Publisher Nan A. Talese publicly blasted Oprah over the James Frey controversy this Saturday, at the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Writers Conference of the Southwest:
"I'm afraid I'm unapologetic of the whole thing," she said. "And the only person who should be apologetic is Oprah Winfrey," who she says exhibited "fiercely bad manners — you don't stone someone in public, which is just what she did."
The NY Times noticed the recent commercialization of Jane Austen on Sunday:
How did this early-19th-century novelist become the chick-lit, chick-flick queen for today? It is not only because she is an enduring writer. So is Melville, but bumper stickers and T-shirts read “What would Jane do?” not “What would Herman do?” A few other female writers have achieved pop culture celebrity: Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath for the drama of their suicides, the Brontës for the gothic romance of their novels and the contrast to their quiet lives.
A decade ago, Eve Bridburg started Grub Street, Inc., Boston's independent writing center. Eight thousand students later, Grub celebrates it's 10th anniversary tonight on Boston Common, across the street from Grub headquarters at 160 Boylston Street. Festivities start at 4 pm and go, according to the web site, "late, baby, late."
Art Spiegelman's graphic novel Maus won the Pulitzer Prize back in 1992. I finished the first book in the two-part series about a month ago in preparation for a visit to Yad Vashem last week. Maus is shocking, tragic, funny, and brutally eye-opening. It's the most beautifully told, gripping account of the Holocaust I've ever read, and I've been reading about it all my life.
Hold your applause! Apologies for the absence, lack of updates, etc. Word Up is still alive and well. We were away on a trek around the Holy Land (srsly) that has left us spiritually enlightened (not like Madonna, so stop judging), exhausted from hiking up and down really big mountains, blissful from days on end of gawking at really old, ancient, awesome stuff, and hysterically amazed at our ability to go nearly a fortnight without Books or Blogz as entertainment.
Fourth of July came and went, but post-pyrotechnics, it’s worth remembering the people that lost their freedoms in the political fireworks. Ellee Dean reviews the first two books in the new, eight-volume Penguin Library of Native American History, and asks the question, what if casinos and reservations were our conciliatory prize?
If our posting schedule seems irregular in the next week or so, it's because we're really busy listening to "Save Ginny Weasley" on repeat and blushing over novel-length Harry Potter fan fiction that involves...naughtiness:
Heavy breathing. Then a sigh. "Why would I stay, Potter? I'm sweaty, I'm filthy, and we have classes tomorrow."