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Posts Tagged ‘Ian Frazier’

David Rakoff, Mike Birbiglia & Rick Reilly Named Thurber Prize Finalists

The finalists for the $5,000 Thurber Prize have been revealed. Follow these links to read free samples of the finalists: Sleepwalk with Me & Other Painfully True Stories by Mike Birbiglia, Half Empty by David Rakoff and Sports From Hell: My Search for the World’s Dumbest Competition by Rick Reilly.

This year’s panel of judges included two-time Thurber Prize winner Ian Frazier, 2010 Thurber Prize finalist Jancee Dunn and novelist Meg Wolitzer. The winner will be revealed at the awards ceremony on October 3rd in New York City’s Algonquin Hotel.

Here’s more from the release: “The 2011 Thurber Prize for American Humor will be conferred upon the author and publisher of the outstanding book of humor writing published in the United States between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2010. Initiated in 1996, thirty-five years after the death of this key figure in the development of American humor, it is the nation’s highest recognition of the art of humor writing.”

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How Many Kindle Books Can Be Shared?

How many books in your Kindle library can be shared with Amazon’s new lending program? So far, Macmillan and Scholastic seem to lead the field.

This GalleyCat editor did a quick search of his own Kindle library (pictured, click to enlarge), discovering that out of ten randomly chosen titles, only two books could be shared. Both sharable titles were published by Macmillan: Freedom by Jonathan Franzen and Travels in Siberia by Ian Frazier.

Titles published by Random House, Penguin, Hachette, Pantheon, and Bellevue Literary Press can’t be shared at this time. We also checked Just Kids by Patti Smith, a HarperCollins title that can’t be shared. The complete list follows below, listing title, author, and the publisher behind the title.

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Book Council Sponsored Ad in New Zealand Movie Theaters

For your Friday viewing pleasure, here is a movie theater ad created by the  New Zealand Book Council a few years ago. The message is simple, but important to remember: “Go home, read a book.”

The ad was created by the Colenso BBDO agency. Earlier this year, the New Zealand Book Council won the Best Big Budget/Big House Book Trailer award at the Moby Awards for Going West by Maurice Gee.

What will you be reading this weekend? Share your thoughts in the comments section. This GalleyCat editor will be reading Travels in Siberia by Ian Frazier.

Stephen King Headlines Vampire Panel at New Yorker Festival

This year’s New Yorker Festival took place last weekend.  Twitter fans at the festival used the hashtag, #tnyfestival.

On Saturday, Joan Acocella (author of the vampire essay, “In the Blood”) moderated the Vampires Revival panel. On board to speak were philosophy professor Noel Carroll, horror novelist Stephen King, vampire film director Matt Reeves, and Twilight screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg. A video preview of the panel discussion is embedded above.

Several dozen King fans waited outside the venue only to be disappointed by King’s unwillingness to sign books. As he walked away with his arms in the air, he told the crowd: “I can’t sign guys, I got to get something to eat.” Alas, just because he’s a “king” doesn’t mean he isn’t human.

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Steve Hely Wins the 2010 Thurber Prize

Last night, Steve Hely (pictured with Keith Olbermann) was pronounced this year’s winner of the Thurber Prize. His win includes $5,000 and a crystal plaque. Magazine journalist Jancee Dunn and memoir writer Rhoda Janzen were the other finalists; they each received a Thurber print.

Hely’s resume boasts an extensive career in comedy television writing. He has writing credits from his work on 30 Rock, The Office, The Late Show With David Letterman, and American Dad. He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University where he served as president of The Harvard Lampoon. The Thurber Prize honored his debut novel, How I Became a Famous Novelist.

The event was held in New York City’s Algonquin Hotel. MSNBC personality Keith Olbermann made a quick appearance to read from a Thurber volume of fables. Judges for this year’s Thurber Prize include two 2009 finalists, Laurie Notaro and Sloane Crosley. Joining the finalists as a judge is writer-editor Bruce Tracy, who in the past served as editorial director for at Doubleday and Random House. Past winners of the Thurber Prize include David Sedaris, Christopher Buckley, Jon Stewart, and 2-time honoree Ian Frazier.

Silk Parachute by John McPhee: GalleyCat Reviews

Reviewed by Michael Paul Mason
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silkparachute.jpgSilk Parachute is John McPhee‘s latest collection of essays, and perhaps his most revealing to date.

Longtime readers of The New Yorker know McPhee as a writer whose geological and gastronomical peregrinations have lent a distinct heft and flavor to the magazine over the years–and yet McPhee has always managed to keep himself in the margins of his work.

For readers old and new, Silk Parachute offers a number of insights into McPhee’s personal and work life, from the touching recollections that open the book, to the behind-the-scene glimpses of the editorial processes at the New Yorker. Together, the essays compose not a biography, but a self-portrait in prose, or the closest thing we might expect from the writer.

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Choose Your Own Literary Elite Nickname

ds23.jpgOver at Gawker, Doree Shafrir (pictured) played with the common literary habit of nicknaming your friends, creating a “Cheat Sheet to the Secret Nicknames of the Literary Elite.”

Her list included nicknames for Paris Review Fiction Editor Nathaniel Rich, New Yorker writer Ian Frazier, and New Yorker writer Louis Menand.

Stake out your own literary elite nickname in the comments section. If you are stumped for ideas, visit this handy dandy Nickname Generator for inspiration–although you may end up sounding more like a professional wrestler than a writer.

This GalleyCat editor has been stuck with the boring name “Jason” for many years, but just realized that this lack of nickname could be all the stands between him and literary elite status. Here are a few suggestions to get you started: “Boogie,” “J-Dog” or “F. Scott Fitzgerald.”

Ian Frazier Wins His Second $5K Thurber Prize

IMG_3170.JPGLast night the inaugural winner of the Thurber Prize for American Humor repeated his funny-writing win–Ian Frazier won the 2009 Thurber Prize for his book, “Lamentations of the Father.”

Frazier–a longtime New Yorker writer–won the prize in 1997 for his book “Coyote vs. Acme,” and has now become the first writer to win the prize twice. The runners-up were: Sloane Crosley for “I was Told There’d be Cake,” Don Lee for “Wrack and Ruin,” and Laurie Notaro for “The Idiot Girl and the Flaming Tantrum of Death.” In the photo are pictured, from left to right: Notaro, Frazier, and Crosley.

Here’s more about the award, from the release: “The annual prize is
presented by Thurber House, the national literary center for writers
and readers, based in the boyhood home of author, humorist and New
Yorker
cartoonist James Thurber in Columbus, Ohio…it is the nation’s highest recognition of the art of humor writing. The award carries with it a $5,000 prize and a commemorative crystal plaque for the winning author.”