Wednesday, March 17, 2004

It's not easy wearing green 

Happy St. Patrick's Day, folks. Even as one Canadian MP wants to make it a statutory holiday and people will be getting themselves ridiculously drunk all over the world, I will just keep my head down and my mind on the world of publishing and literature. It's just easier that way.

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's.....a novelist? Yes, all sorts of writers, like Michael Chabon, Greg Rucka, and Brad Meltzer have been dabbling (well, in Rucka's case, it's a full-blown side career) in the comics industry, and they speak to the New York Times about their endeavors. While we're bringing Rucka up, his Atticus Kodiak series, especially the most recent one, CRITICAL SPACE, kick absolute ass. And his recent standalone, A FISTFUL OF RAIN, was pretty damn good as well. The man knows how to write express-train suspense.

Chuck Palahniuk answered questions at the Guardian the other day, the topics ranging from the now-infamous short story "Guts", his secret desire to write a stage play (I can so see this) to whether he'll, uh, collaborate with JK Rowling.

Newly appointed NYTBR editor Sam Tenenhaus is profiled in the New York Observer today. Rachel Donadio looks at his career as a whole, tries to debunk the idea that he has a conservative agenda (with the help from a quote from Terry) and reveals that his wife, Kathryn Bonomi, arranges programming at the Jacob Burns film Center in Westchester, something I've heard wonderful things about in terms of what they offer and their role in the community. Cool.

And also at the Observer, Sara Nelson examines why Matthew Sharpe's THE SLEEPING FATHER, a paperback original published by Soft Skull Press, has broken out into a huge critical and commercial success. It's a great story.

My copy of David Peace's GB84 arrived in the mail earlier this week, and the Telegraph has all their features on him up, finally. I've linked to the interviews he gave to Jasper Rees and Mark Blacklock before, but there's also the paper's review written by Sukhev Sandhu, who finds it to be bloated and nasty but somehow magnificent. Or difficult. Or unforgettable. Oh boy, that's why I'm saving it until I'm emotionally and mentally ready to handle it, considering how much each installment of the Red Riding Quartet took out of me.

The Toronto Star has a couple of St. Paddy's Day related items. Richard Ouzounian lists the top ten Irish exports--playwrights and stagesmiths all--while Judy McStoffman looks at the current crop of Irish authors like Marian Keyes, Cecelia Ahern and Colm Toibin.

Persephone Graham, a professor at the University of Delaware, has written a treatise on Cuban and Latin American detective fiction, after discovering that 25 percent of all books published in Cuba between 1972 and 1986 were detective novels. Hot damn, how many of those will be translated? Not a hell of a lot, I'd venture to say.l

David Kipen at the SF Chronicle is somewhat bemused by John Dunning's bibliophile mystery THE BOOKMAN'S PROMISE. He spends much of the time criticising it for being not up to par, but then confesses he "devoured the book hungrily." Odd, but these things happen after all.

The Orange Prize judges are celebrating the longlist's diversity. How about celebrating the fact that a lot of good books made it on, and hopefully the best one will win? Or is that too naive a thought in this day and age.

An archive of letters and manuscripts by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is expected to fetch 2 million pounds after suddenly resurfacing after four decades at a London legal firm.

Oh boy, Darley has done it again: superagent Darley Anderson, who reps Lee Child, John Connolly, Martina Cole, Caroline Carver, and many others, has secured a rumoured 350,000 pound deal with Harper Collins for a first novel by Alex Barclay, a 30 year old Dublin-based writer whose work is supposedly reminiscent of Tami Hoag, Patricia Cornwell, and Karin Slaughter. Good god, it's Connolly's female doppelganger.

Richard & Judy, those TV rascals responsible for putting Joseph O'Connor's STAR OF THE SEA on the bestseller list (leading to his just-sealed seven figure deal for 3 more books that was finalized during the London Book Fair) have done their magic on a non-fiction tome, as sales of William Dalrymple's WHITE MUGHALS has risen by 440% at the chains this past week.

Jane Jakeman raves about Tom Franklin's debut novel HELL AT THE BREECH for the Independent, with good reason--this is a fabulous, fabulous work. Sprawling, emotional, beautifully written--I know I yammered about this over the weekend but it bears repeating because it is just so, so good.

Matthew Reilly is one of the biggest selling authors in his native Australia. Now he's about to launch his next thriller on his website for free--provided you sit through a banner ad first.

And finally, Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, the longtime partners responsible for the hit musical HAIRSPRAY, are profiled in the G&M. Their next project? A musical version of Frank Abagnale Jr.'s CATCH ME IF YOU CAN. You know, that might actually work....

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