Monday, August 28, 2006

First Annual Brooklyn Book Festival to Celebrate Local Talent
Brooklyn's Borough Hall and Plaza will host the first annual Brooklyn Book Festival, a day-long celebration of the city's writers taking place on Saturday, September 16.
The festival will "celebrate Brooklyn's thriving and diverse literary community and its rich history as a home and inspiration for authors. From Williamsburg to Bedford-Stuyvesant, Park Slope and Brighton Beach, Brooklyn is home to many authors, literary magazines and publishers," said Marty Markowitz, Brooklyn's Borough President and a sponsor of the event.
Multiple stages will present entertainment for adults and children, spoken word performances including the Secrets of the Street Lit Match, a spoken word competition for teens that will include poetry, rap and prose. Panel discussions, author signings, publishers and literary organizations will also be showcased, and of course, books will be available.
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Trouble in Surbubia is Key to Coben's Success
Harlan Coben, writer of such heart-pounding thrillers such as Tell No One, has made a career of exploring the secrets and disasters that can destroy or up end the American Dream. In an interview with Atlantic, Coben discusses his metier in books like his latest, Promise Me: "This is where you're supposed to be in life. You're supposed to have 2.4 kids and a house in the 'burbs and the barbecue in the yard and a two-car garage. Now your life is perfect. You build a fence so everything is protected - and, of course, you're not."
The Jersey born and bred author usually uses the Jersey suburbs as a jumping off point in his books, but thereafter the action can go anywhere. In his latest, he resurrects his detective Myron Bolitar, whom he had retired five books ago, and is anticipating the completion of the first film based on one of his books, currently being shot in France.

The New Revolution in Chinese Literature
The Age of Australia examines the new crop of internationally acclaimed Chinese authors, none of whom is writing in Chinese or live in China. Despite a 5,000-year literary tradition, the most powerful voices in contemporary Chinese literature (according to this piece) are writing in English, including Ha Jin, Li Yiyun and Fan Wu.
The frenetic new capitalism in China has made self-help and get-rich-quick books national bestsellers, while writers of fiction struggle to get noticed.

Musings of a Booker Nominee
The Wood and Vale interviews the Scottish writer Andrew O'Hagen, whose third novel, Be Near Me, has made the long list for Britain's Man Booker Prize.
O'Hagen, a native of Glasgow who lives in London, discusses the controversy surrounding the novel -- about an insufferably snobbish pedophile priest whose victim is equally unlikeable. O'Hagen also comments on the impact of his work on his home turf and the writers who inspired him.

Another Independent Bites the Dust
The Des Moines Register reports on the demise of Big Table Books in Ames, Iowa, a beloved independent bookseller that was community-owned (shareholders included local author Jane Smiley). The store is a casualty of the big chains in the area including Waldenbooks and Borders. Customers at the clearance sale were in tears.

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    Much better to see things being posted again. I was wondering whether my publisher has sent you a copy of my latest novel to review. If not, I would be happy to correct that problem.

    BTW, I met Harlan Coben at a party a couple of weeks ago. He gave me a hug and called me by name. I told him I was surprised he knew who I was and he pointed out I had a nametag on. Oh well.