For authors, few things ever seem to go in this direction. As of next year, the Man Booker International Prize is merging with the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize to create one annual award for a translated work of literary fiction. When the Man Booker International was awarded every two years for a whole body of work, you had to be Lydia Davis or László Krasznahorkai to get your hands on the £60,000 (c. $90,000), but now you could get it for a single book—though, of course, you’d have to split it with your translator.
Somebody really went deep in fact-checking Donald Trump’s claim to have written the biggest selling business book “of all time.” And at Buzzfeed, they’ve looked up the Nielsen BookScan figures to compare sales in the mini-field of Republican candidate lit—Trump’s not winning there either; Ben Carson comes out ahead by a very long way.
At Flavorwire, Jonathan Sturgeon briefly considers a new William Gaddis biography, tracing the novelist’s odd legacy along the way, from the 2002 New Yorker essay in which Jonathan Franzen “calls Gaddis ‘Mr. Difficult,’ but he should have just called him ‘Daddy’,” to the post-financial crash phenomenon that was Occupy Gaddis.
Why do people still start literary magazines? Bookforum contributor Stephen Burt asks on the New Yorker’s website. “You won’t get rich, or even very famous,” he writes. Whether in print or online, where many of the newer “litmags” establish themselves, your journal “will wing its way into a world already full of journals, like a paper airplane into a recycling bin.” And still they come.