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Posts Tagged ‘Philip Roth’

Would You Run Away with J.D. Salinger?

33-year-old J.D. Salinger tried to run away with a married woman at a Harper’s Magazine party in 1952, one writer explained in a new essay. According to a Paris Review essay by Blair Fuller, Salinger privately proposed to her sister, Jill Fox, asking her to leave everything behind and start a new life in New Hampshire.

Fox refused, but confessed after the party: “I was smitten with Jerry [Salinger] that evening, but I wondered what he and I would be saying to one another around Hartford.” Hartford is the halfway point between Cornish and New York City.

Jill’s husband Joe Fox would become a Random House editor, working with authors like Truman Capote and Philip Roth. If given the chance, what author would you run away with?

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Figment Counted 4,000 Registered Users on First Day

figment23.jpgThe community writing site Figment counted 4,000 registered users during its official launch yesterday, building a new site for young adult readers. Today’s guest on the Morning Media Menu was Jacob Lewis, the co-founder and CEO of Figment.

Lewis offered advice for publishers looking to build community and advised readers on how to add their work to Figment. Already more than 3,000 works have been posted on the site.

Press play below to listen. Here’s an excerpt: “When I was a teenager, I wrote a letter to Philip Roth and I never got a response. That’s always sort of bugged me and haunted me. I feel like kids these days don’t stand for that. They expect and demand a response from the authors they love. A lot of young adult writers realize that, and they are looking for a place that can facilitate that. And I think we can be that place.”

Wylie Agency Forms New eBook Imprint

wylie.jpgThe Wylie Agency decided to strike out on its own this week, publishing 20 eBooks through the literary agency’s brand new Odyssey Editions imprint. These new books will be published exclusively through the Amazon Kindle Store, revealing why Andrew Wylie said eBook deals were “currently on hold across the board” last month.

The first wave of eBooks contain some of the 20th Century’s most important titles: Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth, The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, and The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer. These books will be sold for $9.99, all of them available for the first time in eBook format. See the complete list after the jump.


Andrew Wylie
had this statement: “As the market for e-books grows, it will be important for readers to have access in e-book format to the best contemporary literature the world has to offer … This publishing program is designed to address that need, and to help e-book readers build a digital library of classic contemporary literature.”

UPDATE: Other publications analyze the news:
New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Teleread
Future Book
Enhanced Editions
A Reading Odyssey

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Andrew Wylie: eBook Deals ‘Currently On Hold’

wylie.jpgIn a long profile in the current issue of Harvard Magazine, agent Andrew Wylie revealed that eBook deals are “currently on hold across the board” at his famous agency, and cautioned publishers that he could take eBook rights elsewhere.

Wylie’s agency counts 700 clients, including major writers like Dave Eggers, Al Gore, Philip Roth, and Louise Erdrich–so these are not idle threats. eBookNewser has more about the article.

Here is an excerpt: “Wylie threatens to monetize those unassigned rights by going outside the publishing business entirely: ‘We will take our 700 clients, see what rights are not allocated to publishers, and establish a company on their behalf to license those e-book rights directly to someone like Google, Amazon.com, or Apple. It would be another business, set up on parallel tracks to the frontlist book business.’”

Philip Roth and John Grisham Interviews Fabricated by Italian Journalist

roth$philip.gifAn Italian journalist appears to have fabricated an interview with famed novelist Philip Roth, creating imaginary quotes bashing President Barack Obama‘s presidential performance.

This week’s Talk of the Town has the scoop, outlining how another Italian journalist asked Roth (pictured, via Nancy Crampton) about his comments during an interview–discovering that journalist Tommaso Debenedetti had fabricated an entire interview with the novelist. Roth’s fiction is loaded with fictional versions of himself, and he embarked on a literary investigation–discovering that the journalist had also fabricated an interview with John Grisham.

Here’s more from the crazy story: “Although Roth and Grisham have never met, they joined forces through their agents and contacted an Italian lawyer, who felt that they had a good case. ‘I am exploring my possible remedies,’ Grisham said, ‘with plans to file an action.’ But Roth has decided not to sue. ‘It would take two years, and multiple trips to Italy,’ he said. ‘It would distract me from my writing, and, worst of all, I would have to obsess about it.’”

Philip Roth on Bad Sex Award Shortlist

roth$philip.gifYesterday the Literary Review announced the shortlist for their annual Bad Sex in Fiction Award; a list that includes a rock star, a Nobel Prize favorite, and of course, Philip Roth.

