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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 March, 2008

Fri, March 14th, 2008
Novel Writing Made Easy
Posted by: Keir Graff

Actually, I don’t think I can blame Ed Champion for this one. The last video was funny. I don’t think this one is supposed to be funny. Don’t feel obligated to watch the whole thing. Please.


Fri, March 14th, 2008
2008 Commonwealth Regional Winners
Posted by: Keir Graff

The 2008 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize regional winners have been announced. Africa Best Book: The Hangman’s Game, by Karen King-Aribisala (Peepal Tree) (Nigeria) Best First Book: Imagine This, by Sade Adeniran (SW) (Nigeria) Canada and Caribbean Best Book: The Book of Negroes, by Lawrence Hill (HarperCollins) (Canada) Best First Book: The End of the Alphabet, by CS Richardson (Doubleday […]


Fri, March 14th, 2008
How to Write the Great American Novel
Posted by: Keir Graff

A long time ago, back in the pre-embedded video days, I saved some links that I found, I think, via Edward Champion. Why, here’s one now!


Fri, March 14th, 2008
Crime Doesn’t Pay–But Kid Lit Does
Posted by: Keir Graff

From the Washington Post (“Australian Author Wins Lindgren Award,” by Malin Rising): STOCKHOLM, March 12 — Australian author Sonya Hartnett is the winner of the $818,000 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for Literature, the largest children’s book award in the world. Hartnett, 39, published her first novel, “Trouble All the Way,” at the age of 15 […]


Fri, March 14th, 2008
It’s a Vlog!
Posted by: Keir Graff

Quadruple-threat Dan Kraus (editor/writer/filmmaker/champion pastry chef) alerted me to a simple hack that allows me to embed video in this here WordPress blog. So I’m going to go ahead and do that–and what better test case than a video shot and edited by multiple-hyphenate Dan Kraus? Hey, it works!


Thu, March 13th, 2008
Seattle Helps You Decide What to Read
Posted by: Keir Graff

Seattle’s influence in the world of books looms large of late, but Nancy Pearl can’t take all the credit–no, she has to share it with Amazon, Starbucks, and Costco. In the New York Times (“Book Lovers Ask, What’s Seattle’s Secret?”), Julie Bick examines the retail giants’ bookselling strategies: microlevel, one-book-fits-all, and by-the-pallet. Perhaps because it’s Seattle, the executives speak of “ideals,” “an […]


Thu, March 13th, 2008
Kate Christensen Wins the PEN/Faulkner
Posted by: Keir Graff

Kate Christensen is the winner of the 2008 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, for her novel The Great Man (Doubleday). From the Washington Post (“Behind Every Great Man . . . ” by Bob Thompson): “I’m really shocked,” she said in a telephone interview. To her, an award like the PEN/Faulkner “always seemed unattainable.” Among other reasons, in the 28 […]


Tue, March 11th, 2008
Lies, Damn Lies, and Memoirs
Posted by: Keir Graff

I wasn’t not blogging yesterday because I was too busy reading the endless takes and updates on false memories, but that could easily have been the case. Whew. Motoko Rich places Peggy Seltzer aka Margaret B. Jones as merely the latest in a long line of literary liars (“A Family Tree of Literary Fakers,” New […]


Fri, March 7th, 2008
A Wonderful Year for Oscar Wao
Posted by: Keir Graff

The National Book Critics Circle Awards have been announced. Criticism The Rest is Noise, by Alex Ross (Farrar) Poetry Elegy, by Mary Jo Bang (Graywolf) Biography Stanley: the Impossible Life of Africa’s Greatest Explorer, by Tim Jeal (Yale) General Nonfiction Medical Apartheid, by Harriet Washington (Doubleday) Autobiography Brother, I’m Dying, by Edwidge Danticat (Knopf) Fiction […]


Thu, March 6th, 2008
Checking in with Laura Albert (aka JT Leroy)
Posted by: Keir Graff

The Margaret Seltzer story (ably updated at Galleycat) got me to thinking about Laura Albert (aka JT Leroy). Where is she now? To explain how she’s wound up where she has, Laura first whips out the platitudes, about taking problems of the soul and turning them into art; about following in a distinguished line of […]





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