Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Book Marks: Pioneer Girl, Bezos's Behemoth, And Lang Leav

Howard Yoon, literary agent and partner at the Ross Yoon Agency in Washington DC, admits that:

There's been a lot of talk about this lately, brought about by the much-publicized dispute between Hachette and Amazon. As a nonfiction literary agent, I wouldn't hesitate to agree that this industry has serious problems, and I think most of my colleagues would agree.

However:

As imperfect as our business is, anyone who wants to write a book of lasting value, a book that can change the way people think about the world, a book that can get national and possibly global distribution in real hard copies, knows that the traditional publishing path is still the best path to take.

Let him tell you why.

Though the Amazon-Hachette spat appears to have ended, it's perhaps a matter of time before the next tussle begins.

Plus:

  • "For generations, the Little House books have stood as the canonical versions of Laura Ingalls Wilder's childhood story," writes Ruth Graham in Slate. Now comes her autobiography, first drafted in 1930 and annotated and published after more than 80 years later.
  • "Anthony Powell's bleak first book is the funniest novel you've never read." This review almost made me run out and get a copy.
  • The poet Lang Leav will be in town on 30 November. Get to know her and her work (a little) before then.
  • Amir Muhammad was at the Sharjah International Book Fair to, among other things, talk about translating works in other languages. We're all familiar with how Amir's ability to ... lighten things up, but Publisher's Weekly could have picked better soundbites.
  • A Q&A with Lydia Millet, author of Mermaids in Paradise.
  • Mexico's "most erotic poet and its most dangerous nun"? A look at a new translation of the works of Sor Juana InĂ©s de la Cruz.
  • "I think this is one of the strongest shortlists in recent years, containing some real literary heavyweights," said Literary Review magazine's Jonathan Beckman about this year's candidates for the Bad Sex Award.

    Among the lucky ones are The Snow Queen by Michael Cunningham, The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami, The Age of Magic by Ben Okri and Desert God by Wilbur Smith.

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