Roth (photo by Nancy Crampton, via HMH) was nominated for a racy scene in “The Humbling.” Oz, the gamblers’ former favorite for the 2009 Nobel Prize for Literature, was nominated for “Rhyming Life and Death.” Rock star Nick Cave earned his nod for “The Death of Bunny Munro,” and his publisher told the Guardian they were pleased with the shortlist appearance.

Here’s a particularly juicy passage from a previous nominee, “The Whole World Over” by Julia Glass. “And then before her inner eye, a tide of words leaped high and free, a chaotic joy like frothing rapids: truncate, adjudicate, fornicate, frivolous, rivulet, violet, oriole, orifice, conifer, aquifer, allegiance, alacrity … all the words this time not a crowding but a heavenly chain … a release of something deep in the core of her altered brain, words she thought she’d lost for good.”

The complete list is after the jump, via the Guardian

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Philip Roth Cuts Lansing, Michigan

9780547239699.gifNovelist Philip Roth curiously cut out a reference to Lansing, Michigan in his thirtieth novel, excising a location a half-hour away from this GalleyCat editor’s hometown.

The NY Observer painstakingly compared a review copy of “The Humbling” against the final copy sold in bookstores, uncovering this geographical slight: “[In the first draft] Pegeen’s father runs a community theater in the capital of Michigan, a place for which Mr. Roth apparently has little love: ‘Lansing, Michigan’ is changed to ‘middle of nowhere.’”

This editorial action tested our affection for Roth’s work, since this GalleyCat editor actually covered indie theater in Lansing for his community college newspaper. Saddened by Roth’s editorial exorcism, GalleyCat would like to salute all the writers, reviewers, readers, and community theater supporters in Lansing, Michigan. You are not forgotten!

Mark Sanford Celebrates Ayn Rand

GovernorSanford- OfficialPortrait.jpgIn the last week, literature met politics in two national publications–with some interesting results.

After losing his own book deal, South Carolinia Governor Mark Sanford has turned to literary criticism–singing the praises of novelist Ayn Rand in a Newsweek essay. Here’s a sample: “I still believe firmly that her books deserve attention, and in that regard, Anne Heller‘s Ayn Rand and the World She Made provides important and meaningful insight into the evolution of Rand’s world view. “The Fountainhead” is a stunning evocation of the individual and what he can achieve when unhindered by government or society.”

If that wasn’t enough political literary criticism, The Daily Beast ran a series of video interviews with novelist, Philip Roth. The interview followed the best practices for authorial web videos: unexpected questions, simple editing, and broken into easily-watchable clips. Here’s a quote from “It’s a good book. “Dreams of my Father” is a good book. I read it with great interest, in part because it was written by this guy who was running for President. I found it well-done, very persuasive, and memorable too.” (Via Mediaite)

Betting Site Ranks Amos Oz as 2009 Nobel Prize Favorite

award.jpgAs literary types speculate about this year’s nominee for the Nobel Prize in Literature before the October announcement date, UK gamblers are hard at work trying to predict a winner of the prestigious prize.

According to the betting site Ladbrokes, Israeli author Amos Oz has the best odds of winning–the 4 to 1 favorite. The long shots are William H. Gass and Paul Auster, both with 100 to 1 odds. Bob Dylan clocks in with 25 to 1 odds. Americans Joyce Carol Oates and Philip Roth both have strong 7 to 1 odds. Haruki Murakami and Thomas Pynchon both weigh in with respectable 9 to 1 odds.

Here’s more from Monsters & Critics: “The Swedish Academy’s choice is due to be announced in October at a date yet to be announced. In recent years, the academy that awards the coveted prize, has made some surprise choices, including the 1997 selection of Italian playwright Dario Fo.”

Philip Roth, Techno Star?

roth2.gifFollowing an interview with Philip Roth, the journalist and musician James Marcus created a dance remix sampling the great writer’s “Jewish shouting” and laughter–a song destined to be the ringtone of choice among hip literary types this summer.

MobyLives shared the crazy little tune, recorded while Marcus interviewed Roth about an adaptation of “Portnoy’s Complaint.” The interview became a LA Times feature, but Marcus took the clip home to remix into “The Jewish Shouting Mix 3.”

Here’s an explanation, from the Roth profile: “It’s a movie about shouting. Jewish shouting,” [Roth explained]. (He proceeds to give a brief, comical example, which strikes me as a specimen of literary history, like Thoreau demonstrating how to peel the bark off a birch tree.”

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