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Friday, March 26, 2004

The Friday morning update 

Robert Birnbaum focuses his interviewing eye this time on Laurie Lynn Drummond, as they talk about what cops really do vs. the TV show versions, publishing vagaries, how she feels about literary vs. genre, and favorite authors. This interview rocks, and is yet another reason why you all should run out and get Drummond's story collection ANYTHING YOU SAY CAN AND WILL BE USED AGAINST YOU.

The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize shortlist has been announced, and editor Boyd Tonkin has the scoop on the nominees, who include Elke Schmitter, Juan Marse, Ricardo Piglia, Mahi Binebine, Luther Blissett, and Javier Cercas. No doubt certain folks have more to say about this today.

Carolyn See reviews two books by Zakes Mda, who writes about the contrast of old world and new in South Africa. See is most impressed with what she finds.

Did Rudyard Kipling's THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING have a real-life basis? So says a new book by Ben Macintyre, who fingers Josiah Harlan as the inspiration for Kipling's short story.

David Daniel is interviewed by his local paper, the Westford Eagle, about his Alex Rasmussen mysteries, the latest of which is GOOFY FOOT.

Tim Lott talks about his love for music, and how it led to an out-of-control record addiction that he had to curttail. Hmm, any correlation to how bookaholics feel (like the fact that my TBR pile is so high I can barely see past it?) Nah....

Joyce Krieg, the Agatha-nominated author of MURDER OFF MIKE, is interviewed by her local paper, the Sacramento Bee. Though her book (with a sequel to follow this July) has racked up some impressive awards, she's still keeping the day job as a part-time clerk.

Stewart Coape of the Sydney Morning Herald is gobsmacked by the quality of authors included in Orion's Nine New Blood Campaign in his mammoth review of the all of the books.

I seem to have missed out on the book coverage by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette lately, so to catch up: Book Editor Bob Hoover interviews David Liss about his new book, A SPECTACLE OF CORRUPTION (which was also reviewed in the Sunday paper last week). Hoover also reviewed Leslie Silbert's THE INTELLIGENCER and thought the historical stuff was better done than the contemporary aspects of the novel.

Another UK bookshop is about to close: Helter Skelter, which specialized in music books and other related wares, will close its doors as a retailer, although they will still keep the mail-order business running from an office on Vauxhall Street.

As the Festival of Words in Colorado approaches, the Vail Daily News is featuring an interview each Friday with an author attendee. Today, their subject is Gregory Maguire, author of WICKED, which is now a smash Broadway musical.

And finally, Elvis a Scot? Well, not exactly, but according to an unpublished manuscript, his ancestors allegedly hail from a small Scottish town near Aberdeen, leading camera crews to flock there to talk to people about it. Hell, I suppose it's about as likely as him being Jewish....

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