Friday, June 10, 2011

Weekly Round-Up: Publishing News From Around The Internet

Here's some interesting literary news from around the internet this week. Much of the information can be found on our twitter feed.

Suzanne Collins, author of The Hunger Games series, joined the Kindle Millions club on Monday June 6. She became the first children’s author to sell more than one million e-books through Amazon. Other members of the club include Stieg Larsson,James Patterson, Nora Roberts, and Charlaine Harris.

Ann Patchett discussed her new novel State of Wonder with National Public Radio. The novel was released on June 7. State of Wonder follows medical researcher Marina Singh on a search for a valuable new drug in the Amazon. Patchett spent ten days in the Amazon in preparation for writing the book. Pratchett described the first three days in jungle as extraordinarily beautiful and fascinating, but after the initial days the jungle was oppressive. Patchett writes that it “squeezes in on you and you can’t go anywhere by yourself without a guide since there are so many tiny little things out there that can kill you.”

On a similar note, Ann Patchett plans to open a bookstore in Nashville, Tennessee with business partner and Random House veteran, Karen Hayes, in the fall.

After 130 years, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s debut novel, The Narrative of John Smith, will be released this Fall. Conan Doyle is mostly known for creating and writing the Sherlock Holmes stories. The Narrative of John Smith was written when Conan Doyle was 23. The manuscript tells the story of a fifty- year- old man who’s confined to his room due to gout illness. The man lays out his thoughts on various topics ranging from war to literature through conversations he has with visitors. The British Library is publishing the story. The lead curator, Rachel Foss of the modern literary manuscripts at the British Library, states that the book provides insight into the early stages of Conan Doyle’s development as a writer.

Chilean judge Mario Carroza ordered an investigation on Nobel prizewinning poet Pablo Neruda’s death in 1973. Neruda won the Noble Prize for Literature in 1971. The investigation could lead to Neruda’s body being exhumed from its grave in Isla Negra, Chile. Neruda’s former driver and associate, Manuel Araya, claims that Neruda was poisoned due to his activism in the Communist Party. Judge Carroza is overseeing several cases relating to Chileans who died or disappeared during General Augustin Pinochet’s regime. However, The Pablo Neruda Foundation maintains their belief that Neruda died of cancer.

Another Middle Eastern young woman is detained for her writing. Syrian American Blogger Amina Arraf was detained on Monday June 6. Beginning in February 2011, she blogged about life, politics, and being gay in the Arab world. On her blog, “A Gay Girl in Damascus”, she wrote she had “to begin by doing something bold and visible." She wrote that she could write this blog because she has politically connected relatives. Her relatives hoped that her United States passport would ease Arraf’s passage through Syria’s prison system. However, no one has heard from Arraf since three armed men took her away in a car on Monday evening. Her blog posting in April entitled “My father, the hero” propelled Arraf to world fame .The post recounted how her father used stern words to dispatch two members of the security forces from detaining Arraf. Arraf had been living in hiding since early May.

Nan Graham, editor of Stephen King and Don DeLillo, won the Maxwell E. Perkins Award for distinguished achievement in fiction. The lifetime achievment award was announced on Thursday June 9 by the Center of Fiction. Graham is Scribner’s editor in chief and senior vice president.

Forbes announced the ten most powerful living women authors for 2011. The women selected for the list are powerful due to their ability to influence readers through words and ideas. The women captivate readers with stories based on fantasy, suspense, and insight into minority experience and cultures. These women can tell and sell a good story. J.K. Rowling, Toni Morrison, and Jhumpa Lahiri are included on this list.

Have a great weekend!

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