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Posts Tagged ‘Salman Rushdie’

Christopher Hitchens Replaces Sherman Alexie at PEN World Voices Festival

Yesterday the PEN World Voices Festival announced that journalist, essayist and author Christopher Hitchens will deliver the fifth annual Arthur Miller Freedom to Write Lecture–replacing Sherman Alexie at the last minute.

Here’s more about the event: “Mr. Hitchens will speak on ‘Crucibles: Past and Present’ followed by a conversation with PEN World Voices Festival Chair, Salman Rushdie. Mr. Hitchens replaces Sherman Alexie who was previously scheduled.”

GalleyCat will be there, covering the lecture tomorrow evening. If you want a taste of Hitchen’s intense oration style, check out that controversial clip embedded above from a televised Intelligence Squared debate. Caution: this clip contains strong opinions about organized religion.

Lost Season Six, by the Books

annotated23.jpgOn Tuesday night, the literary television show Lost featured a loving cameo appearance of The Annotated Alice: The Definitive Edition–W. W. Norton’s special edition of the Lewis Carroll classic. Since then, the book has rocketed up the Amazon charts, currently ranked 314th in Books and first in History & Criticism.

Over at Entertainment Weekly, journalist Jeff Jensen writes long, speculative essays about Lost, one of the more literary readings of the series you can find on the web. So far, Jensen has spotted two other books in the final season of Lost.

They are: Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie (“Its famous line? ‘What’s the use of stories that aren’t even true?’”) and the famous Fear and Trembling by Soren Kierkegaard (“which challenges true believers to embrace the absurdity of faith. Combined, both books send this message to us: This absurd sideways thing has a purpose. It is ‘useful.’”)

Have you spotted more literary references in season six? Add any books we missed in the comments section–we’ll put them on the list in a future post. If you want to read more of our literary Lost coverage, follow these links:

GalleyCat Reviews looked at critical reception of the books of Lost.
Theoretical physicist Sean Carroll talked about time travel on Lost.
Chad Post revealed another book from the sixth season
Nikki Stafford talked about writing her unofficial guides to Lost.

July 2009: Top Publishing Stories of the Year

26491_rushdie_salman.gifOn Bastille Day in July, author Matt Stewart published his entire novel, “The French Revolution,” on Twitter in a burst of 3,700 tweets. He later landed a book deal with Soft Skull.

At a book party, Salman Rushdie (pictured, via) told GalleyCat about his dinner with Thomas Pynchon. Amazon made headlines when they remotely deleted copies of books on Kindle e-readers.

Finally, Nancy Drew reader and federal judge Sonia Sotomayor received a 13-6 endorsement from the Senate Judiciary Committee.

GalleyCatnip: Stephenie Meyer’s Epiphany

twilightminicover.jpgAs the publishing world heads home for the weekend, here are some publishing news briefs for your reading pleasure.

Nicknamed “a sort of YouTube for publishing,” Scribd has scored a spot on Business Week‘s “The World’s Most Intriguing Companies” list. Also intriguing: to date, they’ve raised $12.8 million in funding.

Cultural critic Mark Dery proves that 2012 is not the end of the world: “Much of the 2012 shtick is a light-fingered (if leaden-humored) rip-off of the late rave-culture philosopher Terence McKenna’s stand-up routine, without McKenna’s prodigious erudition, effortless eloquence, or arch wit”

In a rare public appearance, “Twilight” novelist Stephenie Meyer told Oprah Winfrey more about how she wrote her blockbuster vampire series: “”I didn’t think of it [as a book]. I did the dream. And then I wanted to see what would happen with them. It was just me spending time with this fantasy world, and then when it was finished it was like, ‘This is long enough to be a book!’

Finally, find out why Salman Rushdie‘s essay for Granta was rejected and recently re-accepted.

