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Posts Tagged ‘Dave Eggers’

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Announces Best American Series’ Guest Editors

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has announced the seven guest editors for its Best American series. Shelf-Life offered the complete list:

The Best American Short Stories: Geraldine Brooks
The Best American Essays: Edwidge Danticat
The Best American Comics: Alison Bechdel
The Best American Nonrequired Reading: Dave Eggers (with an introduction by Guillermo del Toro)
The Best American Travel Writing: Sloane Crosley
The Best American Science and Nature Writing: Mary Roach
The Best American Sports Writing: Jane Leavy

The Sun Herald has more details about the guest editors’ backgrounds. In years past, the series has also published in the categories of mystery stories, recipes, and spiritual writing.

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World Book Night to Give Away One Million Books

On March 5, 2011, 20,000 givers will help donate one million books to U.K. readers for World Book Night.

Jamie Byng, Canongate Books managing director and World Book Night committee chairman, conceived the event back in 2009. A group of booksellers, librarians, authors, broadcasters and others have chosen a list of 25 books to give away (the complete list follows below). Only 20,000 people will be invited to give away books for the program. Prospective givers have until January 4th to sign up–they can go to the World Book Night website and explain in 100 words or less why they want to participate.

John Le Carré‘s The Spy Who Came in From the Cold made the cut, and he had this statement: “No writer can ask more than this: that his book should be handed in thousands to people who might otherwise never get to read it, and who will in turn hand it to thousands more. That his book should also pass from one generation to another as a story to challenge and excite each reader in his time–that is beyond his most ambitious dreams.”

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Dave Eggers Sketches the World Series

Author Dave Eggers has been sketching and writing about the World Series this year for San Francisco’s Bay Citizen .

Egger’s home team, the San Francisco Giants, are seeking their first World Series win since 1954. They have won the first two games of the series against the Texas Rangers. Above, we’ve embedded one of Egger’s sketches. Follow this link to see the rest.

Here’s more from the Bay Citizen: “We invited San Francisco author and artist Dave Eggers, founder of McSweeney’s literary journal and the nonprofit writing center 826 Valencia, to the first game of the World Series. He spent the afternoon and evening with a sketchbook at AT&T Park; here is some of what he saw.”

Vendela Vida Explores The Lovers, The Believer, & Screenwriting

vv2323.jpgAs literary journals around the country struggle to update for the 21st Century, one founding co-editor at The Believer maintains a nearly exclusive print-focused strategy.

Today’s guest on the Morning Media Menu was Vendela Vida, author of the new novel The Lovers and a founding co-editor at The Believer.

Vida talked about her novel, her intentional lack of Internet access at home, and The Believer‘s print-oriented strategy. She also shared the screenwriting experience and advice she learned while writing Away We Go with her husband, Dave Eggers.

Vida explained the print strategy: “The Believer hasn’t changed at all. I think we still like to pretend that nothing’s changed and put out the same magazine we’ve always put out. Obviously we have a website, but it’s not an integral part of our magazine. I feel like the magazine could exist without the website except that people like to go there and find back issues and back pieces. We try to be as oblivious to all the changes going on as we can be.”

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Andrew Wylie: eBook Deals ‘Currently On Hold’

wylie.jpgIn a long profile in the current issue of Harvard Magazine, agent Andrew Wylie revealed that eBook deals are “currently on hold across the board” at his famous agency, and cautioned publishers that he could take eBook rights elsewhere.

Wylie’s agency counts 700 clients, including major writers like Dave Eggers, Al Gore, Philip Roth, and Louise Erdrich–so these are not idle threats. eBookNewser has more about the article.

Here is an excerpt: “Wylie threatens to monetize those unassigned rights by going outside the publishing business entirely: ‘We will take our 700 clients, see what rights are not allocated to publishers, and establish a company on their behalf to license those e-book rights directly to someone like Google, Amazon.com, or Apple. It would be another business, set up on parallel tracks to the frontlist book business.’”

Literary Journal Namesake Timothy McSweeney Has Died

8a5b7e6d2fe7dba3a9a56713f1dd3f31.jpgLast month the namesake of the literary journal McSweeney’s passed away at 67-years-old.

In 1998, Dave Eggers named “Timothy McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern” after an man who had sent letters to his mother. Timothy McSweeney was an MFA art student and onetime studio art teacher at Rutgers University. The site described his work: “The canvases he leaves behind are filled with haunting and beautiful imagery. They are also filled with a palpable desire–to be heard, to connect, to be understood better by others and himself.”

