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Posts Tagged ‘Salman Rushdie’

Andrew Wylie Speaks Out Against Amazon

amazon304Amazon and Hachette have been locked in a feud over eBook pricing since May 2014. Many members of the publishing community have spoken out about this situation and some have even mobilized to form the Authors United group.

Earlier this year, several high profile authors including Orhan Pamuk, Salman Rushdie, and Ursula Le Guin agreed to join in Authors United’s fight against Amazon. Who convinced this illustrious group to take part? None other than Andrew Wylie.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, the veteran literary agent shared his opinion on this dispute. For Wylie, “the issues at the heart of the conflict are both margin and price…Losing the fight over margins would be an immediate blow to the publishers’ profits, but losing control over pricing could be fatal.” Do you agree with Wylie?

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High Profile Writers Set to Join Authors United

amazonlogoSeveral high profile writers have agreed to join in Authors United’s fight against Amazon. The new members include Philip Roth, Orhan Pamuk, Salman Rushdie, V. S. Naipaul, Milan Kundera, and Ursula Le Guin.

The organization aims to convince the online retail conglomerate to end its dispute with Hachette Book Group USA. Last month, Authors United publicly posted a letter addressed to Amazon’s board members asking them to take a stand on this issue.

When asked about her participation in the group, Le Guin submitted this statement to The New York Times: “We’re talking about censorship: deliberately making a book hard or impossible to get, ‘disappearing’ an author. Governments use censorship for moral and political ends, justifiable or not. Amazon is using censorship to gain total market control so they can dictate to publishers what they can publish, to authors what they can write, to readers what they can buy. This is more than unjustifiable, it is intolerable.”

Jonathan Franzen on ‘the internet’s accelerating pauperisation of freelance writers’

Jonathan Franzen will publish his translation of essays by Austrian satirist Karl Kraus in October, reviving criticism from a critic who self-published his own magazine.

In The Kraus Project, Franzen translates and annotates his work. The Guardian ran an essay from Franzen about why this forgotten satirist still matters today. Check it out:

It’s not clear that Kraus’s shrill, ex cathedra denunciations were the most effective way to change hearts and minds. But I confess to feeling some version of his disappointment when a novelist who I believe ought to have known better, Salman Rushdie, succumbs to Twitter. Or when a politically committed print magazine that I respect, N+1, denigrates print magazines as terminally “male,” celebrates the internet as “female,” and somehow neglects to consider the internet’s accelerating pauperisation of freelance writers.

Granta Celebrates Authors Vanessa Manko & Judy Chicurel

Vanessa Manko (left), Susan Minot (center), and Salman Rushdie (right)

Vanessa Manko and Judy Chicurel, two authors featured in a recent issue of Granta, have signed book deals with Penguin. To toast these two authors, the literary magazine threw a party.

The celebration took place at Granta editor John Freeman‘s Manhattan loft on Wednesday night, and brought together a community of writers and editors including: Salman RushdieSean McDonald, Alex Gilvarry, Mohsin Hamid, Nadeem Aslam, and Peter Carey, to name a few.

Manko, whose novel was excerpted in Granta 118: Exit Strategies, sold her novel The Un-American to Penguin through her agent Caroline Michel. The title is slated for publication in spring 2014. Manko, who works as Rushdie’s assistant, spent seven years working on the book. In a toast to the author, Rushdie quipped that she’s going to need to speed things up in the future. Over drinks, Manko explained that her background in dance helped inform her writing as she looked for the cadence in her language. Read more

Clay Smith Joins Kirkus Media

Texas Book Festival literary director Clay Smith has been named the new features editor at Kirkus Media.

Smith will expand the features section at the literary outlet, adding “more reported articles about writers and reading trends.” He had worked at the Texas Book Festival since 2005, booking hundreds of writers, including Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Salman Rushdie, Sandra Cisneros and Amy Sedaris.

Here’s more from the release: “he wrote for Publishers Weekly, indiewire.com, and Newsday, among others. He has recently written for The Daily Beast, Elle Décor, and Newsday. While at the Texas Book Festival, Smith worked closely with small and large publishers to create a diverse program of national and Texas writers. With the participation of the Litquake Foundation and other partners, he added Lit Crawl Austin to the Festival’s program and grew sales of books during the two-day weekend.”

Salman Rushdie & PEN President Protest Ai Weiwei’s Travel Restrictions

PEN president Peter Godwin and World Voices chair Salman Rushdie have written a letter to the Chinese government, protesting its recent travel restrictions for artist Ai Weiwei.

