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Posts Tagged ‘John Wray’

Gary Shteyngart Blurbs To Be Celebrated

On November 7, a special reading at WORD in Brooklyn will celebrate the blurbs that novelist Gary Shteyngart has bestowed upon other books.

Jacob Silverman created a Tumblr site dedicated to archiving The Collected Blurbs of Gary Shteyngart, collecting the author’s praise for books by authors ranging from Molly Ringwald to Adam Wilson to Lev Grossman. You can also follow Shteyngart on Twitter.

Check it out:  ”The Shteyngart blurb has become almost a seal of approval that, while comical in the sheer amount of books he’s actually blurbed, are actually really good ways to tell if you’re going to like a book or not … The Collected Blurbs of Gary Shteyngart, Live brings together John Wray, Rachel Shukert, Adam Wilson, Gideon Lewis-Kraus and Karolina Waclawiak (as well as a few words from Silverman), all authors blurbed by Mr. Shteyngart, for a night of readings and tribute to the Russian-born oligarch of back cover quotes..” (Photo via Mark Coggins; link via Sarah Weinman)

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The “Winners” of the Moby Awards for Best & Worst Book Trailers

300 readers and writers RSVP’d for Melville House’s first annual Moby Awards in Manhattan last night. The winners walked away with a gold-painted plastic whale.

A motley crew of presenters and judges (including this GalleyCat editor) joined the festivities. Among the many highlights, author John Wray hugged himself after Zach Galifinakis won the Best Cameo in a Book Trailer award for the Lowboy video embedded above for Lowboy.

Watch the other winners below…

Best Low Budget/Indie Book Trailer: I am in the Air Right Now by Kathryn Regina

Best Big Budget/Big House Book Trailer:
Going West by Maurice Gee

Best Performance by in Author: Dennis Cass in Head Case

Least Likely Trailer to Sell the Book: Sounds of Murder by Patricia Rockwell

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Harriet the Spy, Random House, Lady Gaga, and Zach Galifianakis: Weekend Reading

RH_Logo_Sm.jpgIt was a wild week for publishing, from the Tools of Change conference to celebrity book trailers to bloggy-updates of classic children’s books.

For your weekend reading pleasure, here are the biggest stories from the week. If you are interested in reading more, check the Weekend Reading archive.

The biggest story of the week was a sweeping executive reorganization at Random House, preparing for the digital future.

Next, actor Zach Galifianakis interviewed novelist John Wray in a topsy-turvy book trailer.

At the Tools of Change conference, we experimented with the Entourage dual-screen eReader and watched the future of the bedtime story.

We published a downloadable, printable, mobile-device readable monthly edition of GalleyCat Reviews.

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Zach Galifianakis Interviews Novelist John Wray in Deceptively Simple Book Trailer

That Picador book trailer pairs actor Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover and Bored to Death) with novelist John Wray–a short look at Wray’s process while writing his novel, Lowboy.

Just watch the video. We won’t give away the joke, but here’s an answer from the interviewee: “You know what the first thing that I put on the paper is? ‘The end.’ And then I work backwards…’I'll write ‘end’ and then ‘the.’ Then I’ll write, for instance in my last novel, ‘calibration.’”

According to the site, a longer version of the interview will be posted soon. Wray has appeared on these pages before, showing off his Michiko Kakutani tattoo and talking about Roberto Bolano’s 2666.

Andrew W.K. Joins Tournament of Books’ Panel of Judges

Tob_2010.jpgA rock star, a culinary memoirist, and a music and literary blogger will help judge The Morning News’ annual Tournament of Books this year.

Performer Andrew W.K. (here), Julie Powell (“Julie & Julia“) and David Gutowski (Largehearted Boy) will all judge the annual competition. This year’s round-robin bracket will pit literary titles against each other. The list includes: “The Year of the Flood” by Margaret Atwood; Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel; “Lowboy” by John Wray and NBA winner, “Let the Great World Spin” by Colum McCann.

Here’s more from the announcement: “You can follow along as each contender is passed from reader to reader and judgments are handed down, sometimes passionately, sometimes haphazardly (and sometimes, in the case of Dale Peck in 2006, not at all). We have had judges who admitted they didn’t finish their books. We’ve had Rooster winners who came back as judges the next year, on the condition that we commission for them an aggressive T-shirt. And yes, we’ve had judges who flipped coins. So has the National Book Award—but the National Book Award won’t tell you that.”

