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Posts Tagged ‘Joshua Ferris’

Amazon Editors’ Must Reads For May

amazon304Ever wonder what Amazon editors like to read? Well, the group has complied a list of their favorite reads for the month of May.

The top 10 list includes a number of fiction and nonfiction titles. No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State by Glenn Greenwald; To Rise Again at a Decent Hour: A Novel by Joshua Ferris; and The Painter: A Novel by Peter Heller, all made the list.

We’ve embedded the entire list after the jump for you to explore further.

 

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Mediabistro Course

Novel Writing: Editing Your Draft

Novel Writing: Editing Your DraftStarting July 16, workshop your novel in-progress with a published author! Erika Mailman's course will function as a workshop, with the emphasis on sharing your work for review and providing critiques for your peers. By the end of this class you'll have up to 75 pages of you novel workshopped and developed patterns to improve your writing. Register now! 

Reagan Arthur Named Publisher of Little, Brown

Reagan Arthur, the editorial director of Little, Brown’s Reagan Arthur Books imprint, will be the next publisher and senior VP of Little, Brown. She will assume her new role on April 1st as Michael Pietsch becomes the new CEO of Hachette Book Group.

The release included this news: “In stepping into the role of Publisher, Arthur will retire the Reagan Arthur Books imprint she has led for three years.”

Arthur has worked at Little, Brown since 2001, earning her own imprint in 2008. She has edited Tina Fey, Joshua Ferris, Kate Atkinson, George Pelecanos and Ian Rankin.

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David Foster Wallace on Your Mac Thesaurus

wallace.jpgYou can get some free writing advice from the great David Foster Wallace while working on your computer.

Every Mac computer contains a copy of the Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus, a powerful tool for writers that features extra “word notes” from Wallace and a number of other authors, including Rae Armantrout, Joshua Ferris, Francine Prose, Zadie Smith and Simon Winchester.

Author Dave Madden explained how to access the extra material in a post: “It’s part of the built-in dictionary. Type in a word, click on ‘Thesaurus’ in the little bar above, and you’ll get the word-for-word entry from this book I paid money for … Here, as a public service, is the list of words with notes by DFW: as, all of, beg, bland, critique, dialogue, dysphesia, effete, feckless, fervent, focus, hairy, if, impossibly, individual, loan, mucous, myriad, noma (at canker), privilege, pulchritude (at beauty), that, toward, unique, utilize.”

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Reviewing Novel Reviews: Bright Lights, Big Review

Unnamed_148x237.jpgAs we continue our first week here at GalleyCat Reviews, here are a few notable book reviews from around the Internet.

Literary Celebrity Book Review of the Week: Bright Lights, Big City novelist Jay McInerney reviews a new book by Joshua Ferris. Here’s an excerpt: “With his second novel Ferris makes it clear that he has absolutely no intention, for the moment at least, of repeating himself or creating an authorial brand. In fact, it’s difficult to believe that The Unnamed and Then We Came to the End come from the same laptop.”

Most Philosophy-Packed Book Review Sentence of the Week: Ron Charles reviews a 36 Arguments for the Existence of God by Rebecca Newberger Goldstein. Here’s the sentence: “A Princeton-trained philosopher and a MacArthur “genius,” Goldstein can make Spinoza sing and Godel comprehensible, and in her cerebral fiction she dances across disciplines with delight, writing domestic comedy about Cartesian metaphysics and academic satire about photoelectric energy.”

Stickiest Review Metaphor of the Week: Megan Doll reviews Your Face Tomorrow: Volume Three by Javier Marias, a novel currently obsessing this GalleyCat editor. Check it out: “In All Souls (sort of The Hobbit to Your Face Tomorrow‘s Ring Trilogy), Marias writes of Oxford as ‘a city preserved in syrup.’ A similar thing could be said of Marias’s pickled prose-style, with its long, sinuous sentences and manifold digressions that can try even the most patient and trusting reader.”

If you think a book review you wrote should be featured for our audience, email GalleyCat a link.

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.

BEA: On the Town

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As always, the convention is only part of the BEA story, with parties filling in the gaps. So as promised, reports mixed with more blurry cameraphone photos follow of some of the parties I attended over the course of the weekend.

