 million copies in the U.S. and Canada, a figure which includes first-week sales and months of pre-orders.” ABC News
- News: Obergefell, plaintiff in high court’s gay marriage ruling, has deal for book due out in June – “Jim Obergefell is collaborating with Washington Post journalist Debbie Cenziper on “21 Years to Midnight,” William Morrow told The Associated Press on Monday. Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, plans a June release to mark the 5-4 ruling’s anniversary.” U.S. News & World Report
- Interview: Hellen Garner (“The House of Grief”) with Jessa Crispin – “In Helen Garner’s latest book, This House of Grief, she follows the trial, conviction, and eventual appeal, of Robert Farquharson, a man accused of deliberately drowning his three young sons by driving his car into a body of water. After Farquharson escaped his sinking car, he said he had briefly passed out from a coughing fit, and that is what caused the accident. But the mother of the children, his ex-wife, had recently moved in with a new man, and one of his friends reported he had made some vague threats of revenge.” Bookslut
- Obituary: Historian William Conrad Gibbons Has Died, By Maryann Yin – “Historian William Conrad Gibbons has died. He was 88 years old. Gibbons became well-known for a book series called The U.S. Government and the Vietnam War.” Galley Cat
- Feature: A Novel Idea: Fostering Literacy by Eliminating Book Deserts, by Emily Hoerner – “Literary deserts — where children and parents lack access to quality books — are prevalent in low-income urban neighborhoods across the United States. And these book-dry neighborhoods and homes can negatively impact children’s literacy. Innovative programs, such as book vending machines that are hitting the streets of the Anacostia neighborhood in Washington, District of Columbia, aim to combat these deserts.” U.S. News & World Report
- News: New Survey Tackles Tax Issues Around Books, by Nicholas Clee – ” survey from the Federation of European Publishers (FEP) and the International Publishers Association (IPA) has highlighted the international disparities in the taxing of books and e-books. The report covers 79 countries, and reveals that only 22% of them apply the standard rate of VAT or Goods and Services Tax (GST) to printed books, while 69% apply standard VAT/GST to e-books. ” Publishers Weekly
- Review: Ask Not For Whom the Goat Bleats, By Katy Waldman – “This is the launch pad for a 350-page meditation on family myths and realities, King Lear as warbled at My Big Fat Greek Wedding by a drunken singer with a dry sense of humor. What do you do when the Goat of Death arrives at your doorstep? ” Slate
- Essay: A lament for modern publishing, Fiona O’Connor – “Publishing is a corporatised, market-driven, bottom-line privileging of the blockbuster, maintained by writers’ low-wage drudgery. Marketing is king, and critics absorb the advertising code: do not offend ” Irish Times
- How To: Fiction Writers Can’t Be One-Trick Ponies, by Beth Hill – “While it’s likely that certain of your writing skills convinced you to try writing your first novel, it’s also true that possessing only one strong writing skill won’t be enough to help you write compelling fiction.” The Editor’s Blog
See the Indie View interview with me about how I write and why I wrote this Jim Crow era novella.