Why did Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign recently pay HarperCollins $122,252.62? According to the New Republic, the candidate (whose literary agent, Keith Urbahn, was Donald Rumsfeld’s chief of staff) was probably buying up copies of his new book, A Time for Truth. (The bulk purchases led the Times to leave the book off of its best-seller list.) He’s not the only candidate who is boosting his own sales: Earlier this year Ben Carson spent $150,000 buying up copies of his book A More Perfect Union, the centerpiece of his recent author tour.
Harriet Klausner—a former librarian who wrote more than 31,000 reviews for Amazon and was at one time that site’s “#1 reviewer”—died last week, just three days after the appearance of her final online writings.
Students at Cardiff University are collecting signatures for a petition to cancel an upcoming lecture by the author Germaine Greer (who wrote The Female Eunuch). The protesters are attempting to block Greer’s appearance because of comments she has made about trans people (“Nowadays we are all likely to meet people who think they are women, have women’s names, and feminine clothes and lots of eyeshadow, who seem to us to be some kind of ghastly parody, though it isn’t polite to say so”). But Cardiff says that, despite student resistance, the lecture will take place.
Neil Strauss, who celebrated pickup artists in his bestselling book The Game, has a new book The Truth: An Uncomfortable Book about Relationships. He’s not so enthralled by the pickup-artist scene anymore: “But now I am in the camp that any manipulation is not a good thing. And anytime you’re trying to get esteem or validation from outside yourself is not a good thing.”
Slate has created an interactive, annotated “Bartleby, the Scrivener.”