After our our party Thursday night, Mary Reagan and I cabbed across town to 60 Thompson Street for William Morrow‘s bash, where I finally met Pittsburgh Post-Gazette book editor Bob Hoover and proceeded to gab for twenty minutes about Canada, theater and the amazing Sidney Crosby (see, you can talk about subjects other than books at BEA. In fact, it’s a necessary tonic.) After that was the Litblog Co-Op party which was even more packed than the previous two as a plethora of literary bloggers celebrated with the likes of Richard Nash, Colson Whitehead, Sara Ivry, Katharine Weber, and (though I didn’t spot him) Morgan Entrekin.

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Why David Blum Should Get Out More

The snark fairy very much wants to point out how difficult it may be to take seriously the opinion of someone who so haplessly ran the Village Voice into the ground, but there’s plenty of evidence showing just the logic flaws in David Blum‘s New York Sun opinion piece about the fortunes of Joshua Ferris‘s debut novel THEN WE CAME TO THE END truly is.

First is Blum’s question as to why the book “did not become a New York Times bestseller”: Sure, it didn’t appear on the print list, but came very close – hitting #19 on the April 18th extended list. Second, Blum’s excursion into the Lincoln Square Barnes & Noble indicates he hasn’t been outside his neighborhood radius in a while. “What if bookstores created sections devoted to that week’s best-reviewed books,” he asks? I see that all the time in more regional superstores, those in Canada and – oh yeah! the independents. And what of “posted positive reviews alongside the books themselves?” That’s why the shelftalker was invented, Mr. Blum.

Then there’s the comparison to Kurt Andersen’s HEYDAY – a second novel from a longtime journalist with plenty of platform – which only makes sense from a timing standpoint and even then is quite the reach. If Blum’s memory allowed him to go back to when Marisha Pessl‘s SPECIAL TOPICS IN CALAMITY PHYSICS had NYTBR cover treatment – and a stint on the bestseller list as high as #6 – then perhaps the piece might have carried more weight. Or more recently, Jon Clinch’s debut novel FINN, which had even more review love all over newspapers and didn’t even make it onto the extended list.

So no wonder Reagan Arthur “got depressed” at Blum’s questioning when the book did fairly well and turned a profit – and more importantly, probably earned out long before publication because buying world rights yielded foreign sales fruit.

The Book Review is Debut-Happy



Boris Kachka‘s piece in this week’s New York Magazine
has some fun with the New York Times Book Review’s recent mini-trend of putting debut novels on the cover of its publication (most recently, Joshua Ferris‘s THEN WE CAME TO THE END.) Going back deep into the Chip McGrath years for how various newbie novelists like Zadie Smith, Jonathan Safran Foer, Bruce Robinson and Monica Ali are faring today does show that the NYTBR has a reasonably good eye for picking talent (or parroting pre-pub buzz.) But did we really need Sam Tanenhaus saying “if you can put a paperback original first novel on the cover, that is like orgasm time for us.” Wow, not only is the Book Review growing increasingly irrelevant, it’s going straight into TMI territory…

Meet your Granta Best of Young American Novelists

Granta announced its second-ever list of Best of Young American Novelists, comprised of 21 American-based authors aged 35 and under. And what’s immediately apparent, just as with the first list published back in 1996, is how many of them, um, haven’t published novels yet. Which isn’t to say it isn’t a fine list of American writers, but considering Granta publisher Sigrid Rausing went out of her way to namecheck notable writers who didn’t make the cut, like Benjamin Kunkel, Benjamin Markovits and Joshua Ferris, would it have been so difficult to actually restrict the list to those who truly fit the criteria of the title? Or if not, then call a spade a spade; this is the Best of Young American Writers, although that probably isn’t as pretty an acronym.

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In the back row, from the left, judges Edmund White, Meghan O’Rourke (with Paul Yamazaki‘s ear just visible behind her), Matt Weiland of Granta, A.M. Homes, and Sigrid Rausing. In the front, from left, young American novelists John Wray, Akhil Sharma, Rattawut Lapcharoensap, Uzodinma Iweala, Olga Grushin, Karen Russell, Gary Shteyngart, and Gabe Hudson.

Anyway, there was much merriment to be had at the Housing Works announcement party last night. Apart from those writers who appeared for their ceremonial investiture, other boldface names in the crowd included Random House editor-in-chief Daniel Menaker (sporting an unexplained bandage on his nose), Eric Chinski, David Roth-Ey (vying for “tallest man” status with Paul Slovak), Lorraine Adams, Alison Callaghan, Rachel Fershleiser (ably working the joint in her capacity as Housing Works volunteer), John Freeman (when not busily filing wire reports on the LA Times Book Festival Award nominations or Granta’s list), and Wendy Weil…along with a few others Ron photographed.