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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 the 'Feuds' Category

Wed, October 1st, 2008
U.S. to Sweden: This Thing Is ON
Posted by: Keir Graff

Oh no he di’n’t: Horace Engdahl, “the top member” of the Nobel Prize jury, dissed American literature, big-time (“Nobel literature head: US too insular to compete,” by Malin Rising and Hillel Italie, AP): Speaking generally about American literature, however, he said U.S. writers are “too sensitive to trends in their own mass culture,” dragging down the […]

Tue, August 19th, 2008
The United Kingdom’s Jonathan Franzen, Sort Of
Posted by: Keir Graff

In a scenario that will sound familiar to U.S. readers, Scottish novelist Andrew O’Hagan has said that popular English TV hosts Richard and Judy treat their book club followers as if they were “stupid” (“Richard and Judy ‘treat their readers as stupid,’” by Senay Boztas, The Observer): ‘We have an industry where we have a Richard […]

Tue, August 19th, 2008
Point Taken, but the Timing Is Unfortunate
Posted by: Keir Graff

Sir Salman “Scruffy” Rushdie (sorry, I just can’t help myself, it’s too cute), whose name is frequently evoked in the Jewel of Medina affair (note to the Ian Fleming estate: great title for a Bond film), has weighed in (“Rushdie condemns cancellation of Muhammad novel,” by Hillel Italie, AP) “I am very disappointed to hear […]

Mon, August 4th, 2008
Sir Scruffy Threatens Expensive Suit
Posted by: Keir Graff

. . . or at least that’s the headline I imagine the British tabloids using. Sir Salman Rushdie has threatened to bring a lawsuit against his former police bodyguard, Ron Evans, because of certain passages in Evans’ memoir, On Her Majesty’s Service (“Rushdie anger at policeman’s book,” BBC). The author of The Satanic Verses, however, […]

Mon, July 21st, 2008
Pacifist Cellist at War with Novelist
Posted by: Keir Graff

Vedran Smailovic, the “Cellist of Sarajevo,” wants money from Steven Galloway, the Canadian author of The Cellist of Sarajevo, for his role in the book (“Famous cellist claims story stolen by Canadian author,” CBC): With a stool and his cello, Smailovic once played on top of the rubble from a deadly mortar attack in Sarajevo. In […]

Fri, June 13th, 2008
Good Thing the Book Wasn’t Called Death by Dessert
Posted by: Keir Graff

From the Department of Almost Too Good to Be True, a dinner party for the authors of Dinner Party Disasters turns, well, disastrous. From Publishers Weekly (“Bloodshed at Connecticut Book Party,” by Lynn Andriani): As entrées were being enjoyed, a McCain supporter and an Obama supporter, having exhausted their verbal arguments, lunged at each other with […]

Mon, June 2nd, 2008
D. Walcott vs. V.S. Naipaul
Posted by: Keir Graff

Now this is my kind of literary feud. There’s been bad blood between Derek Walcott (The Prodigal, 2004) and V. S. Naipaul (A Writer’s People, 2008) for years, but Walcott just took it to a whole new level, debuting a poem, “The Mongoose,” onstage at the Calabash Literary Festival in Kingston, Jamaica. From the Guardian (“Rhyme […]

Thu, May 1st, 2008
Writers and Reviewers Fight, Make Up
Posted by: Keir Graff

You’ve gotta love Jonathan Franzen (The Discomfort Zone, 2006). At least he doesn’t pick fights with small-timers. The New York Observer reports that he called Michiko Kakutani “the stupidest person in New York City.” It must have been something she wrote: In that review, Ms. Kakutani wrote: “there is something oddly preening about [Franzen's] self-inventory of sins, […]

Thu, April 17th, 2008
Lonely Planet Thinks Travel Writer Is from Hell
Posted by: Keir Graff

Remember Thomas Kohnstamm? Well, he’s in the news again. His claims that Lonely Planet guides are not entirely trustworthy have irked a number of people, including, er, Lonely Planet. On their site, they address his charges, although they respond to one of his biggest complaints in a fairly vague manner: 5. Thomas claims he was […]

Tue, February 12th, 2008
Lawsuit Roundup
Posted by: Keir Graff

Pol’ Atteu & Patrik Simpson v. Jody (Babydol) Gibson (“Authors of new Anna Nicole book sue their own publisher,” Ben Widdicombe, Daily News): Simpson and Atteu acknowledge signing an agreement with Gibson, but told me Monday they regarded the document as a “draft.” And quite apart from making any money from the book, they say they […]

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