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Book Blog - Likely Stories, by Keir Graff - Booklist Online

Likely Stories

A Booklist Blog
Keir Graff and editors from Booklist's adult and youth departments write candidly about books, book reviewing, and the publishing industry

Archive for September, 2007

Thu, September 13th, 2007
The Other James Frey
Posted by: Keir Graff

And, just asking: what effect, if any, has all this had on the career of James N. Frey, who has written fiction and nonfiction (each, we think, under the correct category)? And why has James N. Frey always used a middle initial despite the fact that he started writing years and years before James Frey? And what is James Frey’s middle intial? Oh: […]


Thu, September 13th, 2007
Whoa.
Posted by: Keir Graff

From the New York Times (“Book Deal for Writer Who Fabricated Parts of Memoir,” by Motoko Rich): James Frey, the author who admitted making up portions of his best-selling memoir "A Million Little Pieces," has signed a new book deal for his novel "Bright Shiny Morning," with HarperCollins. The dollar figure was not disclosed. So […]


Wed, September 12th, 2007
What’s Right and What’s Fair
Posted by: Keir Graff

Found this via The Elegant Variation, labeled “Bitter Author Alert!“–Peter Sacks, author of Tearing Down the Gates: Confronting the Class Divide in American Education (Univ. of California), confesses that he is underappreciated: Meanwhile, a thousand splendid authors, working in relative obscurity, have written a thousand splendid books that you will never hear about. We splendid authors […]


Wed, September 12th, 2007
Eggers Wins the Heinz
Posted by: Keir Graff

Dave Eggers (What Is the What) seems to be one of those love-him-or-hate-him writers. Because his life story was so integral to the launching of his career, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to separate his personality from his product. He’s been called “Saint Dave”–and not by the lovers. But, setting his work aside for the moment, he sure […]


Tue, September 11th, 2007
Still Waiting for the Definitive 9/11 Novel?
Posted by: Keir Graff

In a brief article in USA Today (“Novels about 9/11 can’t stack up to non-fiction“), Bob Minzesheimer notes that nonfiction about 9/11 outnumbers novels by a staggering ratio: Six years after the twin towers fell, enough non-fiction has been published about Sept. 11, 2001, to fill an entire section of a bookstore: 1,036 titles, according to Books in Print. […]


Mon, September 10th, 2007
Harper Lee’s Stalker
Posted by: Keir Graff

In The Biographer’s Craft newsletter, Charles J. Shields, author of Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee (Holt), writes about how to write a biography when the subject won’t cooperate: This led to a practice that became habitual. I was always polite and discreet, even when people questioned my integrity. “Why don’t you just leave Nelle alone?” […]


Mon, September 10th, 2007
Andrew Roberts Wins the Henry Paolucci/Walter Bagehot
Posted by: Keir Graff

Who can resist an honor with a moniker like the Henry Paolucci/Walter Bagehot Book Award? Not me, that’s for sure. Well, Andrew Roberts won it, for his History of the English-Speaking Peoples Since 1900 (HarperCollins). Read the press release here. (Warning! PDF!)


Mon, September 10th, 2007
Interviews with Your Favorite Writers
Posted by: Keir Graff

I’m pleased to help spread the news that Booklist Adult Books Associate Editor Donna Seaman has a very nicely redesigned site for her radio show, Open Books. There’s a nifty media player that allows you to listen to and download interviews of Michael Chabon, Sandra Cisneros, Jane Hamilton, Jamaica Kincaid, A. M. Homes, James McManus, Nikki […]


Mon, September 10th, 2007
Getting It Wrong
Posted by: Keir Graff

In Sunday’s New York Times (“No Thanks, Mr. Nabokov“), David Oshinsky’s look at Knopf’s rejection file reveals that even a “gold standard” publisher makes some errors in judgment: For almost a century, Knopf has been the gold standard in the book trade, publishing the works of 17 Nobel Prize-winning authors as well as 47 Pulitzer Prize-winning […]


Mon, September 10th, 2007
The Mystery of Grace Paley’s Life and Art
Posted by: Keir Graff

On Slate, Jess Row has a nice appreciation of Grace Paley (“Enormous Changes in Very Small Spaces“): Perhaps the most unresolved tension in Paley’s work lies between her unyielding political idealism (raised by proud and combative socialist parents, she always described herself as a “somewhat combative pacifist and cooperative anarchist”) and her acute, even overwhelming […]





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