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Posts Tagged ‘Edward Champion’

Richard Russo Review Draws Fire

russonovel.jpgNewsweek writer Jennie Yabroff raised literary eyebrows yesterday, reviewing Richard Russo‘s new novel, “That Old Cape Magic,” and asking readers: “Is Author Richard Russo A Misogynist?

Here’s an excerpt from the essay: “The flip side of veneration is resentment, and Russo’s books simmer with hostility toward women in general … The way Russo tells it, women are bitches, bovine, and dumb (but shrewd); like witches, and their familiars, cats, they have magical powers to summon misfortune on any man who crosses them.”

A number of literary types responded passionately and Twitter overflowed with defenses of Russo. Over at The Book Studio, Bethanne Patrick responded with a long, thoughtful essay: “Where [Yabroff] sees foils, I see detailed portraits of women whose lives have been forever changed and sometimes ruined by the actions of men…” Reviewer and blogger Edward Champion posted a letter to the editors of Newsweek.

Alain de Botton Explains His Critical Comments

pleasures_of_work.jpgIn a new interview, author Alain de Botton explained that he never expected (and regretted) that his comments on a book critic’s blog would reach a “large audience” via the Internet.

Literary blogger Edward Champion interviewed the author about his unexpected headlines–de Botton had left a passionate set of messages in the comments section of Caleb Crain‘s blog, responding to a critical review this week. The author explained that critics have a “quasi moral responsibility” to review responsibly, joining a short, fiery list of authors arguing with critics through blogs and microblogs this week.

Here’s an excerpt from the interview: “I think that a writer should respond to a critic within a relatively private arena. I don’t believe in writing letters to the newspaper. I do believe in writing, on occasion, to the critics directly. I used to believe that posting a message on a writer’s website counted as part of this kind of semi-private communication. I have learnt it doesn’t, it is akin to starting your own television station in terms of the numbers who might end up attending.”

Sherman Alexie Versus Amazon

0802170374.JPGAuthor Sherman Alexie played a public role at BEA 2009–contemplating readership, Amazon’s Kindle, and class during heady panel discussions.

The author of “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” earned NY Times coverage for his disparaging remarks about the “elitist” nature of the Kindle. As the literary blogosphere debated his speech, blogger Edward Champion interviewed the author about his Amazon opinions.

Here’s one juicy excerpt from the Alexie interview: “I am taking a very tiny stand against many large corporations. I am asking what I think are serious, tough questions and all sorts of people are vilifying me for it. When it comes to this, many people are taking the side of massive corporations over one writer trying to get answers. They’re treating me like I’m Goliath. It reminds me of the way people think of professional athletes and their salaries. All sorts of middle-class folks agree with the billionaire owners of sports teams that the millionaire players make too much money.”

Colson Whitehead on Literary Classification

sag-harbor-0309-lg-70936749.jpgShould authors worry about genre labels? At a recent reading, one blogger asked if Colson Whitehead‘s “Sag Harbor” should be considered YA fiction, and reported that the novelist acted “huffy” at the classification suggestion.

Literary blogger Edward Champion caught up with Whitehead, getting the author’s opinion about the matter–and a thoughtful short essay about classification in the age of the Internet.

Here’s an excerpt: “If “Sag Harbor” is in YA tomorrow, I wouldn’t care, as long as people who want to read it can pick it up. In some bookstores, I’m in African American as opposed to Fiction; this is a category failure, but it’s out of my control and in the end I’m glad that I’m in the store at all, and hopefully the savvy consumer who is looking for me will find me. What I’m saying is that we write, and then the world categorizes us, and the next day we get up and start writing again.”

Amazon Admits “Ham-Fisted Cataloging Error”

amlogo.gifAmazon reports that 57,310 titles in categories including Health, Mind & Body, and Erotica were affected by a “embarrassing and ham-fisted cataloging error.” Literary blogger Edward Champion reported that Amazon had answered his questions, and the Seattle PI had a similar report.

Spokesperson Patty Smith emailed the official response: “This problem impacted books not just in the United States but globally. It affected not just sales rank but also had the effect of removing the books from Amazon’s main product search. Many books have now been fixed and we’re in the process of fixing the remainder as quickly as possible, and we intend to implement new measures to make this kind of accident less likely to occur in the future.” Update: NY Times conducts a postmortem.

On Sunday, author Mark R. Probst reported that Amazon has excluded certain books with adult content from bestseller lists and some searches. Many believed that the company sought to scrub gay and lesbian books off the site, and organized an online petition and a popular Twitter tag called #amazonfail.

April Publishing Foolishness

bookdeath2.jpgThere are far more fools in the publishing industry than GalleyCat ever imagined. Here’s a round-up of the literary news breaking around the Internets on April 1st, 2009…

Jeff VanderMeer sold his newest book, Bookdeath, including chapters like: “How to Use Personal Information About Your Enemies in Your Fiction.” Meanwhile, Publishers Weekly raved about a new reality TV show for writers.

The Kenyon Review has purchased conglomerate publisher Random House for a low six-figure deal. The FBI has deputized the entire team at Writer Beware for a special publishing scam task force: “Rich, Victoria and I will be reporting to Quantico for special training next Monday. At the end of our training, we’ll be issued our badges and guns, and begin our tour of the country.”

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Today in AMS: PGW Clients Get Perseus Offers

PW Daily reports that various Publishers Group West clients are sending back signed agreements to the distributor, though as of this writing, not all publishers have yet received offers. Perseus CEO David Steinberger said he had received “more than 10″ contracts since they began coming in yesterday. Late last week, Steinberger and PGW head Rich Freese met with a group of PGW clients in the San Francisco Bay Area. “The sessions went well. We did a lot of listening,” Steinberger said.

As the runup to the February 7 bankruptcy court hearing date for objections to Perseus’s offer continues, so too do the rumors and speculation. Yesterday PW Daily reported that AMS’s primary lender, Wells Fargo Foothill, “received at least two promising going concern offers for the AMS business,” though the bidders were not named. And both Edward Champion and Radio Free PGW offer items about dealings within Perseus’s distribution chambers.

Today in AMS: PGW publisher options, legal issues

As Advanced Marketing Services‘s Chapter 11 adventures continue (with the top 20 creditors slated to meet on January 12 to discuss what to do next) attention still rightfully swirls around the future of once-profitable Publishers Group West and the 150-odd independent publishers who are its clients. Last Friday, more than 70 publishers discussed their options in a conference call and expressed support for taking collective action to promote PGW publishers’ interests. As a result, there’s a movement afoot to create an Ad Hoc Committee of PGW Publishers which will petition the bankruptcy court to appoint a separate creditors committee composed of PGW publishers to represent their interests.

The must do so because, as Shelf Awareness reports, some of their worst fears were confirmed on Friday after legal consultations: Their books in PGW’s possession are considered on consignment and are the property of PGW. Reclamation rights are limited. In the same vein, it will be very difficult for publishers to get out of the contracts with PGW, which means that the last three months of earnings will remain in limbo for an indefinite period of time, with limited (if any) access to the funds.

No wonder a rogue blog called Radio PGW has popped up to provide some dark humor in dark times, signing off today’s flurry of posts with “from the killing fields of America’s publishing industry–good day and good luck.”

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