Lexus Magazine, a quarterly for owners of the luxury cars, recently launched the first installment of its 2008 Lexus Original Fiction Series, which will feature the work of nine notable authors, including Arthur Phillips, Richard McCann, and Curtis Sittenfeld. The series amounts to a collaborative novella titled In the Belly of the Beast. (The main characters of the story lovingly refer to—and constantly comment on—their Lexus IS F as "Beast” as they travel across country.)
Bill Johnston, one of the leading translators of Polish literature in the country, was recently named the winner of the inaugural Found in Translation Award, established last year by the Polish Book Institute, the Polish Cultural Institute in London and New York, and the W.A.B. Publishing House in Warsaw.
McSweeney's Books, the imprint of Dave Eggers's ten-year-old literary magazine McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, recently signed a distribution deal with Atlantic Books in London, the Bookseller reported yesterday. Under the new deal, which was brokered by agents Scott Moyers in New York City and Sarah Chalfont in London, Atlantic Books will distribute six McSweeney's titles per year in the U.K. and the Commonwealth. The first title is Lemony Snicket's The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming: A Christmas Story.
International PEN, the parent organization of PEN American Center, recently launched a "virtual demonstration" to raise awareness about freedom of expression in China as protests continue during the twenty-one-nation Olympic torch relay leading up to the Beijing games in August. The international association of writers arranged to have the poem "June" by imprisoned Chinese poet and journalist Shi Tao translated into over sixty languages. The poem is being sent electronically to cities around the world to correspond to the different destinations of the Olympic torch.