The Book Biz
By now, none of you will have read Prozac Nation author Elizabeth Wurtzel’s 5,500-word piece in New York magazine. Sure, some of you might have read the Jezebel summary, or the Huffington Post review, or any one of the thousands of traffic-baiting posts (including this one!) claiming that they can accurately sum up this behemoth.
That is a lie. It is impossible to summarize Wurtzel’s end-of-the-year summary, since it encompasses everything: what matters in life, puppies, former employer David Boies, reality, love and a how-to guide on misunderstanding property laws.
But if you have read it and really want to prove to your friends that you have nothing to do at work, here’s a handy quiz. Pencils down, everyone!
The Penguin Group is suing some pretty high profile authors to recoup some of their advance money, The Smoking Gun reports.
Since an advance is really more of a gamble than a guarantee (authors can be hard to rely on! You can’t rush the creative process! Sometimes editors cancel books!), historically publishers have not held authors accountable. But it is a difficult time for publishing companies and they can probably use all the cash they can get.
off the record
What’s in a name? A lot, if it happens to be Touré: not only did the young Rolling Stone writer and MSNBC contributor deliver a passionate takedown of 9/11 coverage on Dylan Ratigan last week, but in the days that followed, he’s also managed to a) Start a Twitterversy about what your tipping percent says about you as a person, b) release a book about what it means to be black in today’s culture, c) and announce that he’ll be co-authoring Nas’ memoir. Last night in Brooklyn’s Greenlight bookstore, Touré celebrated the release of his latest book Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness. Hosted by Terry McMillian, the party got hot amidst the crushing fans all trying to squeeze their way into the Forte Greene venue.
Books & Pills
This is going to be fun. A trio of controversy-courting female journalists is joining the Jewish culture webzine, Tablet. Daphne Merkin, who wrote about her life in therapy for the New York Times Magazine and learned the art of self-exposure from Tina Brown, has been named movie critic, and Elizabeth Wurtzel, who became a literary Read More
Those following the deal announcements on Publishers Marketplace could be forgiven for thinking that publishers are in a weird headspace this week.
At Harper Perennial: Allison Lorentzen bought Coming of Age on Zoloft: Notes on My Generation on Drugs by Katherine Sharpe, billed as “a memoir-investigation of the use of antidepressants among young people” and Read More
In March of last year, The Atlantic published an essay by Lori Gottlieb titled “Marry Him! The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough,” which Ms. Gottlieb wrote when, in her idealistic search for the One, she found herself alone in her 40s with a son she had via a sperm donor. A book based Read More
With a decision from the governor just days away, the list of prominent feminist types who have declared support for Caroline Kennedy to fill Hillary Clinton's Senate seat is a short one. Among the best-known are New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, 79-year-old Representative Louise Slaughter and former Kennedy Read More
"I have only one criteria for putting things into the quarterly, which is that the writing is good. It’s not so much about it being academic," declared Lewis Lapham, editor of Lapham’s Quarterly, at a reading hosted by the literary journal at the National Arts Club on Monday, Nov. 17.
Mr. Lapham, his round Read More
Sprrrring -a-ding-ding! Yep, ’tis the season when New Yorkers take to shivering at outdoor café tables, squeaky basketball starts to be edged out by sleepy baseball, and superannuated actors crawl out of hibernation to do charming local gigs …. Today, former Cybill Shepherd sidekick Christine Baranksi reads from two John Guare plays, Read More
Last summer–just about when that big, fat Internet bubble had finally, officially burst–Random House pulled the entrepreneurial equivalent of stumbling into a party with a funny hat and a case of beer at 4:30 a.m., long after everybody had gone to bed. With great fanfare, the famous publishing house grandly announced the debut of an Read More