Iris Murdoch\'s personal library to be sold

John Bayley, husband of author Iris Murdoch, has announced that he will be selling his late wife\'s personal library of over 1000 books, saying that he doesn\'t have room in his house. The books, many of which are covered in Murdoch\'s scribblings in Greek and Latin, will be sold in one lot at the Antiquarian Book Fair in London in June. The collection is valued at approximately 150,000 pounds. Murdoch, whose descent into Alzheimers was dramatized in an Oscar-winning film in 2001, died in 1999. More info here at the BBC.


Discussing Cultural Democracy with Siva Vaidhyanathan

The Anarchist in the Library: writes "Here's An Interview with

Siva Vaidhyanathan author of "The Anarchist in the Library," a book on intellectual property.

While the topics he ponders as the author of The Anarchist in the Library and assistant professor of Culture and Communications at NYU can be pretty complicated, he always keeps the discussion interesting, down-to-earth, and--above all--human. Because in a culture transformed by advanced technology, that's what's often missing."


Sci Fi Authors Protest Patriot Act

Jen Young spotted a Small Blurb at that says SF authors and editors joined protesters on April 12 in Portland, Ore., to object to the USA Patriot Act. The authors and editors read poems and stories and speeches in protest and to promote free speech, organizers said.

Marchers stopped at the Multnomah County Central Library and took a list of supposed "subversive" books—such as the Koran, the Anarchist Cookbook and Teach Yourself French—and checked the books out en masse.


Death of chidrens' author De Brunhoff

CNN Has an Obituary for Cecile de Brunhoff, the inspiration for Babar, the enchanting little elephant whose adventures captivated generations of children, has died in Paris. She was 99.

She first invented the tale of a little elephant as a bedtime story for her boys in 1931. They in turn told their father, painter Jean de Brunhoff, who illustrated the story and filled in details, naming the elephant Babar and creating Celeste, Zephir and the "Old Lady," who takes care of young Babar after his mother is killed.


Poe letter sells for $20,000 at Christie's

A signed 1840 letter by Poe that a volunteer for an east side Milwaukee church found in its walk-in safe last year was sold for a $20,000 bid at at Christie's auction in New York Tuesday. The Poe letter was among many literary materials that were auctioned Tuesday. Not all fared well.

Jack London, and F. Scott Fitzgerald did poorly, but Nathaniel Hawthorne did well.

You can Take A Closer Look and Read The Full Story


My life as a writer has been very lucky

Author Don DeLillo and the Steppenwolf Theater put on a staged reading of excerpts from his novel Cosmopolis. Story in the Chicago Tribune (free registration may be required).


Hemingway\'s Letters to Dietrich Are Given to Library

Charley Hively writes "30 of Ernest Hemingway's letters have been donated to the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum in Boston. The letters, never made public, will remain sealed for four years, according to the wishes of Dietrich's heirs. Brief samples of the letters, provided to The New York Times, offer an intimate glimpse into an abiding friendship between two cultural legends of the 20th century that until now was understood in only limited detail. Though the letters are deeply affectionate and Dietrich and Hemingway were both sex symbols for their generation — he the literary lion, she the silver-screen siren — their descendants maintain the relationship was entirely platonic.

Full Story @ The NYTimes.



Between the sheets

This One has a few complaints about new authors. They say There are no books about secret agents and plane crashes anymore. Instead, we are condemned to a literary diet of female insurance lawyers assigning tasks to private detectives by day and rubbing Dencorub on their glands at night.

"Show me a book published by a female author in the past 10 years and I will find you a page, if not a whole chapter, specifically dedicated to chafed nipples.


Author/Playwright Paul Zindel dies at 66

San Jose Mercury News story: Paul Zindel won a Pulitzer in the 1970s for his play "The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-moon Marigolds". He was also a celebrated writer of books for young adults, including My Darling, My Hamburger, The Pigman and The Pigman's Legacy, and Pardon Me, You're Stepping on My Eyeball!. The New York Times reports that he succumbed to cancer, and also talks about the troubled childhood that inspired his work.


Who knew Charlotte wrote such racy stuff?

Here's An AP Article on Charlotte Bronte's novella Stancliffe's Hotel, written in 1838, will be published for the first time, shedding new light on one of Britain's most famous writers. It will be published by Penguin in June and later this year in a volume with four other novellas set in the fictional kingdom of Angria, created by Charlotte and her brother Branwell.

"I think it will change the way in which she's still seen, rather patronizingly, as a woman writer who wrote only about her own concerns," said Glen, who teaches at Cambridge University. "It's very humorous and racy; there's something almost modernist about it with the odd juxtaposition of scenes."


Sendak, Noestlinger Win Literature Award

SomeOne pointed to This Newsday Story that says American Maurice Sendak and Austrian Christine Noestlinger, whose tales have amused and informed millions of kids, were given the first Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for Literature Tuesday.

Both writers will share the 5 million kronor ($583,850) prize, which Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria will present June 4 in Stockholm.


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.\"



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