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Pass out the dictionaries — American students are drastically, terrifyingly behind the curve in reading.
The Flavorpill list of New York’s 100 greatest living writers, featuring tidbits like this:
Emily Gould, on Roth’s retirement: It seems fake. The way he’s collaborating on his biography — producing lots and lots of autobiographical writing every day — seems awfully close to working on a book. I don’t doubt some of those detailed notes will end up published, and he likely doesn’t doubt it either. And, good! I am most fond of his books that are explicitly rooted in his own experience. Although my actual favorite is Sabbath’s Theater, so I just contradicted myself. But other than that the Zuckerman books are my favorite. I love them.
Pippa Middleton’s party-planning book is a huge flop. Possible because it contains “tips” like giving red roses on Valentine’s Day and drinking champagne on New Year’s.
Want a romance novel to sell like crazy? Throw in a billionaire … and a baby. And poof! You’d have the rabid fans of Harlequin’s newest and hottest series.
Elizabeth Williams remembers what started her addiction. “There was a baby left on the doorstep,” she said. “I was hooked right away.”
Williams, 51, has all 15 books in Harlequin’s new “Billionaires and Babies” series, and the next one is pre-ordered. Her fix is not your average romance novel. While the heroes are still thirtysomething Lotharios with glistening pectorals, the plots are driven by babbling infants, not by heaving bosoms and ripped bodices (though there are those, too). Harlequin hasn’t released sales numbers for the series, but several authors confirmed that it’s one of the publisher’s top sellers.
Junot Díaz is among the 23 recipients of this year’s MacArthur Foundation’s ‘Genius’ Grant. He won for his use of ‘raw, vernacular dialogue and spare, unsentimental prose to draw readers into the various and distinct worlds that immigrants must straddle.’
Check out our interview with Díaz here!
Kinky entrepreneurs are hoping to turn “Fifty Shades of Grey” into fifty shades of green.
Babeland, an upscale sex shop with three locations in New York City and one in Seattle (home of the fictional Mr. Grey), has seen a peak in sales since the book became popular in the spring, about a 40 percent boost overall. Claire Cavanah, co-founder of the stores, told The Daily that “dozens of customers come in and ask about the book every day.”
Customer enthusiasm led to introductory BDSM (bondage, discipline, dominance, submission, sadism, masochism) workshops, the first of which was held in Manhattan in May and welcomed a larger-than-usual group of 150 people.
“[The book] has some very technical sex scenes in it that people had a lot of questions about,” Cavanah said. “There are some really good ways to tie people up in restraints and some bad ways. People wanted to know about how to spank someone, how to use a riding crop.”
I want people to read my story and say, ‘If Gabby can do it, I can do it too. Anything is possible.
“The Brief Wondrous Life of Osacar Wao” author Junot Diaz talked to us about his new book “This is How You Lose Her” — and the raw and candid language he’s known for.
Díaz’s brutality — or vulgarity, or bluntness, or honesty, call it what you like — is bracing, beautiful and apt.
Take this passage from “Alma,” the third story in the book: “You, Yunior, have a girlfriend named Alma, who has a long tender horse neck and a big Dominican ass that seems to exist in a fourth dimension beyond jeans. An ass that could drag the moon out of orbit.”
“There’s some people who this s*** doesn’t work for them and all they see is the crudeness,” he said. Díaz compares literary rawness to such candidness in music, where you expect words to take the shape of life.
“You can say anything behind an ill beat. And I think that that’s what it is, is that there is no ill beat in f***ing literature.”
[Photos by Victoria Will]