American author sees best into England's soul

SomeOne writes "The Guardian Says readers have voted for the title which best voices what they see as the soul of their region.
Their choice for England, announced today, is a book by an American author which says the country has spent the past 50 years viewing itself as "a chronic failure".

The good news is that Bill Bryson's account of England, in Notes from a Small Island, gets rosier. The bad news is that the pictures of Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland given by home-grown authors are even worse.



Magic Powers - Richard Powers That Is

The Guardian Looks At Richard Powers, who they say is being hailed by some critics as America's greatest living novelist.

"A book is still atemporal. It is you, in silence, hearing voices in your head, unfolding at a time that has nothing to do with the timescale of reading. And for the hours that we retreat into this moratorium, with the last form of private and silent human activity that isn't considered pathological, we are outside of time."


Mystery writer sounds civil liberties alarm

Bob Cox pointed to This One on Sara Paretsky, who plans to speak out on what she perceives as the erosion of personal privacy and freedoms in America, Paretsky’s topic will be "Writing in an Age of Silence: Truth, Lies, or Duct Tape."

"I’m scared by the way our civil liberties are disappearing," she said in a telephone interview. "The events of the last 18 months are really both silencing Americans and causing us to live under a toxic cloud of lies and silence."


Madonna comes clean

Rochelle Hartman writes "Talking about
her 1992 coffeetable book Sex, yoga aficianado, pointy-bra-
wearer, and pop icon Madonna admitted that "I was just being an
ego-driven nut-case." If only she'd asked us....
Read more of her interview with the UK Sun


Madonna adds children's writer to her CV

SomeOne spotted
This Guardian Story that says Madonna becomes the latest celebrity to turn her hand to fiction. The singer/actress has written a series of children's books to be published by Penguin.
Penguin chairman John Makinson said: "Madonna is an artist with a universal appeal and these books will touch children of all backgrounds everywhere in the world."

I assume he was being facetious...


Stephen King's final three <i>Dark Tower</i> books to be published

In yet another announcement from Cader Books' Publisher's Lunch newsletter, "The last three volumes of Stephen King's Dark Tower series, WOLVES OF THE CALLA, SONG OF SUSANNAH, and THE DARK TOWER, [were sold] to Robert K. Wiener at New Hampshire's Donald M. Grant Publisher (which has published the last four
Dark Tower books) for illustrated hardcover publication beginning in
November 2003, and to...Susan Moldow at Scribner, following with trade
paperback editions (and eventually mass markets from Pocket), by manager
Arthur Greene and King's editor, Chuck Verrill at Darhansoff, Verrill,
Feldman, with Penguin Group publishers doing a special promotion of the Dark
Tower backlist prior to publication, accompanied by a new introduction to
the series from King. Scribner will also publish a two-volume concordance, a
reference for the series detailing character names, places and other
cross-references in the books, written by Robin Furth."


If you watched Michael Moore on 60 Minutes

Steve Fesenmaier writes "Last Sunday Michael Moore was interviewed on 60 Minutes. He gave credit to librarians for saving his book "Stupid White Men" from being pulped. Read the ALA Cognotes story that includes a great large picture of Moore with courageous librarian Ann Sparanese."


Booking Authors: Advice from the Pros

\"In 1993 Baker & Taylor issued a 79-page directory listing 140 libraries across the country that were \"ready, willing, and able to host author readings and events.\" In distributing copies of Authors in Libraries: A Guide for Publishers to some 200 members of the Publishers Publicity Association (PPA), B&T sought to encourage publishers to book more of their authors in libraries as part of publicity tours. Despite the excitement that the directory generated among publishers and library programmers, B&T\'s promised updates never materialized, and now, almost ten years later, many of the misperceptions that publishers and librarians have long held about each other still exist—at least when it comes to working together to set up author events.\" (from Library Journal)


Onan the librarian

The Spectator has This Story on Robert Gore-Langton the poet who knew how to offend everyone, the subject of a a new and (by all accounts) sympathetic film coming up on BBC 2.
They say the general view hitherto has been that Larkin (1922–85) was a fine poet but a creep of the first order.

\"Larkin is read today not because he was a Meldrewish curmudgeon, but because he was a genius at writing poetry that illuminates the corners of ordinary life in all its sadness. He was the English verse Sinatra.\"


Big-city cowboy Has One on Bernard \"Stoney\" Baker, writer of Westerns featuring a fictional black hero also named Stoney Baker.
In the past five years, Baker has written three novels about the American West of the late 1800s. This, and he works at General Motors\' Metal Fabrication Plant just west of Downtown Indianapolis.

\"I feel sometimes like I was born a century too late,\" the 52-year-old Baker says as he relaxes in the UAW Local 23 union hall next to the plant. \"I\'m here in this plant, but actually I\'m not here. I dream of the West, of horses. My dreams are in the wide open.\"



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