Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Usual Spate of News 

And it's been a while since I linked to a Michiko review, but then, when does she get so damned excited about a book? Not that often, I tell ya. But she does about Edwidge Danicat's THE DEW BREAKER, a novel about Haiti's brutal history and its struggle--well documented of late--to overcome its demons and enter a democratic age.

Martin Van Creven's new biography of Moshe Dayan makes him out to be a "latter day Lord Nelson," according to the Independent. No doubt that the Israeli general was extremely influential, a man whose insights would be most valuable in today's conflicted times.

Sara Nelson's reading memoir SO MANY BOOKS, SO LITTLE TIME, has made it all the way to Australia. The Age profiles her and asks the simple question: why do it? Her answer, of course, is because she is passionate about books, and like many bookies, "[does] not feel comfortable if they do not have a book in their hands."

Looks like the movie AMERICAN SPLENDOR has opened new eyes to the work of Harvey Pekar; he's just inked a deal to pen three graphic novels for Ballantine, with the first due in stores this fall.

And speaking of deals, looks like Louis de Bernieres will have a new novel out this year, the first since CAPTAIN CORELLI'S MANDOLIN was released 10 years ago. Entitled BIRDS WITHOUT WINGS, it will be available from Secker & Warburg this July.

Maggie O'Farrell's novels are moody exploration of the passionate lives of women. The Telegraph meets her, and reviews her latest book, THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US, twice over; Jessica Mann finds it a "skillful, sensitive romantic novel" while Cressida Connolly considers it her best book yet.

The longest book signing in history? Sure seems that way, if you ask Jacqueline Wilson. She was booked to appear at 3:30 at Waterstone's Bournemouth branch, and ended up staying till midnight as 3,000 people showed up to queue up to get their books autographed. Now that is going above and beyond the call of duty--god knows what her hand must have looked like (or felt) afterwards....

Looks like it's Philip Pullman week. First Michael Chabon gets analytical in the New York Review of Books, and now the Archbishop of Canterbury has endorsed him, even though some religious types think the books are "blasphemous."

2003 was a banner year for Canongate, with strong sales of novels by Michel Faber, Louise Welsh, and Yann Martel fuelling a nearly 1 million pound profit.

I'm constantly catching up on crime fiction roundups all over the place, and my latest "discovery" is the Boston Herald, where Rosemary Herbert covers the book beat in general. Over the weekend, she cast her gaze upon a collection of mystery short stories edited by Eleanor Taylor Bland. All the authors are African-American, and Herbert deems the collection a winner. Earlier, Herbert raved about Linda Barnes' latest Carlotta Carlyle novel, DEEP POCKETS and Peter Robinson's PLAYING WITH FIRE.

And finally, I should really stop linking to things like this, but what the hell. Another Cecelia Ahern profile for those of you who keep looking for them (and there are plenty, according to my trusty referral logs). This one courtesy of the Toronto Sun.

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