Daily News from Poets & Writers

Booker Prize Shortlist Announced

by Staff

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

by Staff

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

by Staff
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

by Staff

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

by Staff

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.

Ransom Center Acquires Norman Mailer Archive

by Staff

The papers of Norman Mailer were recently purchased by the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas in Austin. Nearly five hundred boxes, weighing more than twenty-thousand pounds, filled with unpublished stories, journals, essays, and screenplays, as well as manuscripts of nearly all of the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer's forty books, will be shipped to the Ransom Center early in the summer.

Brits Buy Book TV

Kevin Canfield

Apart from brief interludes on The Oprah Winfrey Show and NBC’s Today, books don’t often end up on U.S. television. The recent launch of the Quill Awards—a new national book award program sponsored by Reed Business Information and NBC that will include a televised ceremony in October—may have authors feeling like celebrities, but an entire network show devoted to the written word is still a rarity. Not so in the United Kingdom, where several programs are proving that literature can make compelling television.

Jones, Hemon, and Wright Named "Genius" Fellows

by Staff

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation recently announced that fiction writers Edward P. Jones and Aleksandar Hemon and poet C.D. Wright are among 23 recipients of this year's $500,000 "genius" fellowships.

C-SPAN Cancels Booknotes

by Staff

Brian Lamb, the host of Booknotes, an author interview program on the cable television network C-SPAN, recently announced that the weekly program will cease production in December.

Grove/Atlantic Brings Back Black Cat Imprint

by Staff
Ten years after Barney J. Rosset bought Grove Press, in 1951,he launched Black Cat, an imprint that published mass-market paperbacks of some of the classics of modern literature, including Henry Miller's The Tropic of Cancer (1961), William Burroughs's Naked Lunch (1962), Frantz Fanon's The Wretched of the Earth (1965), Hubert Selby's Last Exit to Brooklyn (1967), Jack Kerouac's The Subterraneans (1971), and Jean Genet's Our Lady of the Flowers (1976).