The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.
"Guccifer," the hacker responsible for introducing the world to former president George W. Bush's artistic side, appears to have leaked the opening chapters of Sex and the City creator Candace Bushnell's newest novel. Killing Monica is a frothy roman a clef about the author of a popular series starring the fashionable "Monica" and her off-and-on lover "Charleston" (clear stand-ins for Sex and the City's Carrie and Big). This leak is an odd choice for "Guccifer," who has thus far targeted the Bush family, Colin Powell, and other members of the political and business elite.
"I travel to Manhattan over the 59th Street Bridge / Not feeling groovy, 4:50 a.m." — poems written by New York City taxi drivers.
Ian Buruma writes about Imelda Marcos and political theater for The New York Review of Books: "Filipinos have a word, palabas, meaning show or farce. Much in the Philippines is palabas, including, alas, much of its politics. The Marcos dictatorship (1965–1986), corrupt, kleptomaniacal, and sometimes brutal, was full of palabas. Power was gilded with show — grandiose speeches, carnivalesque campaigns, huge artistic projects, endless pageantry and absurdly extravagant parties."
Publisher's Weekly writes that a struggling USA Today offered buyout packages that were accepted by several of its books staffers, including critic Carol Memmott and Deirdre Donahue. (Carol Memmott is the wife of Two-Way blogger Mark Memmott, a former USA Today reporter and editor.)
For The New Republic, Alexander Nazaryan dissects the recent spate of celebrity imprints appearing at big publishing houses: "That the publishing world — buffeted by the forces of Amazon and apathy — has turned to celebrities for salvation is not surprising."
Mosin Hamid, the critically acclaimed author of books like The Reluctant Fundamentalist and How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, has the dubious honor of being named "Hottie of the week" in Pakistan's Express Tribune, by virtue of his "boyish smile."
Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.