Authors

Male Authors Still Get Far More Coverage

The results of the annual VIDA Women in Literary Arts survey, which compares the number of female and male authors featured in major literary publications, were released yesterday. The study found a strong preference for male authors in 2012, as in recent years. The New York Review of Books (89 reviews of female authors in 2012 to 316 of male authors), the London Review of Books (74 female authors to 203 male) and the Times Literary Supplement (314 female authors to 924 male authors) fared especially ill. (NPR wasn't included in the survey, but has been criticized for gender bias in author coverage in the past.) Major female authors like Jennifer Weiner and Jodi Picoult have been vocal in recent years about the sometimes rapturous media coverage of white male authors like Jonathan Franzen.

Edwin Mellen Press To Drop Suit Against Librarian

A U.S.-based publishing company says it is dropping at least one of its lawsuits against a McMaster librarian after scholars across North America came to his defense.

Edwin Mellen Press (EMP) had filed two lawsuits against Dale Askey and McMaster University, claiming a total of $4.5 million in damages.
Edwin Mellen PressIn the first filing, submitted in June of last year, the company alleged that statements Askey made in a Sept. 2010 blog post, while he was working at a Kansas university, were both “false” and “defamatory in its tone and context.”

Publisher Pulls a 2nd Book by Lehrer, ‘How We Decide’

Troubles for Jonah Lehrer, journalist wunderkind turned plagiarist and disgraced author, will not abate.

On Friday night, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, which published all three of Mr. Lehrer’s books, confirmed that after an internal fact-checking review of his second book, “How We Decide,” it would no longer offer it for sale.

The publisher stopped selling his third book, “Imagine,” last summer after an investigation revealed that it contained fabricated quotes from Bob Dylan.

Happy Birthday Charles Dickens

The great English novelist Charles Dickens was born this day in 1812. Happy birthday Boz!

American Icons: The Outsiders

 

Susan Eloise Hinton was a teenager when she wrote The Outsiders, the story of rival gangs in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She used the pen name “S.E.” so readers wouldn’t know she was a girl, and bought a Camaro with the earnings. “Some of [the novel’s] faults, like its over-the-top emotions and drama, are what make it so popular because that’s the way kids really feel,” she says. “You’ve got to have the hormones going before you really appreciate that book.”

Librarian Elizabeth Bird says the novel’s unresolved class struggle resonates as powerfully as ever. “There are always going to be the haves and the have-nots — the divide is getting bigger and bigger all the time. And this book talks about that. A lot of books for kids and teens do not.” -- Read More

Park School librarian Laura Amy Schlitz wins 2nd Newbery honor

Park School librarian Laura Amy Schlitz on Monday joined a select group of authors to be twice honored with one of the nation's top prizes for children's literature. - 9030z8e

Full article

What Turned Jaron Lanier Against the Web?

Silicon Valley visionary, pioneer of virtual reality, recants his faith in Web 2.0: "You can draw an analogy to what happened with communism, where at some point you just have to say there’s too much wrong with these experiments”

Full article - Smithsonian Magazine

'Bartholomew Biddle': A Writer's 15-Year Adventure

Gary Ross has penned and directed some big Hollywood hits like Big, Pleasantville and The Hunger Games. But for the past 15 years, his obsession has been something much more personal: a Dr. Seuss-ian children's book called Bartholomew Biddle and the Very Big Wind.

It started when Ross got a call in 1996 from fellow screenwriter David Koepp. Koepp was up against a tight budget and approaching deadline with his debut directorial effort, The Trigger Effect. Its heroine had to read an as-yet-unwritten bedtime story to her child.

Koepp wanted Ross to write that story. "The only thing is, I don't have any money," he told Ross. "So it has to be for free, and I've got to shoot the day after tomorrow."

Full piece (7 minute author interview on NPR)

If you listen to the author interview you find out he created part of the fictional book for the movie The Trigger Effect. I assume they did not use a real children's book to avoid paying royalties.

Publishers brace for authors to reclaim book rights in 2013

A copyright law that lets authors break contracts after 35 years will start taking effect in January. The law, which is meant to give authors like Stephen King and Judy Blume a “second bite at the apple,” could provide yet another disruption for traditional publishers.

Reading 'Dune,' My Junior-High Survival Guide

Author Leigh Bardugo says that when she was 12, Dune wasn't just an escape — it changed her world.

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