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As Newspapers Cut Back Review Space, Big Mags Roll Out Their Fiction Issues

Daily News

Online Only, posted 6.12.07

Tomorrow night, the New York Center for Independent Publishing (previously the Small Press Center) will host a panel discussion titled "Save Our Book Reviews!" as part of the National Book Critics Circle's ongoing "Campaign to Save Book Reviews." The panel will feature Dan Simon, publisher of Seven Stories Press; Sarah McNally, owner of McNally Robinson Booksellers; One Story editor Hannah Tinti; M. A. Orthofer, managing editor of the Complete Review; freelance reviewer Tim W. Brown; and National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) president John Freeman. The event will be held at the New York Center for Independent Publishing's office on West 44th Street in Manhattan. For more information, visit www.nycip.org.

The NBCC's campaign was initiated in response to the recent trend of U.S. newspapers—including the Los Angeles Times, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and the Raleigh News-Observer—dropping or cutting back their coverage of books. The Associated Press (AP), too, recently discontinued the syndicated book review package offered to newspapers through its wire service.

Meanwhile, high-circulation magazines are publishing summer issues chock full of original fiction. The AP reported yesterday that the monthly men's magazine Esquire has published an entire 23-page novella by Stephen King in its July issue, which is available today. The 21,000-word thriller is titled "The Gingerbread Girl."

"Over the last year, we've been trying to breathe life back into magazine fiction," David Granger, the editor in chief of Esquire, was quoted as saying. "The best way to do that is to publish nothing other than event fiction—stories that have something in addition to their literary merit to call attention to themselves." King is just the latest big-name author to have work published in Esquire. The seventy-four-year-old magazine has also published stories by Raymond Carver, Ernest Hemingway, Vladimir Nabokov, Flannery O'Connor, and Philip Roth.

The current issue of the New Yorker is devoted to fiction as well. The "Summer Fiction Issue" includes stories by Junot Diaz, Denis Johnson, Miranda July, and David Hoon Kim, as well as short prose pieces by Roger Angell, Charles D'Ambrosia, Dave Eggers, Jeffrey Eugenides, Gary Shteyngart, and Marisa Silver.

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