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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 January, 2008

Wed, January 23rd, 2008
Ishmael Beah: “my story is all true”
Posted by: Keir Graff

As an update on yesterday’s post about Ishmael Beah, the author has unequivocally declared that his facts are correct. Publishers Weekly (“Ishmael Beah Takes Public Stand,” by Michael Coffey) reprints the full press release from his publisher, Farrar, Straus and Giroux. The war in Sierra Leone began in 1991. My story, as I remember it and wrote it, […]


Tue, January 22nd, 2008
A Long Way Gone a Little Bit Off?
Posted by: Keir Graff

According to a recent report in The Australian (“Africa’s war child,” by Shelley Gare, Peter Wilson, and David Nason), the timeline is wrong in Ishmael Beah’s A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier. The story of how the discrepancies came to light–and the responses of Beah’s publisher and guardian–are both fascinating and troubling. […]


Fri, January 18th, 2008
2008 Edgar Nominees
Posted by: Keir Graff

The 2008 Edgar Nominees have been announced. Best Novel Christine Falls, by Benjamin Black (Holt) Priest, by Ken Bruen (St. Martin’s Minotaur) The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, by Michael Chabon (HarperCollins) Soul Patch, by Reed Farrel Coleman (Bleak House) Down River, by John Hart (St. Martin’s Minotaur) Best First Novel By An American Author Missing Witness, […]


Thu, January 17th, 2008
Historically Incorrect
Posted by: Keir Graff

Publishers, heed Edward Champion’s demand that we “Stop bowdlerising books for kids“! (British spelling because it’s in the Guardian‘s theblogbooks.) Perhaps this new emphasis on books-as-manuals is why today’s children’s book publishers have been more gutless when reissuing their backlist titles. Presumably motivated by the fear of “corrupting” young minds and offending readers, publishers have […]


Thu, January 17th, 2008
ZXBNST!
Posted by: Keir Graff

Youth fantasy fans are no doubt excited to learn the release date and title of Christopher Paolini’s new book. The date? September 20. The title? Um…Brisingr? A bit of a surprise after Eragon (2003) and Eldest (2005). And, I have to say, it doth not play trippingly on the tongue. In a strange way it […]


Thu, January 17th, 2008
Finally, a Reason to Go to Paris
Posted by: Keir Graff

That naughty library exhibit in Paris is finally open (“A Library Exhibition Not for the Children’s Room,” New York Times): "Hell at the Library, Eros in Secret," which opened at the National Library here last month, offers a peek at its secret archive of erotic art, putting on display more than 350 sexually explicit literary […]


Thu, January 17th, 2008
To burn or not to burn?
Posted by: Keir Graff

Before he died, Vladimir Nabokov left explicit instructions that his final, unfinished, work–called Laura–be destroyed. That hasn’t happened yet, and Dmitri Nabokov, Vladimir’s heir and the man with a key to the lock-box, hasn’t decided whether he’ll honor his father’s wishes or not. On Slate (“Dmitri’s Choice“), Nabokovian Ron Rosenbaum (should be the name of a pickpocket in a […]


Thu, January 17th, 2008
“Graphic Novel” or “Comic Book”?
Posted by: Keir Graff

Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis) and Chris Ware (Acme Novelty Library 16) vote for the latter (“Graphic Novelists Eschew Term “Graphic Novel,” Galleycat). In the nomenclative tussle of Graphic Novel vs. Comic Book, two of the genre’s highest profile creators prefer the latter term. “I don’t like ‘graphic novel,’” Persepolis author Marjane Satrapi told the Wall Street Journal […]


Tue, January 15th, 2008
Signet Having Second Thoughts
Posted by: Keir Graff

When Cassie Edwards was accused of plagiarism, one of her publishers quickly jumped to her defense. Now they’re taking one big step back (“A Romance Novelist Is Accused of Copying,” by Felicia R. Lee, New York Times): "Our original comments were based on Signet’s review of a limited selection of passages," Mr. Burke’s statement said. […]


Tue, January 15th, 2008
Playing Hard to Get
Posted by: Keir Graff

A long but interesting piece on author anonymity–and pseudonymity–in the Guardian (“The great unknown“). The proudly bylined John Mullan examines the reasons that writers, from Sir Walter Scott to Joe Klein, have chosen to hide in plain sight. His conclusion? That writers don’t do it because they’re afraid: Indeed, in these cases as in many […]





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