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Posts Tagged ‘Salman Rushdie’

Vote For Your Favorite Author to Appear on Dancing with the Stars

dwtsnoauthors.JPGLooking at the comments section for our Should Authors Dance? post, it seemed like plenty of GalleyCat readers want to see their favorite writer appear on Dancing with the Stars. Now it’s time to do something about it.

Reader Michelle Gilstrap suggested Lotus Eaters author Tatjana Soli and proposed: “[Soli] is coming to Los Angeles for a special event on October 16th, I will ask her if she would like to do it. We should start a Facebook page for her, if she says yes. This is how they got Betty White on [Saturday Night Live].”

It’s a great idea. We’ll start by letting our readers pick the best writer to appear on Dancing with the Stars–we’ve collected ten suggestions from GalleyCat readers below.  Go to this Facebook link to vote for your favorite author. We’ll count the votes and build a special Facebook page to advocate for the winning author. The ten suggestions follow below…

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Christopher Hitchens and Salman Rushdie in Conversation

One afternoon after a botched bombing attempt in Times Square, Christopher Hitchens and Salman Rushdie–two writers who have served as lightening rods for intellectual controversy and extremist anger–concluded the PEN World Voices Festival with a conversation about tyranny’s effect on writers.

PEN filmed the event, but you can get a sneak peek at the proceedings in the GalleyCat video embedded above. Hitchens opened the annual Arthur Miller Freedom to Write Lecture by urging Americans not to be stalled by terrorist threats: “Somebody told me this evening that perhaps attendance was down at this event because of an attempted atrocity in Times Square. If that was true, I would both be depressed and I would take it as an opportunity to align what I want to talk about…the contagion of fear.”

The two writers discussed the impact of the Iranian Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s fatwa–a religious death sentence issued against the novelist in 1989. During a conversation with Hitchens after the lecture, Rushdie reminded the audience that he was still alive while Khomeini had died. “Don’t mess with novelists!” laughed Rushdie.

Salman Rushdie Opens PEN World Voices Festival

PENfest2010.jpg“The [Icelandic] volcano was essentially a fan of literature,” said Salman Rushdie at the official opening of the sixth annual PEN World Voices Festival last night. “It relented in time and almost everyone made it to the festival.”

He also pointed to an empty chair beside the podium, a symbol of imprisoned and repressed writers around the globe, like imprisoned Burmese blogger Nay Phone Latt. “The reason why this chair is here is to remind us there are writers who cannot be here–we should remember the absent writer,” Rushdie concluded.

The reading featured writers from around the globe reading in their native languages. Italian journalist Daniele Mastrogiacomo read a grim passage about his own kidnapping in Afghanistan. Alberto Ruy-Sanchez read a sexually-charged excerpt from his novel. Finnish-Estonian author Sofi Oksanen read from her debut novel Purge in a fierce and urgent pace. “The themes of the novel are quite hard,” she said. “And quite often readers have trouble sleeping.”

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)

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