Tuesday, 19 June 2012

More News: Road Trips, Sexy Classics, and Books In Peril

Perfect Gentleman tours America
Imran Ahmad, author of Unimagined (The Perfect Gentleman in the US), serialised his 50-city book tour of the US on HuffPo. Scheduled to end last weekend, this tour was apparently to cover more of the US that couldn't make the schedule of his previous American sojourn.

I don't know how he feels about this tour, now that it's over, but I'm glad he's going home. I think he must've been lonely; at times, he starts having conversations with himself, like this "inner battle", en route to Portland, Oregon on 26 May:

I MUST HAVE CARBS, MASTER, I NEED ENERGY, MASTER.

"No Energy-Body, there are ample energy reserves in the fat deposits in the abdominal region. Metabolize those. Do you understand? Metabolize fat!"

THERE IS DARK CHOCOLATE IN THE GROCERY BAG, MASTER, INFUSED WITH GINGER, MASTER.

"There is also beef jerky. Let's have some of that, Energy-Body."

Or it could be the no-carb diet he's on.

I know how he feels. I lose that battle most of the time.


Roadtrip gone wrong
Meanwhile, hitch-hiking writer Ray Dolin went looking for "kindness in America" and got shot, then saved by strangers. Just when you thought there was no kindness in America, turns out that Dolin allegedly shot himself in a desperate bid for publicity. If true, he might as well end his stint, as it's likely he won't be getting any kindness in the US anytime soon.

So, what's the latest on the other hitch-hiking author?


Talk about sexing things up
In the wake of a 'revived' classic, Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre is reportedly getting a "Fifty Shades" makeover. The Huffington Post chipped in with a list of other classics that could do with a little 'revival'.

Also, it seems UK publisher Orion Books paid six figures for a two-writer trilogy, probably set in more contemporary times. Book one, Eighty Days Yellow, is coming out next month, followed by Eighty Days Blue and Eighty Days Red.

Have things really come to this?

But don't worry about paper books disappearing. Prize-winning author Joan Brady thinks the e-book will be the vortex where lowbrow "pulp" such as "celebrity biographies, Mills & Boon and porn" will "disappear into", according to The Telegraph. Dead tree volumes, meanwhile, will remain as status symbols and conversation starters.

Try telling that to the next EL James-wannabes.


Other news
  • Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring and green revolutionary. Could she have been among the first modern eco-warriors?
  • Thomas Pynchon changes his mind, agrees to e-publish his books.
  • 'Enhanced' kids' e-books do not enhance literacy, study suggests. So y'all can cut it out now.
  • Will Myanmar's new political dawn shine a light on its suppressed writings? Or will the recent ethnic clashes herald - at least - a partial return to the bad old days?
  • Auguste Escoffier (1849-1935): master chef, kitchen reformer, cuisine codifier ... and grifter?
  • Indonesian publisher reportedly burns copies of its own book following protests over the book's allegedly incendiary content. No, I don't think that's part of the annual haze-causing fires...
  • This article, apparently, has 70 words/phrases that are banned in China. And the Great Firewall is getting more sensitive. I mean, come on... "Teletubbies"?
  • "...we are all Spartacus." Kirk Douglas's simple, moving piece on being American and the human spirit.
  • Creationism enters textbooks in South Korea, the country reportedly offering to help ours reach developed nation status. Give us your tech, Korea, but not your ideology, thanks. We've needed help with our broadband infrastructure for a long time.

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