Happy birthday, Moby-Dick! Melville’s classic turned 160 this week. Check out this Timesslideshow of the book’s covers through the decades. (Need some motivation to tackle this tale? Pick up Nathaniel Philbrick’s Why Read Moby-Dick?)
“You want to write good characters with an unforgettable voice? In my experience it won’t kill you if you first figure out the character’s relationship with the telling, with the story, before you even think about what kind of words, what kind of languages, what kind of attitude these folks will be slinging.”—In this Huffington Post feature, Junot Díaz doles out some words of wisdom for young writers.
In this feature on The Guardian, An Optimist’s Tour of the Future author Mark Stevenson talks about his upcoming projects, entrepreneurial impulses, and his role as one of the Honda Dream Factory’s “cultural engineers.”
Come cheer on Pretty author Jillian Lauren as she battles for victory in Literary Death Match, a hilarious, competitive reading/performance series in which four authors have seven minutes to duke it out for bookish glory.
We’re proud to announce that Penguin author Danielle Evans has won the 2011 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Fiction, for her debut collection Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self. AND we’re proud to announce that she is also a new PSB speaker! For a sample of Danielle’s stellar writing, you can read her short story “Virgins” online here. Congrats, Danielle!
Pennie Clark Ianniciello, the book buyer at Costco, has chosen her November book of the month, and the lucky book is Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok! Congrats Jean! In the monthly Costco newsletter, Pennie writes of the book:
"When I first read about Jean Kwok, I felt like a bit of an underachiever. Kwok came to the U.S. at age 5, and eventually was awarded a scholarship to Harvard. She also worked in a handful of science labs before going to college and competed as a ballroom dancer after graduating from college. On top of all that, she’s an amazing writer.”
“It’s clear now that wild populations will increasingly be exposed to the vagaries of a globalized farmed fish sector. Nevertheless we may still have time to keep the farmed food and the wild food separate. For the sake of both, it might be worth trying.”—Paul Greenberg on “How to Fix Fish Farms” in Salon
“The Postmistress began with an image that flashed into my head one day of a woman in a post office sorting the mail: she looks down at the envelope in her hand, looks up to see if anyone is watching, and then slides the envelope into her pocket. I was interested in trying to write a war novel that took place off the battlefield, in the lives of ordinary women, and in particular I wanted to tell a story in which the effects of war are seen in how these characters come to understand their relation to the truth and to what is right. A postmaster who doesn’t deliver a letter, a war reporter who can’t report a story — these two characters evolved out of the combination of that initial image and the desire to tell a different kind of war story.”—
Sarah Blake discussesher novel The Postmistress with The Huffington Post
Helen Oyeyemi's latest novel is available wherever books are sold. “This playful tale is presented in the alternating voices of a slasher novelist and his muse, who is much more interested in human connection pre-death” (The New York Times).
“I’d had the bones of the plot for Cemetery Girl in my head for a year when Chris suggested I re-imagine it as a graphic novel. Suddenly, the project made a lot more sense.”—Charlaine Harris, author of the Sookie Stackhouse series that inspired HBO’s “True Blood,” who has signed on to co-author a graphic novel trilogy with fantasy writer Christopher Golden and illustrator Don Kramer. The first book, Cemetery Girl, will be released by Ace Books in May 2013.
It’s been ten years since the iPod debuted and changed the way we listen to music. In this piece in Sunday’s New York Times, Daniel J. Levitin reflects on the gadget’s effects on our ears, our moods, and the music industry.