Daily News from Poets & Writers

Charges Against Orhan Pamuk Dropped


A Turkish court recently dropped charges against novelist Orhan Pamuk for insulting “Turkishness” in a comment on the country’s history. In February 2005 Pamuk told the Swiss newspaper Tages Anzeiger that Turkey has yet to confront both the Armenian genocide during World War I and violence in the country’s Kurdish southeast in the 1980s and '90s

National Book Critics Circle Nominates Best Books Of 2005


The National Book Critics Circle, a nonprofit organization composed of 500 book critics and reviewers from across the country, recently announced the finalists for the 2005 book awards. The winners in each category—poetry, fiction, nonfiction, autobiography, criticism, and biography—will be named on March 3.

Harper's Editor Lewis Lapham Will Step Down


Lewis Lapham recently announced that he will step down as editor in chief of Harper’s magazine in the spring of 2006. He will remain with the monthly magazine as editor in chief emeritus, and will continue to write his “Notebook” column.

Five Fiction Writers for Original Voices Award


Borders, Inc. recently announced the nominees for the 2005 Original Voices Award in fiction. The $5,000 prize is given annually for an “innovative and ambitious work from a new and emerging talent, or a title that represents a new direction for an established author.”

AAP Files Lawsuit Against Google

Kevin Canfield

In October the Association of American Publishers (AAP) filed a federal lawsuit against online search engine Google over its plans to digitally copy and distribute copyrighted works without permission of the copyright owners.

Another Editor in Chief Decides to Leave His Post


Michael Korda, the editor in chief of Simon & Schuster since 1968, recently announced that he will leave the publishing company in December. Korda joined Simon & Schuster as editorial assistant to Henry Simon, the brother of company cofounder Richard Simon, in 1958.

Adelphi University Launches MFA Program

Adelphi University in Garden City, New York, recently announced it will launch a graduate creative writing program in fall 2006. The MFA program will offer workshops in poetry, fiction, and playwriting; courses in literature and theory; and instruction for professional development.

John Banville Wins 2005 Booker Prize


Irish novelist John Banville recently won the 2005 Booker Prize for The Sea (Picador). He received £50,000 (approximately $87,300). The prize, sponsored by the Man Group investment company, is given for the best novel of the year by a citizen of the British Commonwealth or Ireland.

T. S. Eliot's Letters Sold at Auction


A collection of T. S. Eliot’s unpublished correspondence with members of the Faber publishing family was recently sold at a London auction for $436,725. The collection included a set of 50 letters addressed to Tom Faber, the son of publisher Geoffrey Faber (and Eliot’s godson), which sold for $82,300.

Booker Prize Shortlist Announced


Six authors were recently shortlisted for the 2005 Booker Prize. The prize, sponsored by the Man Group investment company, is given for the best novel of the year by a citizen of the British Commonwealth or Ireland.

Booker Prize Longlist Announced


The 2005 Booker Prize longlist of 17 semi-finalists was recently announced. The £50,000 (approximately $90,600) prize, sponsored by the Man Group investment company, is given for the best novel of the year by a citizen of the British Commonwealth or Ireland.

Massachusetts Family Sues Author Augusten Burroughs

A lawsuit recently filed in Massachusetts accuses author Augusten Burroughs of defamation, invasion of privacy, emotional distress, and fraud. The lawsuit, filed by the Turcotte family, contends that Burroughs’s memoir, Running With Scissors ( St. Martin’s Press, 2002), includes false information about themselves and the late Dr. Rodolph Turcotte, a psychiatrist who took custody of Burroughs at age 9. Also named in the lawsuit are Burroughs’s editor, agent, and publisher. The Turcotte family (changed to Finch in the book) is asking that the book no longer be published as a work of nonfiction. They are also requesting a public statement that it is not a memoir. Burroughs has not commented on the lawsuit. A movie adaptation of Running With Scissors, featuring Annette Bening and Gwyneth Paltrow, is set to be released next year.

U.S. Book Production Reaches All-Time High


Total U.S. book production reached an all-time high of 195,000 titles in 2004, an increase of 14 percent from the previous year, according to a recent study by R.R. Bowker, the publisher of the Books in Print database and the official agency for assigning ISBNs in the United States.

CLMP Merges With the Literary Ventures Fund


The Council of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP) recently announced that it will join the newly formed Literary Ventures Fund (LVF) to support small presses with both funding and marketing expertise. The organizations hope the merger will raise the profile of literary works published by independent presses.