- The U.K. Times runs brief essays from writers, including Ali Smith, Ian Rankin, and Margaret Atwood, about their first books.
- Christina Nehring discusses the enthusiastic reception Parisians give American writers like Donna Tartt, Philip Roth, Paul Auster and Jim Shephard, and reveals that the French expect their authors to churn out a novel a year:
When a well-known literary figure misses a year, speculation abounds. The September cover of L’Imbecile, the irreverent cultural magazine, pictures the novelist Michel Houellebecq with a headline that reads, “Houellebecq, the Great Absentee.”
No wonder cocaine use is on the rise in France.
- A Massachusetts town has put the oldest manuscript of Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter on the block and hopes to get $250,000 from the sale. According to USA Today, the pages “are covered with more than 700 proofreading corrections and comments, many believed to be in Hawthorne’s own hand,” and are the only surviving proof pages of any of Hawthorne’s novels or stories.
- Stephany Aulenback’s “Apparition” appears in the latest issue of Hobart, which also includes work from Aimee Bender. Editor Aaron Burch has nominated Steph’s story for a Pushcart Prize. Pasha Malla, Stephen Elliott, John Leary, David Barringer and Andrew Bomback are the other Hobart nominees.
- Bookninja has a cafepress store now, but I’m holding out for a t-shirt with one of George Murray’s Litterati comics on it.
- Paris Hilton, avid reader?