What\'s Left of Chomsky

Preston Enright writes: \"A May 5, 2002 Washington Post article noted that Noam Chomsky is the most-cited living author on the planet. My media project, \"What\'s Left,\" is offering free copies of audiotaped lectures by Professor Chomsky, and other progressive figures like Ralph Nader, Angela Davis and Howard Zinn. The tapes come in sturdy boxes with a description of the talk and the speaker. My hometown library, the Denver Public Library, receives two copies of every lecture we produce and they are checked out constantly.
Please contact me, Preston Enright, to receive a collection of some of the most eye-opening talks on major social issues of the day.


The mystery of Hannah Crafts

Charles Davis sent over The mystery of Hannah Crafts.
By John Bloom

Who was Hannah Crafts. Was Hannah Crafts really a black woman? Was she really a slave? How do we know she wasn\'t a tea-sipping housewife in Morristown who wanted to help abolish slavery?

In case you missed the ballyhoo, 16 months ago an obscure 301-page handwritten manuscript was offered for auction at the Swann Galleries in New York. The title page read \"The Bondwoman\'s Narrative by Hannah Crafts, a Fugitive Slave, Recently Escaped from North Carolina.\"

The catalog said that the manuscript appeared to be from the 1850s and that it was \"uncertain that this work is written by a \'negro,\'\" but that there was textual evidence to suggest that it was written by a slave — for example, \"her escape route is one sometimes used by run-aways.\"


\'Turner Diaries\' author dies

James Nimmo sent over Word That White supremacist leader William Pierce, whose book The Turner Diaries is believed to have inspired Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, died Tuesday. He was 68.

Mr. Pierce\'s novel, published in 1978, depicts a violent overthrow of the government by a small band of white supremacists who finance themselves through counterfeiting and bank robbery.

FBI investigators have said Mr. McVeigh was a fan of Mr. Pierce\'s book and used it as a blueprint for bombing the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995. The book includes a truck-bombing of FBI headquarters.


Chaim Potok dies at age 73

If you work in a public library you may want to whip up a book display of the late author\'s work. Here are a few links to obits that can be printed and photocopied for patrons.

Baltimore Sun

Philadelphia Inquirer


Washington Post


Jane Austen first editions discovered in Scottish

Charles Davis writes \"First editions of Jane Austen\'s novel Pride And Prejudice have been uncovered at a Scottish castle. The three volumes are expected to fetch between £8,000 and £12,000 when they are auctioned on Friday.

Story at


Bad writing contest honours the dark and stormy

SomeOne writes \"And I use that [Authors] Topic Lightly....
Rephah Berg of Oakland, California, who normally writes slogans for lapel buttons has won the 2002 Bulwer-Lytton Bad Writing Award for a piece which compared a faltering relationship to a balky roll of toilet paper.

Ms Berg\'s submission, reads:

\"On reflection, Angela perceived that her relationship with Tom had always been rocky - not quite a roller-coaster ride but more like when the toilet paper roll gets a little squashed so it hangs crooked and every time you pull some off you can hear the rest going bumpity-bumpity in its holder until you go nuts and push it back into shape, a degree of annoyance that Angela had now almost attained.\"



Michael Moore to Help Librarians

Lee Hadden writes: \" Michael Moore recounted his assistance from librarians in getting his
recent book published, \"Stupid White Men,\" and shows his appreciation by
organizing a group of fellow authors \"...advocating critical library issues
such as better pay, better benefits, sexism and pay equity. Through his
website he is offering videos of his television shows as well as his
previous movies free to all librarians. He is also offering an endowment to
establish a scholarship for minorities who wish to become librarians...\"

Read more about it in the article by Michael Byrnes, \"A Morning With
Michael Moore,\" on page 16 of the ALA Cognotes Annual Highlights found in This PDF.\"


Neil Gaiman likes librarians!

For nearly a year now, I\'ve been reading the journal/blog of one of my favourite authors, Neil Gaiman. It is always interesting and amusing reading anyway, but he was at ALA last week and as a result has written some nice words about librarians (scroll down to the entry from Sunday 16th June).

\"I don\'t think it\'s overstating things to suggest these people are the thin grey line between literacy and barbarism\"

If you like what you read in the journal, I would highly recommend his novels - try last year\'s excellent American Gods. I\'m just disappointed that I\'m not in the US anymore and so couldn\'t be at ALA this year.


Anna Patchett surprise winner of women\'s Orange Fiction Prize

The Telegraph says Anna Patchett, the only American writer on the shortlist, was the
surprise winner of this year\'s £30,000 women\'s Orange Fiction Prize for
her novel Bel Canto.
Bel Canto was the outsider at 7-1 and
has received a mixed reaction from
British reviewers.


Dr. Seuss Sculpture Garden Unveiled

Kathy sent over This One on the new $6.2 million sculpture garden unveiled to honor the late Theodor Geisel, the beloved children\'s author better known as Dr. Seuss.

