Friday, June 3, 2011

Weekly Round-Up: Publishing News From Around The Internet

On Sunday, June 5, from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm, The Writer’s Center will host an Open Door reading featuring Linda Pastan and Michael Salcman. Linda Pastan will read from Traveling Light, her new collection of poems. She is joined by poet Michael Salcman, who will read from his recent collection, The Enemy of Good Is Better. The event will be free.

Here’s some interesting literary news from around the Internet. Much of the news can also be found on our twitter feed.

On Tuesday May 31, 2011, The Huffington Post’s lawyers attempted to dismiss Jonathan Tasini’s lawsuit.Tasini filed the lawsuit in April on behalf of unpaid bloggers on The Huffington Post’s website against Arianna Huffington, The Huffington Post, and AOL. The lawsuit includes about 9,000 unpaid bloggers and seeks damages for a minimum of 105 million dollars. In their motion to the New York District Court Judge, the lawyers argue that The Huffington Post website’s terms and conditions gives them the right to publish work without paying the writers. They also highlight that Tasini willingly wrote more than 200 posts in exchange for exposure on the website. He did not write for monetary reasons.

Jeff Howe, author of Crowdsourcing and journalism professor at Northeastern University in Boston, launched a global book club, 1book140, on twitter on Wednesday June 1, 2011. Last summer, he launched a twitter book club called the One Book, One Twitter Club. Howe decided to relaunch the bookclub, in conjunction with the Atlantic magazine. He hopes to have virtual discussions once a month. More than 2,000 people nominated 300 books for the first discussion and Margaret Atwood’s novel The Blind Assassin won the nominating process.

A handshake ends a 15- year- old literary feud. The Nobel Prize winner V.S. Naipaul and travel Paul Theroux reunited at the 2011 Hay Festival on Saturday May 28. The writers met in Uganda in 1966. Their three-decade friendship ended when Theroux discovered one of his books that he inscribed and gave as a present to Naipaul was put on sale for $1500. Theroux wrote a memoir portraying Naipaul as a brutal, unforgiving man. Naipaul claimed he barely knew Theroux and dismissed Theroux’s work as lower class tourist books. Novelist Ian McEwan aided the men in their reconciliation at the literary festival.

Naipaul also met with controversy this week when a reporter asked him a question about women authors.

Twenty- year- old Bahraini student and poet Ayat al- Gormezi went on trial before a military tribunal on Thursday, June 2. Ayat was arrested on March 30, 2011 after reading a poem at a pro-democracy rally in Pearl Garden. She was forced to turn herself in when masked policemen raided her parents' home and held her four brothers at gunpoint.

Former death row inmate Wilbert Rideau has published a memoir, In The Place of Justice: A Story of Punishment and Deliverance, in order to educate the public about life behind bars. Rideau spent forty-four years at Angola State Prison in Louisiana until his release in 2005. During his time in prison, Rideau discovered a passion for writing. In 1974, he began writing a syndicated newspaper column , The Jungle. In 1975, he became the editor of the prison’s magazine, The Angolite. The Angolite covered serious issues such as sexual slavery in prison.

On Friday, June 3, Southern District of New York Judge Martin Glenn granted Borders an extension to finalize their reorganization plans since many bidders are interested in buying the bookstores. The bids include a proposal from the investment firm The Gores Group for approximately $200 million to purchase half of Borders’ bookstores.

Hans Keilson, a chronicler of life in Nazi Germany died Friday, June 3, at age 101. Keilson was a psychoanalyst. He won literary fame towards the end of his life when two of his fiction works set in Nazi-occupied Europe were republished. He published his first novel, Life Goes On, at age 23. This novel offered a dark depiction of German political life. The book was banned in 1934. His other novel, The Death of the Adversary, is about a young Jewish man's experiences as Nazi's gained power. After spending the war in hiding, he wrote a novella entitled Comedy in a Minor Key about a dutch couple who hides an elderly Jewish man who dies of natural causes.

Have a great weekend!

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