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Posts Tagged ‘Chad Post’

Melville House Withdraws from Future Participation in Best Translated Book Awards

Citing the “predatory and thuggish practices” of Amazon, Melville House publisher Dennis Johnson has withdrawn his press from future participation in the Best Translated Book Awards. Last year the independent press won the fiction award for The Confessions of Noa Weber by Gail Hareven.

UPDATE: Award organizer Chad Post has responded to Melville House.

Last week news broke that Amazon.com will underwrite the Best Translated Book Awards, giving a $25,000 grant to the University of Rochester/Three Percent website to help fund the annual prize. “We must all hang together, or assuredly we will all hang separately,” explained Johnson in a passionate post about the award. What do you think?

Here’s more from the post: “[I]t’s clear to us that Amazon’s interests, and those of a healthy book culture, whether electronic or not, are antithetical. As most of us here at Melville House have also worked at indie bookstores — including such biggies as Booksoup, Shaman Drum, Brookline Booksmith and others — we feel this especially keenly: Taking money from Amazon is akin to the medical researchers who take money from cigarette companies.” (Via Publishers Lunch)

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Lost Finale Theories–The Final Episode Recap

February+2009+078.JPGThe novelistic television show Lost concluded its epic run last night, completing a long bookshelf of reference books and allusions. Today’s guest on the Morning Media Menu was Nikki Stafford, author of the five unofficial guides to the hit television show. She also keeps the popular blog, Nik at Nite.

Today Stafford shared her overall theory about the show. She also answered some of the thorniest questions from the last episode: What did the final shot mean? Why were crucial characters missing? Why did all the characters end up in church?

Share your theories in the comments. Press play below to listen.

Here’s an excerpt, an important reminder for all storytellers: “The thing I love about our reactions to the show is we take those moments that were so sentimental, the moments that came right down to the people. There were people complaining today, ‘I got so wrapped up in the science and the physics and they didn’t answer any of that!’ But it’s about people! That’s what it came down to. And that’s what’s so important about the finale, to me.”

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Lost Season Six, by the Books

annotated23.jpgOn Tuesday night, the literary television show Lost featured a loving cameo appearance of The Annotated Alice: The Definitive Edition–W. W. Norton’s special edition of the Lewis Carroll classic. Since then, the book has rocketed up the Amazon charts, currently ranked 314th in Books and first in History & Criticism.

Over at Entertainment Weekly, journalist Jeff Jensen writes long, speculative essays about Lost, one of the more literary readings of the series you can find on the web. So far, Jensen has spotted two other books in the final season of Lost.

They are: Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie (“Its famous line? ‘What’s the use of stories that aren’t even true?’”) and the famous Fear and Trembling by Soren Kierkegaard (“which challenges true believers to embrace the absurdity of faith. Combined, both books send this message to us: This absurd sideways thing has a purpose. It is ‘useful.’”)

Have you spotted more literary references in season six? Add any books we missed in the comments section–we’ll put them on the list in a future post. If you want to read more of our literary Lost coverage, follow these links:

GalleyCat Reviews looked at critical reception of the books of Lost.
Theoretical physicist Sean Carroll talked about time travel on Lost.
Chad Post revealed another book from the sixth season
Nikki Stafford talked about writing her unofficial guides to Lost.

Best Translated Book Award Shortlist Announced

377t.jpgLast night GalleyCat prowled the aisles at the Best Translated Book Award shortlist party. Held at Idlewild Books in Manhattan, the short presentation was standing-room only.

We mingled with people from all corners of the translation universe: Archipelago Books, NYRB Classics, and M.A.Orthofer from The Literary Saloon. The finalists were drawn from a 25-book longlist, and the books represented came from 24 different countries. In addition, the poetry finalists were also revealed.

At the announcement, Chad Post from Open Letter Books said that major publishers were decreasing the number of translated books they published, a tremendous boon to small presses. “I may not be able to get the best American author,” he explained, but I can get the absolute best Hungarian writer!”

The ten book shortlist follows after the jump.

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Is This Still Your Father’s Book Review? (And If So, Why?)

Just in case you were wondering: Yep, I saw the Lee Abrams memo that touches upon the future of the LA Times Book Review. In case you hadn’t, here’s the nut:

“Maybe Book sections in newspapers are just dated. Not the idea… but the look and feel. Maybe they’re modeled after a book store in 1967 whereas we’re in the Borders, Amazon, B&N era. Maybe they are too scholarly. Maybe they avoid genres like Christian books, Celebrity books and Popular novels, opting instead for reviews of the Philippine Socialist Movement in the 1800′s. The point here is maybe Book sections need to be as dramatically re-thought as Borders re-thought retail. Not dumbing down—but getting in sync with the 21st Century mainstream book reader.”

I don’t know if I’d put it in exactly those words, but if you’ve been reading GalleyCat posts about book reviewing for any amount of time, it won’t surprise you to learn that I think Abrams is on to something where the big picture is concerned. (Although Chad Post is unconvinced.) As for the LATBR, Mark Sarvas has some good ideas about moving all the book coverage online to create the most kickass book review in American mainstream media.