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Monday, February 09, 2004

The usual smattering of news and stuff 

A few days ago, it was reported in Publisher's Weekly (and picked up by The Kicker) that the work-in-progress by "Nanny Diaries" authors Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus had been turned down by Random House, who had signed them up back in 2002. The New York Times dishes the dirt even further, revealing that the authors got back extensive rewrite notes that they did not agree with, and sought out others, including Kurt Andersen (!!) for advice.

Rosemary Goring of the Glasgow Herald dishes out some harsh truths for those millions of souls who think they have a novel in them: trust me, you don't. It's also a review of Elizabeth George's book on writing (!!!) which she finds a good read, if you want to learn how to write like Elizabeth George. Me, I'd rather write like Larry Block (and even he doesn't always write like that anymore.)

Janet Maslin HEARTS Ian Rankin. I mean, it's practically a full-blown obsessive crush now. But what the hell, we all love him to death too. Oh yeah, and he writes some seriously good crime fiction.

Meanwhile, Patrick Anderson looks at the newest book by the man Maslin dubs "Rankin's spiritual soul mate" or something. Anyway, he digs, though doesn't go overboard on the praise.

Should have linked to this yesterday, but forgot: The New York Times Magazine Q&As with Walter Mosley, rehashing the usual stuff, but I must admit, the question asking whether he "had a bar mitzvah" was awfully, ah, out of left field.

The Age profiles James Lee Burke, as his newest novel, LAST CAR TO ELYSIAN FIELDS, is only just out now in Australia.

The BBC is about to devote 8 million pounds to arts and culture programming, after years of criticism that those topics were unjustly ignored by the network. We'll see if the money actually translates into quality programs, however....

Street Lit is definitely gaining in popularity--so much that this report by ABC News devotes a bundle of energy to the growing field in publishing. But is it getting those who wouldn't read otherwise to do so, or sending the wrong message?

How widespread is porn in worldwide culture? Sydney Morning Herald columnist Malcolm Knox's novel A PRIVATE MAN seeks to understand the stranglehold and relevance of pornography within Australian society.

The "Books Alive" program in Australia is geared to getting books into the hands of 4 million "occasional readers" who hardly ever pick up a book. Will it work? Only time will tell.

And finally, Catherine Zeta Jones confirms what the world's known for years: she's a conniving bitch.

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