The Case of the Missing Marketing Blitz

A New York Observer article about the lack of marketing - and thus ordering by Barnes & Noble - for Julie Hecht's The Unprofessionals.

To sell a book without Barnes and Noble is like trying to make bouillabaisse without fish: The retailer is a basic and noticeable ingredient. And it’s hard to believe that Random House "forgot" to approach the Barnes and Noble buyers.


To Stars, Writing Books Looks Like Child's Play

A story from the NY Times about the recent explosion of famous people writing children's books.

A handful of celebrities, like John Lithgow and Jamie Lee Curtis, actually have a gift for writing for children: they know how to tell a story and how to tell it with words and pictures and whimsical wit. For others, children's books are just another way to merchandise themselves, another vanity production: Britney books, along with Britney dolls, Britney cellphones and Britney mouse pads.


Imprisoned Cuban writer-librarian given PEN Award

Steve Fesenmaier writes "Cuban writer-poet- librarian Raul Rivero Castaneda and the Sierra Leone PEN Centre were given the Freedom to Write Awards by PEN West on Monday."


For a love of books

A Toronto Star Article covers Azar Nafisi, ran a clandestine reading group in her Tehran apartment for seven young women who had been her best students.In her recently published memoir, Reading Lolita In Tehran (Random House), Nafisi writes that Mitra, a student in her secret class, once asked her, "Why is it that stories like Lolita and Madame Bovary — stories that are so sad, so tragic — make us happy? If we were to write about our lives here in the Islamic Republic of Iran, should we make our readers happy?"


Booker winner joins 'roguish writers'

Here's A BBC Piece on Booker Prize winner DBC Pierre. They say his recent revelations he was a former drug addict and gambler, selling his best friend's house to pocket the proceeds, has enlivened the largely conservative world of literature.
Shattering the more conventional image of authors as strait-laced types working away in rose-covered cottages, Pierre joins that roguish band of writers whose colourful personal lives are probably as famous as their prose.


Neil Postman, 72, Mass Media Critic, Dies

The NYTimes Reports Neil Postman, a prolific and influential social critic and educator best known for his warning that an era of mass communications is stunting the minds of children — as well as adults — died on Sunday at a hospital in Flushing, Queens. He was 72 and lived in Flushing.


Finding a Middle Earth in Montana

Interesting NYTimes Story on 19-year old author Christopher Paolini.
He has never been to school, he was home-schooled, and was only 15 when he wrote his fantasy novel "Eragon," about a boy who finds a magic stone that is transformed into a dragon and then sets out to avenge the death of his uncle and to defeat an evil king. Now four years later, "Eragon," published by Alfred A. Knopf, is third on the New York Times hardcover children's chapter books best-seller list, outselling four of the five Harry Potter books.


William Steig dead at 95

zanne writes "Prolific and Caldecott Award-winning author William Steig has passed away at the age of 95.

CNN Has This, along with The BBC, and The AP."


J.M. Coetzee Wins 2003 Nobel Literature Prize

News That South African writer John Maxwell Coetzee has been awarded the 2003 Nobel Prize for Literature.

The Nobel Academy's head, Horace Engdahl, said Coetzee "in innumerable guises portrays the surprise involvement of the outsider".

See also: Great writers who never won the Nobel, Among those considered in the running but who have died in the past few years was R.K. Narayan, of whom his friend Graham Greene once remarked that thanks to his writing he had known what it was like to be Indian.

2003 JM Coetzee
2002 Imre Kertesz
2001 VS Naipaul
2000 Gao Xingjian
1999 Günter Grass
1998 Jose Saramago
1997 Dario Fo
1996 Wislawa Szymborska
1995 Seamus Heaney
1994 Kenzaburo Oe


Author George Plimpton Dies

Tina Emerick writes "Author George Plimpton dies at age 76. He is the Author of "Paper Lion" and lived in Manhattan CNN has One Story."
Other stories at, and The Guardian.



Subscribe to Authors