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.\"


Why Kerouac still matters

The Hoosier Times takes a look at the original manuscript of \"On The Road\" which goes on exhibit Tuesday at IU\'s Lilly Library.

They say from the opening sentence and continually down through the mesmerizing scroll of unpunctuated or unparagraphed prose, there are eyebrow-raising differences between the original text and the book that has been assessed as one of the greatest works of American literature in the 20th century.

\"There\'s quite a difference between the manuscript and the book, In some places there is as much as maybe six inches of text not there. In other places there are very different descriptions of some events.\"

-Jim Canary, head of special collections conservation at the Lilly Library


Australian Authors bank on library lending fee

A Story Out Of OZ says The Australian Federal Government paid $14.2 million to 8500 Australian authors and publishers last year to compensate for people borrowing their books from public libraries and in schools.
Without extra income from government schemes, an author said many would-be Australian authors would be forced to give up.

"There are 260 million people in the US, 67 million in the UK, so it's much harder to make a living from people in Australia," he said.

"If the Australian authors go, then our own culture gets ignored."


Steinbeck\'s treasures

California Online has This Story on the Center for Steinbeck Studies at San Jose State University.

They have 40,000 Steinbeck related items like the Steinbeck family Bible and the portable on which the Salinas author typed \"Travels With Charley.\"

The center has been around since 1971 when Martha Heasley Cox, English professor, founded it.

Framed \"lobby cards,\" posters advertising movies based on Steinbeck\'s works, cover one wall.


Wife and Husband Compete for British Book Prize

SomeOne sent over A NYTimes Story on Claire Tomalin and Michael Frayn, the first couple ever both to be shortlisted for the Whitbread Book of the Year award.

Ms. Tomalin was placed on the list when she won the biography category, with \"Samuel Pepys: The Unequaled Self,\" her account of the life of the 17th-century diarist and naval administrator. Mr. Frayn is the winner in the novel category, for \"Spies,\" a story of suspicion and half-understood childhood memories set in an English suburb during World War II.

\"All this is new territory,\" Mr. Frayn said ominously, It might just finish us.\"


Lost in literature

Here's A LA Times Story that takes a look at Novelist Larry McMurtry.

He's the author of The Last Picture Show, Terms of Endearment, and Lonesome Dove. At 66, he churned out four novels during the past year. But some time ago he lost interest in reading fiction, preferring to spend his evenings with European history and British diaries. He doesn't travel much anymore, either. He stays put in windblown Archer City, where he taps out books on a manual typewriter, tends a sprawling secondhand-book store, breakfasts at the local Dairy Queen, hosts out-of-town friends on the weekends, complains about the dearth of decent restaurants and, as one of those friends puts it, "lives in his own head."


Solzhenitsyn improving in hospital

Thanks to Christy Z for This BBC Story that says Nobel Prize-winning Russian novelist Alexander Solzhenitsyn is improving in hospital after being treated for high blood pressure, according to latest reports.

In other author news, Jean Kerr died, so did Roy Jenkins and Mary Wesley.


Nobel winner Solzhenitsyn suffers stroke

CNN Says Nobel Prize-winning author Alexander Solzhenitsyn has been admitted to a Moscow hospital after suffering a stroke.

They say Solzhenitsyn\'s Russian Social Fund confirmed he was in hospital, but did not elaborate on his condition.


Exhibit shows Dickens as stage hound

Here's A CNN Story on an exhibit, "Best of Times: The Theater of Charles Dickens," at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts [WebSite].

Among 200 items on display are rare 19th-century broadsides, posters and programs from plays in which he was involved as an actor, playwright, director, librettist or other capacity.

"He was passionate about the theater all of his life," said the exhibit's curator, Bob Taylor. "Anybody who has read or studied his novels, you can't come away without recognizing the theatricality of them."


Tolkien manuscript struggle revealed

This BBC Story says Professor Michael Drout came across Tolkien\'s translation of eighth century epic Beowulf in an Oxford University library six years ago. He\'s had to contend with obsessive fans and \"strange\" lingering resentments to get it published, he has said.

JRR Tolkien 111th birthday was on Friday as well. The Tolkien Society was asking fans to toast the author, who was born on 3 January, 1892, at 2100 GMT local time.

They also say Everyone who sees The Lord of the Rings movies should read the books as well.


Authors Whose Audience Knows 'Em Like a Book

The Washington Post Says when it comes to publishing these days, it's all about the platform, as in, "Does the author have a platform to promote his or her book?"

Publishers now want authors to be previously published, a TV personality, a musician, an actor, or maybe a politician.

An author with a regular TV gig or a nationally syndicated newspaper column or a wall full of platinum records is worth way more to a publisher. Such a writer brings a built-in audience and untold opportunities for cross-promotion. Dave, Jay and Conan would just love to put him on the couch.


Don't close the book yet on big best sellers

The USAToday Says Overall book sales are down 7% this fall compared with a year ago, but some best sellers have been hit harder than others.

King is down 44% when comparing the first 11 weeks of sales of From a Buick 8 with those for Dreamcatcher, published last year. Clancy dropped 38%, Scott Turow is down 17%, Michael Crichton is up 27%, Nora Roberts is up 16%, John Grisham is up 24% .


What Dr. Seuss really taught us

Mary H. Musgrave points us to The New Yorker and a story on the story behind "The Cat in the Hat."

It turns out The Cat in the Hat was a Cold War invention.


Arthur Clarke — coasting along

Michael Nellis writes \"Nice little story here about Arthur C. Clarke. No mention of libraries, but I figured some of you must be fans. :-)

This article at focuses on his life in Sri Lanka. \"


$1m offered to save Thoreau house Says the co-owner of the Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers has offered to donate more than $1 million to save the deteriorating Henry David Thoreau birthplace in Concord.

''I want to do something that will benefit the community and give me pleasure as well,'' said Donald Saunders. ''It's a tragedy that this historic Thoreau home is threatened. I would be honored to be part of its restoration.''


Author Clive Cussler to Retire

Author Clive Cussler has decided it\'s time to pursue other interests. \"The imagination is still working, but the drive is just gone ... I can\'t explain it. I guess after 35 years of this stuff ... I\'m tired of it. And I have to push to try to maintain the quality because I don\'t want to cheat my readers...\" Read More.


Authors hit the road to push book sales

Deane passed along This One on the drawing power of authors who, like rock stars, are increasingly turning to the tour circuit. They say with the decline of traditional marketing methods, author appearances are becoming a key strategy in selling books.


Bush Administration Recruits American Writers

Steve Fesenmaier writes \"The Bush administration has recruited prominent American writers to contribute to a State Department anthology and give readings around the globe in a campaign started after 9/11 to use culture to further American diplomatic interests.

Full NYTimes Story \"


Fairy tale author's paper cutting sold

Charles Davis writes "
The largest known paper cutting made by Hans
Christian Andersen has been sold at auction in
his Danish homeland for 520,000 kroner
(£44,580) to a museum dedicated to the
The cutting, which is thought to have been
made in 1864, was inserted into one of the
fairy tale author's first editions.
Andersen often made elaborate paper cuttings
to give to friends and families.
Full Story"


Paris: A toast to your favorite author

Jen Young points us to This CNN Story on the literary history of Paris.

They say that strolling about Paris is like a graduate course in comparative lit. American writers and artists still come to Paris to find themselves, or, like The Lost Generation of the '20s, to lose and booze themselves.



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