Meanwhile, back in Whoville, Some People Are Not happy Congress paid for the Seuss statues using $950,000 that was earmarked for poor communities.

\"It\'s probably too late to do anything about it now, but the next best thing is to complain about it, which is what we\'re good at.\"


Joyce archive bought for 8 Million Pounds

Charles Davis writes \"Hundreds of manuscripts and notes penned by
the novelist James Joyce have been bought by
the National Library in Dublin for £8m.

The rare collection, believed to be the largest
of its kind - includes unseen drafts of the
classic book Ulysses.

The collection - totalling more than 500 pieces
- was brought to Dublin from Paris by Ireland\'s
Arts Minister Sile de Valera.

Prime Minister Bertie Aherne was at Dublin
Airport to welcome the manuscripts to the

The documents were purchased from Alexis
Leon, the son of Joyce\'s former aide, the late
Paul Leon.

Full story at



Goodwin Resigns From Pulitzer Board

SomeOne passed along This Story that says Doris Kearns Goodwin has resigned from the Pulitzer Prize board, four months after the historian acknowledged that parts of a book she wrote were taken from another author without attribution.


Nancy Drew author Millie Benson dies at age 96

The Great And Powerful Joe pointed us to The Toldeo Blade that says Mildred Augustine Wirt Benson, a newspaper reporter for more than eight decades and author of the first 23 Nancy Drew mysteries that inspired generations of readers, died last night in Toledo Hospital. She was 96.


NY Public Library Mounts Writers\' Exhibit

Charles Davis sent along This One
on A new exhibition at the New York Public Library called \"Victorians, Moderns and Beats.\" It includes manuscripts, letters, diaries and personal items from major British, Irish and American writers from the late 1800\'s through the so-called \"Beat Generation\" of the 1950\'s.


Rescuing the voices of poets

Charles Davis points to
This IHT Story on a project converting old tapes to digital recordings, since the tape on which it was originally recorded was starting to disintegrate that is being done at poetry centers around the United States.

\"Some of them already have to be cut and spliced because they are very fragile or even have breaks in them,\" Veskrna said. \"Age isn\'t the only problem. A lot of the tape stock was less than ideal to start with. Companies were experimenting with chemical formulas used to make magnetic tape, and some of those experiments were less than successful in terms of longevity. If these recordings aren\'t transferred to other formats soon, we could lose quite a lot of them forever.\"


Stephen Jay Gould dies at 60

Biologist and author Stephen Jay Gould died of cancer Monday. The NYT obit (registration required) says he passed away in a bed in his library, surrounded by books.


Angelou\'s words now may be just right

Here\'s One from AccessAtlanta that says Maya Angelou has softened a controversial quote proposed as the inscription for Savannah\'s first monument to African-Americans.

\"We were stolen, sold and brought together from the African continent. We got on the slave ships together. We lay back to belly in the holds of the slave ships in each others\' excrement and urine together, sometimes died together, and our lifeless bodies thrown overboard together,\" Angelou has said in lectures.

The inscription, if approved, would include this addition:

\"Today, we are standing up together, with faith and even some joy . . . \"

Thanks to Bob Cox for yet another story.


Author laments \'loss of book choice\'

This BBC Story says British writer AS Byatt has hit out at what she sees as the deteriorating quality and range of literature on sale in the majority of UK book shops, and is saddened by the apparent triumph of marketing over choice on the book market. They say recent examples of heavily promoted titles could include the Harry Potter books.

\"Whereas once you would have had a very large choice of novels, such as every novel by Anita Brookner, Julian Barnes and Ian McEwan, now you find a random one or two novels by those people,\" said Byatt.


Novelist Spurs Passion Over Parking

Here\'s An LATimes Story Bob Cox sent over on romance novelist Danielle Steel.

She has 26 residential permits in her tony Pacific Heights neighborhood--more than any San Franciscan this has unleashed passions not normally associated with her 50-odd romance novels.

There has not only been angry sniping from neighbors but also miffed letters to the editor and a recent local newspaper headline that read: \"Danielle\'s Parking Orgy.\"

\"No single-family home should ever be allowed to have 26 parking permits,\" said Myron Zimmerman, who lives across the street from Steel. \"It\'s way too excessive. She already has a huge underground garage and extra outside parking on her property. It puts people around here in a bind. If we have any kind of social event, we\'ve got to hire valet parkers.\"


Explore Boston\'s Trail of Authors.

20020430 \"Where
literary greats once trod.
\" Hike Boston\'s trail of
authors: \"... tie on a comfortable pair of shoes and follow the Literary
Trail through Boston, Cambridge, and Concord. This self-guided, 20-mile
tour, developed by the Boston History Collaborative, takes you where some
of America\'s best-loved authors – Emerson, Longfellow, Thoreau, Hawthorne,
and Alcott – met, wrote, and lived.\"
-By Frances J.
- \"The Literary Trail of Greater Boston: A Living Tradition.\" 
From the Boston History Collaborative.

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