Historian Stephen Ambrose has had a lot of explaining to do lately. The bestselling author is accused of copying passages from a source without attribution in four of his more than 20 published books.
The Great Books Foundation, which for more than 50 years has been reminding the public that a book replete with sophisticated ideas and a "good read" are not mutually exclusive, has brought that same philosophy to a new magazine. The Common Review aims to deliver the riches of intellectual engagement to a general reading audience.
A number of literary magazines—APR, Fence, McSweeney's, Open City, Pearl, Pleiades, and Verse—have in recent years pursued book publishing ventures, usually ones that include an annual book contest. Putting an electronic twist on that trend is the bimonthly online literary magazine Slope. This spring, founding editor Ethan Paquin is making the jump from Web journal to print press by launching Slope Editions, which will publish two or three books of poetry annually.
Ethiopian exile Nega Mezlekia's memoir, Notes From the Hyena's Belly, details his remarkable boyhood in Jijiga, a city in the eastern part of the Horn of Africa built on a "dry, sandless desert where even the smallest wind creates devils—whirlwinds of dust that rise high into the heavens and are visible from miles away."
There is a new literary magazine on the Web that will have readers thinking twice.
The short story collection Dreams of a Robot Dancing Bee, to be published later this month by Verse Press-the nonprofit literary publisher that also publishes the triannual literary poetry journal Verse-represents a significant shift in focus for poet James Tate. The author of numerous books of poetry, including Worshipful Company of Fletchers (Ecco Press), which won a National Book Award in 1997, and his Pulitzer Prize-winning Selected Poems (1991), Tate has tackled a new genre, as well as a new way of thinking about writing.
With the publication of four new titles, Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Web publisher Faux Press has expanded its operations to include traditional book publishing.
Approximately two hundred editors, writers, and readers of small literary magazines published in the Bay Area gathered at the Black Box, a trendy Oakland theater art gallery on Sunday, November 18, for the Small Press Soiree. Dulcey Antonucci, the editor of Area i, a literary magazine that takes its name from the parking designation for residents of downtown Berkeley, collaborated with local editors to plan the evening in an effort to introduce the audience to new publications.
According to Kelley, a parallel goal of the biannual journal is to examine the influence of urban environments on the creative process.
Carole Baron was named president of the G.P. Putnam & Sons division of the nation's second largest book publisher, Penguin Putnam, on November 6. Baron fills the position previously held by Phyllis Grann, who resigned in September.