Literary links of late: This week we visit The Millions to visit an unusual review copy author-note and a Chicago-themed publication issue, consider the purpose of a book cover and rules for novel-writing and sign off with a great books list. Ready?
1. Advanced review copies of books often contain interesting notes and
backstory of a given title's publication or editorial process. But, few
ever bear notes quite as delightful as this one from Pete Dexter for his forthcoming Spooner, which offers up gems of explanation of the passage of lost time such as:
"There are many reasons it was three years late, probably the most
conspicuous being that it was once 250 pages or so longer than the
version you hold, and it takes maybe half a year to write an extra 250
pages, and at least twice that to subtract them back out. I realize
this leaves another year and a half unaccounted for, and all I can say
about that, readers, is get in line. Whole decades are missing from my
life and I am pretty sure I wouldn't have it any other way."
2. John Freeman, Editor of Granta, announced in an interview, the Cambridge University literary journal's theme for next month's issue is Chicago.
Read the interview with editor John Freeman in Granta.
3. Seth Godin considers the purpose of a book cover in the cycle of reader behavior:
Tactically, the cover sells the back cover, the back cover sells the
flap and by then you've sold the book. If those steps end up selling a
book that the purchaser doesn't like, game over. So you have to be
consistent all the way through and end up creating a conversation after
Read "Pete Tarslaw's Sixteen Rules of Novel Writing" on The Ragbag blog.
5. Newsweek pulled together a list of the best books ever written. I heard whispers on Twitter
alluding to the fact that less than a quarter of the titles were
written by women. Discuss: is a great book a great book or is
male-female balance important on lists?
Read "Top 100 Books: The Meta-List" on Newsweek.