This confinement means that Weiwei will most likely be unable to attend a PEN American Center event scheduled for October 11th in New York City. Here’s an excerpt from Godwin and Rushdie’s letter:

Like our colleagues throughout the world’s art and literary communities, we were shocked when Ai Weiwei was detained in 2011, and we are deeply disappointed to learn that he remains unable to travel freely and participate in international fora and conversations in which he has so clearly earned a place. We believe restricting his right to travel abroad risks violating Chinese and international laws, and that it does little to advance the goals and aspirations of the Chinese government and its people. We therefore entreat you to return Ai Weiwei’s passport immediately and lift all restrictions against him, allowing him to travel to represent his own work and his ideas.

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Salman Rushdie to Chair PEN World Voices Festival

The lineup for the PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature has been revealed.  The annual event will be held in New York City from April 30th through May 6th.

Novelist and PEN World Voices chair Salman Rushdie will deliver the Arthur Miller Freedom to Write Lecture this year. The festival will feature Martin Amis, Margaret Atwood, Paul Auster, Graydon Carter, Michael Cunningham, Jennifer Egan, E.L. Doctorow, Tony Kushner, Herta Müller, Marjane Satrapi, Colson Whitehead and many other writers.

Rushdie had this statement in the release: “In an era of ever-expanding ‘screen-time,’ live/in-person readings, conversations and literary performances have never been more radical or more necessary … These live events break down the invisible walls that separate us into our own solitary computer pods and re-assert the importance of dialogue, activism, and community without borders.”

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Blogger Nay Phone Latt Released From Prison in Myanmar

Blogger Nay Phone Latt has been released from prison. Latt was arrested in 2008 after using his blog to share poetry, political criticism and social commentary in Myanmar (the country formerly known as Burma).

Yahoo! News reported that Myanmar’s government pardoned Latt and approximately 650 others under a massive act of prisoner amnesty. The Guardian has uploaded a gallery of photos chronicling this event; the first two feature Latt and his family.

Here’s more from PEN’s announcement: “[In November 2008, Latt] was sentenced by a specially-assembled court to a combined 20 years and six months in prison for blogging about the military crackdown against a popular uprising during the fall of 2007…On February 20, 2009, a court in Rangoon reduced his sentence by eight and a half years, leaving him to serve 12 years in Pa-an Prison in Karen State, 135 miles from Yangon.”

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Salman Rushdie Novel & 6-Course Meal for $95

Gilt City NY is offering a $95 deal featuring a signed copy of a Salman Rushdie book and a six-course gourmet dinner.

The meal will be held at Vermillion, a high end New York City restaurant which specializes in Indian-Latin fusion cuisine. Chef Maneet Chauhan will create a unique menu inspired by Rushdie’s work as well as the the popular bazaars in Bombay. Once purchased, the deal must be redeemed by January 31, 2012.

Here’s more about the deal: “The menu includes gourmet spins on Indian street food like Bombay Frankie chicken kebabs, crispy juhu ki pani puri, and hearty tawa sabzi pao. There’s also creamy corn khatkhate soup, succulent malvani quail in a coconut masala and rose-and-pistachio kulfi with falooda for dessert. Guests of the feast will take home a signed copy of one of Rushdie’s most acclaimed novels, either Midnight’s Children, The Satanic Verses or Luka and the Fire of Life.” What novel would you pick? (Photo Credit: Beowulf Sheehan)

‘Writers in Support of the Occupy Movement’ Counts 1,300+ Signatures

So far, more than 1,300 writers have signed a new Writers in Support of the Occupy Movement petition.

The petition is composed of a single sentence: “We, the undersigned writers and all who will join us, support Occupy Wall Street and the Occupy Movement around the world.” The site now includes short essays by different writers, including Francine Prose, Lemony Snicket, D.A. Powell, Duncan Murrell, Anne Waldman, Danica Novgorodoff and Michael Voll, Maureen Miller, Daphne Carr, Alice WalkerPaula Z. Segal, John McManus, David Hollander, Blair BravermanScott Sparling, and Joshua Cohen.

So far, the petition has virtual signatures from Alison Bechdel, Samuel R. Delaney, Jennifer Egan, Barbara Ehrenreich, Neil Gaiman, Jonathan Lethem, Ann Patchett, Salman Rushdie and many other authors. You can sign at the bottom of the page, but the organizers are processing a huge influx of signatures.

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