An ongoing dispute over the trademark rights to “To Kill a Mockingbird” has a new venue and a sympathetic defendant. Harper Lee’s attorneys filed a trademark infringement suit earlier this month in Mobile, Alabama’s federal district court against the Monroe County Heritage Museum.
According to the complaint, the museum uses tokillamockingbird.com as its web address, touts its building as the model for the novel’s courthouse, and uses the novel to sell unlicensed aprons, hand towels and keychains. Despite the museum’s claim that its purpose is historical, Lee’s attorneys say “its primary mission is to trade upon the fictional story, settings and characters that Harper Lee created in To Kill a Mockingbird, and Harper Lee’s own renown as one of the nation’s most celebrated authors.”
This week’s recent and upcoming releases by Authors Guild members include titles by David A. Adler, Natalie S. Bober, Lisa Borders, Stephanie Calmenson and Jennifer Thermes, Marsh Cassady, Phyllis Chesler, Dorothea Jensen, Garrison Keillor, Maryann Macdonald, Dan E. Moldea, Shirley Nelson, Tracey Campbell Pearson, Wendy W. Rodrigue, Aurelie Sheehan, Pat Silver-Lasky, Joy Smith, Ira Stoll, and Diane Wakoski. Titles under the jump.
This week’s batch of contests are for poets and fiction writers and include some hefty cash prizes. Deadlines range from November 15-30.
The University of North Texas is seeking submissions for its annual Rilke Prize, which awards a book that demonstrates exceptional artistry and vision written by a mid-career poet and published in the preceding year. Entrants must have published at least two previous books of poetry and be citizens or legal residents of the United States. Eligible books must have been published between November 1, 2012 and October 31, 2013 and may be submitted by publishers or poets themselves. The winner will receive $10,000 and will travel to Texas to give readings at UNT and at The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture on April 8th and 9th, 2014. Deadline: November 30, 2013. For more information, please visit the website.
You know all that talk recently about the resurgence of independent bookstores? It’s true. What you may not have heard as much about is the role being played by those natural allies of booksellers–authors.
Following the success of the ABA’s first Thanks for Shopping Indie campaign in 2012, more booksellers have signed up to participate this year, bringing the number to over 400. The campaign, in which local retailers promote books chosen from a list of bookseller-selected titles, begins on Nov. 30, Small Business Saturday. No coincidence—that’s also when authors will report to work at bookstores around the country for Indies First, the Sherman Alexie brainchild that’s grown into a full-fledged movement.
Late this summer, Alexie posted an open letter to authors asking them to become booksellers for the day. As of yesterday, 270 authors and 225 stores had gone to the ABA’s website to register their plans to participate in Indies First and the number is growing every day, said ABA senior program officer Joy Dallanegra-Sanger. And those figures don’t include the authors and booksellers who intend to join in but haven’t registered.
by Campbell Geeslin
Moments after Alice Munro, 82, learned that she had won the 2013 Nobel in literature, she told Canadian Broadcasting, “I would really hope this would make people see the short story as an important art–not just something you played around with until you got a novel.”
Most commentators on the award noted that Munro, alone, had done that years ago.
DOGGED: “Dogs are perfect companions,” poet Mary Oliver said. “They don’t speak.”
Oliver’s new book of poetry, Dog Songs, was an immediate bestseller. She told The New York Times, “People want poetry. They need poetry. They get it. They don’t want fancy work.”
After 50 years in Provincetown, Mass., Oliver, 78, now lives with a Havanese named Rickey in Florida. Her dogs have been Bear, Ben, Ricky, Lucy, Luke and Percy. She said, “I think [dogs] are companions in ways that people aren’t. They’ll lie next to you when you’re sad. And they remind us that we’re animals, too.”
This week’s recent and upcoming releases by Authors Guild members include titles by Stephanie Calmenson, Joanna Cole, Maureen B. Fant, Gary Giddins, Alice Wolf Gilborn, Stephanie Greene, Michael de Guzman, Robie H. Harris, Chris Raschka,Dorothea Jensen, Karen Karbo, Susan Kelly, Earle Labor, Elizabeth Levy, Kathleen McCleary, Mark I. Pinsky, Deborah Raney, Susan L. Schulman, Julia Sloan, Scott Turow, and Wendy Wax. Titles under the jump.
Booktalk Nation hosts its first NY-LA video hangout with YA Authors Melissa de la Cruz, Kami Garcia, Michael Johnston, and Margaret Stohl. Next week: NYT Bestseller Wally Lamb Previews We Are Water.
“We’re embracing the Google in support of indie bookstores,” says Authors Guild Executive Director Paul Aiken.
This evening, Booktalk Nation (booktalknation.com) is hosting its most ambitious hangout yet: four YA authors – from three different locations – will talk with readers around the world. The hangout is free. Readers can order personally inscribed books through Booktalk Nation. LA’s Skylight Books and NY’s Posman Books will fulfill orders nationwide.
Booktalk Nation, developed and underwritten by the Authors Guild, is a virtual book tour and e-commerce platform available for free to readers, brick-and-mortar booksellers, authors, and publishers. Through the site, readers order personalized books, which authors sign in the days after their events at hosting bookstores.
When it launched last November, all events were by nationwide conference call.
This week’s batch of prizes are for the fiction and nonfiction writers out there. Deadlines range from Nov 1-Nov 16.
The Bancroft Prizes are awarded annually by Columbia University to the authors of distinguished works in either or both of the following categories: American History (including biography) and Diplomacy. The 2014 prizes are for books published in 2013. The term “American” includes all the Americas, North, Central, and South; however, the award is confined to works originally written in English or of which there is a published translation in English. Previous winners have received a $10,000 stipend. Deadline: November 1, 2013. For more information, please visit the website.
by Campbell Geeslin
A cartoon cover by Grant Snider showed a young couple climbing inside a book and making out. Below that, the Oct. 6th New York Times Book Review said, “Let’s Read About Sex.” And the section was packed with it.
Among the many novelists heard from on the subject was Geoff Dyer. He believed that “the best writing about sex often seems pornographic rather than artful.”
Jackie Collins wrote, “I want to turn my readers on—not off. I try to take them so far, then allow their own sexual fantasies to take over. Believe me, it works.”
Erica Jong, who found scandalous fame 40 years ago with Fear of Flying, writes about the power of storytelling.
GUESSING: “Which classic writers do you think would have taken advantage of today’s literary openness?” That question was asked by Moira Redmond in The Guardian.
Redmond said Agatha Christie knew plenty about sex “but worked to sublimate everything to plot.”
Edith Wharton left explicit writing about sex in her papers, suggesting she might have been more open if she were writing today.
Evelyn Waugh “would pretend to turn up his nose—but sneak quite a lot of sex in there.”
Daphne duMaurier “would have rivaled Fifty Shades of Gray if given the chance . . . And it would have been much better written, too.”
This week’s recent and upcoming releases by Authors Guild members include titles by Jacqueline Carey, Patrick A. Durantou, Robert F. Gish, Carolyn Hart, Valerie Hobbs, Dorothea Jensen, Jethro K. Lieberman, Louis K. Meisel, Carolyn Meyer, Brendan O’Carroll, Clara Parkes, William H. Pike, Mary Quattlebaum, Fred L. Reed, Harry Rosenfeld, Elizabeth Rusch, Susan Stinson, and Stuart Woods. Titles under the jump.