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Wednesday, February 18, 2004

News Notes 

And we begin with the curious story of Charles Chadwick, a 71 year old retired civil service who just landed a gonzo book deal. His UK publisher, Faber & Faber, are describing the book as a "masterpiece"--even though it's not finished quite yet. He's getting $300,000 for the US rights alone. Well, allegedly. We'll see what Publisher's Marketplace has to say later....

Cressida Connolly reviews Stella Duffy's novel STATE OF HAPPINESS for the Telegraph, calling it an absorbing and unflinching tale of a young woman's battle with a terminal illness. Although my TBR pile is practically overflowing, this is one book that once I get my hands on, I'll be reading ASAP.

Thanks to the efforts of University of South Carolina professor Matthew Bruccoli, the collected manuscripts and writings of George V. Higgins (of FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE fame) will be housed at the university. (thanks, Mark!)

Bill O'Reilly's 1998 thriller THOSE WHO TRESPASS, originally published by Bancroft Press, is being released again in a more splashy manner by Broadway Books. Salon has the scoop (and you need that freaking daypass, I know, but I'm too lazy to reproduce the article. Besides, it's O'Reilly, why would I waste any more ink on the guy?)

Jane Juska, the sixtyish author of A ROUND HEELED WOMAN, has been commissioned to write a sequel. Whereas the current book was an anecdotal account of her foray into sexual adventuring at an advanced age, this new book, due out next year from Chatto & Windus, will be more analytical in approach. (third item down)

Ken Follett travels far and wide to research his thrillers, and last week he headed north to Winnipeg to check out their state-of-the-art virology lab. He enjoyed the experience but did find it "rather weird."

I suspect UglyTown didn't realize its reach extends all the way across the globe, but one of its releases, Curt Colbert's SAYONARAVILLE, got a great review from Japan's Daily Yomiuri Online over the weekend.

Ten years ago, Randy Shilts died. The name sounds familiar? It should, as he was the author of AND THE BAND PLAYED ON, a gripping expose of the early days of the AIDS epidemic. The SF Chronicle remembers him and his legacy.

The "Get London Reading" campaign is about to begin in London, and booksellers are on board, as they feature the 12 chosen titles with 3 for 2 paperback promotions.

Alex Good weighs in with his own perspective about the Amazon reviewing glitch kerfuffle, while Ron's been following the story from his perspective as a former (paid) reviewer for the company.

And finally, booksellers can now sell books in libraries? What the hell's next, you can download music for free in record shops? (link from the Literary Saloon.)

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