September 18, 2013

Terrible news from England this week: Former Smiths frontman Morrissey has cancelled his forthcoming autobiography with Penguin after a conflict with the publisher. According to a statement posted on a fan website: “Although Morrissey’s autobiography was set to be available throughout the UK on September 16th, a last-minute content disagreement between Penguin Books and Morrissey has caused the venture to collapse. No review copies were printed, and Morrissey is now in search of a new publisher.” At least we still have his music.

IFC Films has bought the U.S. rights to Liza Johnson’s Hateship Friendship, an adaptation of a story by Alice Munro. The movie stars Kristen Wiig, who plays a quiet housekeeper, and Nick Nolte.

The Man Booker Prize committee stunned writers around the world this week with the news that starting next year its fiction prize, considered to be the most prestigious UK literary award, would be open to Americans.

A Netflix for e-books has arrived: It’s called Oyster, and for $9.99 a month, users get unlimited access to over 10,000 digital books. At Salon, Laura Miller reviews the new service.

The National Book Foundation has released a poetry longlist for the National Book Award—its first ever. The list includes Frank Bidart’s Metaphysical Dog, Roger Bonair-Agard’s Bury My Clothes, Lucie Brock-Broido’s Stay, Illusion, Andrei Codrescu’s So Recently Rent a World, New and Selected Poems: 1968-2012, Brenda Hillman’s Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire, Adrian Matejka’s The Big Smoke, Diane Raptosh’s American Amnesiac, Matt Rasmussen’s Black Aperture, Martha Ronk’s Transfer of Qualities, and Mary Szybist’s Incarnadine: Poems.

Over the next year, bestselling writer James Patterson will donate $1 million to independent bookstores around the country. Speaking on a radio show this week, Patterson remarked that “we’re making this transition to e-books, and that’s fine and good and terrific and wonderful, but we’re not doing it in an organized, sane, civilized way. So what’s happening right now is a lot of bookstores are disappearing.”

In 1924, Ernest Hemingway submitted a story to Vanity Fair and was rejected. Now, the tables have turned: Vanity Fair approached the Hemingway estate earlier this year about publishing the story, “My Life in the Bull Ring with Donald Ogden Stewart,” and was shot down on the grounds that the estate would prefer to have it “relegated to a scholarly examination of how a writer was developing.” Too boot, Hemingway’s son noted that he’s “not a great fan of Vanity Fair.”

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