McSweeney suffered from mental illness, and was hospitalized for many years. There, he wrote letters to people around the country. He sent many letters with diagrams, train schedules and “urgent” messages to Eggers’ mother–despite the fact that they had never met.

Here’s more about the real McSweeney, from the website: “Knowing that the journal bore the name of a real person who had endured years of struggle threw melancholy shadows over the enterprise. But the McSweeneys insisted that the use of the name was acceptable, even appropriate, given Timothy’s background as an artist and search for connection and meaning through the written word. Since 2000 we’ve implicitly dedicated all issues to the real Timothy.”

Novelist Vendela Vida Immortalized in Indie Rock Song

46604_vida_vendela.jpgWhile visiting one of his favorite music blogs, this GalleyCat editor uncovered a Dinosaur Feathers tune entitled “Vendela Vida.”

The song appeared to be named after Vendela Vida (pictured, via 2003 E.D.L.M.), the novelist, screenwriter, and journalist who is married to Dave Eggers (as we noted last year, the couple also co-wrote a film together). Intrigued, GalleyCat caught up with Greg from Dinosaur Feathers to find out why a tropical/surf/pop band would dedicate a whole song to Vida.

Here is his reply: “The song indeed was named after Vendela Vida the author, although it’s not about her. I actually intended to call the song Chinatown, after the movie–a lyric in the pre-chorus. We started calling it Vendela Vida out of laziness I guess–because it’s the first lyric basically. When I wrote the song, I had just seen her do a reading of one of her short stories at a benefit for 826NYC. So, the lyric at the beginning was informed partially by that reading.”

What do you think? Listen to the song here. Read all the lyrics to “Vendela Vida” after the jump…

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Sex and the 21st Century Male Writer

updike23.pngCan contemporary male authors write a good sex scene? In a NY Times Book Review essay this weekend, cultural critic Katie Roiphe argued that male authors have lost their taste for steamy sex.

Here’s a sample: “The current sexual style is more childlike; innocence is more fashionable than virility, the cuddle preferable to sex. Prototypical is a scene in Dave Eggers‘s road trip novel, ‘You Shall Know Our Velocity,’ where the hero leaves a disco with a woman and she undresses and climbs on top of him, and they just lie there.”

The article comes complete with hot pink charts measuring sex scenes by writers like John Updike (pictured, via) against David Foster Wallace‘s generation–rating the rusults on a thermometer scale ranging from “Cuddling” to “Sex” to “Outrageous Behavior.”

What do you think? A Jewish Daily Forward essay argues the opposite: “We are a different society, not in terms of how we have sex, but in terms of its public presence–it takes eleven mistresses to raise our dander. Writers no longer feel compelled to up the ante; in fact, today’s shy literary heroes may be reacting genuinely to our over-saturated culture, a culture that feeds us false ideals of how and when we’re supposed to get it on.” (Via Ami Greko)

Dave Eggers Hailed as “Slow Word ” Pioneer

Portrait of Me by KS.jpgThis week Forbes published a manifesto calling for a “slow word” movement, pushing readers to change their habits to a more publishing-friendly model. The essay singled out Dave Eggers as a publisher dedicated to this new cause.

Journalist Trevor Butterworth (pictured, via) defined the slow word movement as “the idea of consuming less, but better, media.” If the movement catches on, it could be a boon for publishers and long-form writers–bringing writing back to a less hectic pace. What do you think–is it possible to change 21st Century reading habits?

Here’s more from the article: “[L]ook to what Dave Eggers has brilliantly shown with the San Francisco Panorama, namely that the physical quality of a newspaper and the aesthetic pleasure of reading can make people so excited about journalism that they’ll buy it–not just conceptually, but in terms of parting with cash. Eggers could well be the Alice Waters (queen of American slow foodies) of the news media, McSweeny’s its Chez Panisse.”

Liveblogging the National Book Awards

nba092323.jpg

11:03
A photo of the four National Book Award winners for 2009, post-ceremony…

10:37
Colum McCann wins the National Book Award for Fiction for “Let the Great World Spin.” “Stories are the purest form of engagement…American publishing is able to embrace the other… As Dave Eggers said, we have to take this honor as a challenge.” GalleyCat interviewed the novelist before the ceremony, here’s an excerpt: watch his thoughts about Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight here.

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