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Posts Tagged ‘Lev Grossman’

Lev Grossman Shares Writing Music on Spotify

Over at Largehearted Boy, novelist Lev Grossman revealed the music he listened to while writing his new novel, The Magician King. Listen to some of the songs at this free Spotify playlist.

In the essay, Grossman described one of our favorite pieces of writing music, “Bolero,” by Maurice Ravel: “It’s one of those melodies that’s so obviously perfect you can’t understand how one human being could have come up with it — it’s sounds like the product of a 1000-year-old folk tradition (I imagine Ravel doing what Paul McCartney did after he wrote “Yesterday” – he went around asking everybody if they’d heard the melody before, because he could swear he’d stolen it from somewhere). It’s great to write to because it doesn’t have any words, which are always distracting, and it whips you up into an intensely excited state in which you feel like a genius even when you aren’t one.”

Follow this link to get a Spotify invite for the free service. Once you have an account, check out our Thomas Pynchon Spotify playlist, our Ann Patchett Spotify playlist and the new Lev Grossman Spotify playlist.

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Amazon Books Editors Pick Top 10 Fall Releases

The Amazon books editors unveiled their top ten picks of the biggest releases coming out this fall.

Senior editor Chris Schluep had this statement: “This is one of the best seasons for literary novels to come along in several years … We’ve highlighted Murakami and Eugenides in our Amazon Editors’ Top 10, as well as three of the finest debuts–by Amy Waldman, Erin Morgenstern, and Chad Harbach–to come across our desks in a long time.”

We’ve listed all the books below–what books are you looking forward to this fall?

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Harry Potter Lives Forever in Fan Fiction

Novelist and journalist Lev Grossman explored the world of Harry Potter fan fiction with his Time magazine piece, “The Boy Who Lived Forever.” Grossman debunked stereotypes about fan fiction writers and highlighted some famous examples.

Here’s more from the article: “If anything, anecdotal evidence suggests that most fan fiction is written by women. (They’re also not all writers. They draw and paint and make videos and stage musicals. Darren Criss, currently a regular on Glee, made his mark in the fan production A Very Potter Musical, which is findable, and quite watchable, on YouTube.) It’s also an intensely social, communal activity. Like punk rock, fan fiction is inherently inclusive, and people spend as much time hanging out talking to one another about it as they do reading and writing it.”

Why not read some fan fiction to celebrate the release of Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Part 2? There are nearly 420,000 Harry Potter stories archived at FanFiction.net. Author J.K. Rowling encourages fan fiction–perhaps her new Pottermore website will support these writers?

Neil Gaiman Hopes to Write ‘American Gods’ Sequel

Author Neil Gaiman hopes to write a sequel to his novel, American Gods. According to an interview with MTV News, the novelist has a “boxful of stuff” he would include in the sequel.

Gaiman explained: “The first book was very much about the grifters and the lowlifes, and you don’t really get to see much of the new gods and you don’t really get a sense of those gods who are doing incredibly well in America. In the second book, I definitely want to go into both of those things.”

Gaiman (pictured, via) released the 10th anniversary edition of American Gods on June 21st. This edition (the author’s preferred text version) contains 12,000 additional words–expanded chapters, essays and interviews.

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Gregory Hill & Jill Baguchinsky Win the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award

Amazon and Penguin have announced the two winners of the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Gregory Hill won the general fiction award for his title East of Denver. Jill Baguchinsky won the YA fiction award for her title Spookygirl.

Here’s more about the contest: “The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award brings together talented writers, reviewers, and publishing experts to find and develop new voices in fiction … Each winner received a publishing contract with Penguin, which includes a $15,000 advance.”

The judges for the YA fiction category included YA author Gayle Foreman, G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers publisher Jennifer Besser, and literary agent Julie Just. The judges for the general fiction category included novelist Lev Grossman, G.P. Putnam’s Sons editorial director Marysue Rucci, and literary agent Jennifer Joel.

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Molly Stern Named Publisher Crown Publishers & Broadway Books

crown.jpegFormer Viking Books editorial director Molly Stern has been named senior vice president & publisher at Crown Publishers and Broadway Books.

Stern joined Viking in 1995, and most recently served as both editorial director of fiction and executive editor at the Penguin Group imprint. She acquired many titles, including Lev Grossman‘s The Magicians and Koren ZailckasSmashed: A Story of Drunken Girlhood.

At Crown, Molly will supervise general interest hardcover trade fiction and nonfiction publishing programs. Crown publisher Maya Mavjee announced the news in a memo; a copy is embedded below.

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Best Books of 2009, Airport Edition

hg_hudson_books_image_2.jpgA few writers received an unexpected bookstore boost today as they nabbed spots on Hudson Booksellers’ Best Books of the Year list. The list will earn these writers some coveted placement in the company’s bookstores, reaching the most captive readership in the whole world–the airport reader.

Hudson runs 65 full-service bookstores around North America, but sells books in over 350 Hudson News stands in airports and transportation hubs. This year the company sold $93 million worth of books. Here are the fiction winners, a list with only a single National Book Award nominee on it. The best nonfiction, business, and young adult books follow after the jump…

Best Fiction: “The Year of the Flood” by Margaret Atwood, “Little Bee” by Chris Cleave, “Spooner” by Pete Dexter, “The Magicians” by Lev Grossman, “The Lacuna” by Barbara Kingsolver, “Fool” by Christopher Moore, “The Song is You” by Arthur Phillips, “Lark & Termite” by Jayne Anne Phillips, “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett, and “Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese.

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The Perils of the Misblurb

Though we at GalleyCat have taken issue from time to time – okay, often – with Henry Alford‘s contributions at the New York Times Book Review, I must say up front that I quite enjoyed his recent piece on how publishers take a perfectly neutral or negative review and mine it for any and all positive words in order to fashion a blurb out of it. Take what happened to Time Magazine book critic Lev Grossman, who was “quite taken aback” when he saw a full-page newspaper advertisement for Charles Frazier‘s novel THIRTEEN MOONS that included a one-word quotation – “Genius” – attributed to Time. Grossman was confused, Alford reports, because his review “certainly didn’t have that word.” Eventually, he found it in a preview item he had written a few months earlier, which included the sentence “Frazier works on an epic scale, but his genius is in the details.” As Grossman put it, “They plucked out the G-word.”

Alford continues with many more examples (including one from his own reviewing past, when Little, Brown transformed his “tour-de-farce” about David Sedaris‘s NAKED into “tour-de-force) and explanations from the publishing world. “We get tempted and we get desperate,” Morgan Entrekin, the publisher of Grove/Atlantic, said. “We publish over 100 books a year. I know we make mistakes. But we try to obey the rules.” To him, that means not changing the wording or the meaning of reviews. Paul Slovak, the publisher of Viking, says part of what keeps the house honest is the desire to maintain “good relationships” with book reviewers. “Michiko Kakutani wouldn’t be happy if we pulled two words of praise out of a negative review,” he said, referring to the chief book critic of The New York Times.

And as for what happened to Grossman, I am sooooo not buying Random House associate publisher Tom Perry‘s denial of any misblurbing. “We were being very short and punchy,” he said. “We have limited space.” Sure, see that pig overhead? Its flight patterns don’t like misappropriated blurbs, either…

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