Paul Auster and Salman Rushdie Sign Roman Polanski Release Petition

ransomnotes.jpgAs we close out another Monday, here are some news briefs from the literary blogosphere…

Barnes & Noble has launched a new mystery blog entitled Ransom Notes, featuring posts by Anne Perry, John Sandford, Louise Penny, and Robert Crais.

International authors sign a petition supporting the release of Roman Polanski, including Bernard-Henri Levy, Salman Rushdie and Paul Auster. A petition excerpt: “Seventy-six years old, a survivor of Nazism and of Stalinist persecutions in Poland, Roman Polanski risks spending the rest of his life in jail for deeds which would be beyond the statute-of-limitations in Europe.”

The Book Bench features an upcoming short film based on an Elmore Leonard story, directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt from 3rd Rock from the Sun.

The Rumpus publishes a timely essay: “A Short, Personal History of Small, Independent Publishing (1995-2009).”

Rock Star Coloring Book

Last night 300 literary indie rock fans crowded into Housing Works Bookstore Cafe to watch Elvis Perkins sing and promote “The Indie Rock Coloring Book.” GalleyCat was there, shooting that short video of Perkins’ gospel-style sing-a-long and paging through the new book.

The nostalgic publishing project features black & white activities pages inspired by rock stars Broken Social Scene, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and Bon Iver. Created by the nonprofit organization, Yellow Bird Project, the profits go towards charities of the rock stars’ choice.

Housing Works will feature more rock star art events over the next month: a benefit art show with Ryan Adams and an evening of music with Salman Rushdie. Follow this link for a complete listing of upcoming events at the bookstore.

The New Yorker Hires 26-Year-Old Amelia Lester as Managing Editor

newyorker23.jpgNews broke this afternoon that 26-year-old Amelia Lester has scored one of the most coveted editorial spots in the literary world, hired by David Remnick to serve as managing editor of the prestigious magazine, The New Yorker. In response, Twitter hummed with praise, surprise, and soul-searching from readers around the country.

The NY Observer reports that Lester had served as an editor at the Paris Review. Here’s more: “[Lester] used to be a fact-checker at The New Yorker and checked all-star writers Seymour Hersh and Jane Mayer. She’s replacing Kate Julian, who is moving to Washington, D.C. where her husband just got a job.”

GalleyCat found a few scattered pieces Lester wrote for the online side of the magazine, but we especially appreciated her short piece about novelist Salman Rushdie‘s habit of making short cameos in movies. (Via Mediaite)

Thomas Pynchon Party Program

pynchonvice.jpgAfter nearly a year of speculation, Thomas Pynchon fans can finally buy “Inherent Vice tomorrow.

Ever since Conversational Reading spotted rumors of Pynchon’s new private detective novel last October, GalleyCat has investigated the book’s development: the handpicked cover art, the first excerpt of the novel, and author Salman Rushdie‘s thoughts about the new book. This afternoon, we published a video essay about the psychedelic mystery.

But we aren’t the only ones excited about the book. Tonight, Book Soup in Los Angeles will stay open past midnight to sell the book, serving home made chocolate covered frozen bananas and banana pancakes to celebrate the release. A Cappella Books in Atlanta, Georgia and St. Mark’s Bookstore in Manhattan will stay open past midnight tonight as well.

Publishing Leaders Ponder Epic Fall Lists

9781594202247L.jpgWith big novels from Audrey Niffenegger, Thomas Pynchon, Richard Russo, A. S. Byatt, and many, many more big-name writers, the fall 2009 release schedule reads like a contemporary literature syllabus from 2019.

In a short essay, the NY Observer ponders the pros and cons of building this magical list in the middle of a deep, dark recession. If you want to find out more about upcoming titles, GalleyCat interviewed a number of writers about their favorite upcoming books, including a chat with Salman Rushdie.

Here’s a choice quote from Sterling Lord Literistic agent Ira Silverberg, from the article: “All these books are coming out in three months, and there’s overlap in their core audiences. Also, these are hardcover books– at 25 to 30 dollars! That’s tough.”

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.

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