May 2009: Top Publishing Stories of the Year

alicemunroe.jpgIn May’s biggest headline, a blogger spotted similarities between one paragraph of NY Times columnist and author Maureen Dowd‘s weekend column and a post by Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo. Dowd corrected the mistake, and no disciplinary action was taken.

Novelist John Wray unveiled his tattoo of book reviewer Michiko Kakutani at a reading. GalleyCat went to Puerto Rico with the Hunter S. Thompson Travel Agency.

The literary blogosphere buzzed about a sequel to J.D. Salinger‘s famous novel, “The Catcher in the Rye,” but GalleyCat had some doubts. Finally, Alice Munro (pictured, via) won the £60,000 Man Booker International Prize.

Welcome to GalleyCat’s annual year-end roundup of publishing headlines. It’s a chance to celebrate our good news and reflect on our bad news after a long, challenging year for the industry. Visit our Year in Review link to read all about what happened to publishing in 2009. Include your favorite headlines in the comments section…

Authors’ Favorite Status Galleys

Last night GalleyCat braved the muggy July weather for the launch party for Granta 107 at the cozy Manhattan bookstore, Three Lives & Co..

We spotted a couple review copies of Thomas Pynchon‘s “Inherent Vice” floating around the party, and even struck up a conversation with Salman Rushdie about the reclusive author. It reminded us of the NY Observer‘s feature about 2009′s “status galleys”–measuring how much credibility an advance reading copy of a hot book can lend to the regular reader.

Inspired, this GalleyCat editor interviewed some of the writers and editors at the party about their favorite status galley–including video answers from John Wray (author of Lowboy), Matthew Aaron Goodman (author of “Hold Love Strong“), and John Freeman, Granta’s acting editor.

Salman Rushdie’s Dinner with Thomas Pynchon

26491_rushdie_salman.gifLast night a crowd of literature lovers filled up Three Lives & Co. bookstore and spilled into the West Village street for a literary block party–celebrating the release of Granta 107. Among the attendees were Zadie Smith, Joshua Ferris, John Wray, and Granta acting editor John Freeman.

During the festivities, GalleyCat caught up with Salman Rushdie (pictured, via), who just finished a screenplay draft for his classic novel, “Midnight’s Children.” The author said he was looking forward to reading a copy of Thomas Pynchon‘s “Inherent Vice” this summer. “It sounds like his most lighthearted book since Vineland,” he told this reporter, recalling a dinner he had with the reclusive Pynchon while reviewing “Vineland” for the NY Times.

“He was extremely Pynchon-eque. He was the Pynchon I wanted him to be,” explained Rushdie. He wouldn’t describe the secretive author, but wished he could have befriended Pynchon. “He never called again,” Rushdie concluded, ruefully.

Literary Page Six

For one topsy-turvy night at Joe’s Pub in Manhattan, authors were treated like rock stars, the Farrar, Straus and Giroux staff lounged behind a velvet rope in the VIP booth, and NY Post Page Six reporter Corynne Steindler showed up to cover a couple skinny writers.

Last evening’s star-studded installment of the Happy Ending Music & Reading Series featured Wells Tower, Arthur Phillips, John Wray, and the band, Vampire Weekend.

This video captures the wildest moments, as founder Amanda Stern forced each reader to take an onstage risk–Tower baked unusual cookies, Phillips fought a bull, and the band covered a Tom Petty song. And, as we reported earlier, Wray unveiled his homemade Michiko Kakutani tattoo.

John Wray’s Michiko Kakutani Tattoo

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Few literary critics inspire emotion like NY Times critic, Michiko Kakutani. Some worship her reviews, and others, (like Norman Mailer) wished they could change her mind. Last night, novelist John Wray took the cult of Kakutani to a new level–unveiling this magic marker tattoo.

As part of the Happy Ending Music & Reading Series, founder Amanda Stern requires all performers to take a risk. Joined on stage at Joe’s Pub by Wells Tower, Arthur Phillips, and the band, Vampire Weekend, Wray had some tough competition. Nevertheless, his full-back tattoo read “KAKUTANI 4 EVAH,” eliciting gasps, laughter, and cheers from the audience.

After the jump is an exclusive video of Wray’s performance and tattoo unveiling, complete with a Vampire Weekend chaser. Tune in later today for more music and footage from the event.

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