Originally published on August 20, 2014 2:12 pm
The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.
- Laura Ingalls Wilder's rough memoir of frontier life, which served as the basis for her Little House on the Prairie series, will be published this fall as Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography. The Associated Press reports, "The not-safe-for-children tales include stark scenes of domestic abuse, love triangles gone awry and a man who lit himself on fire while drunk off whiskey," adding, "Wilder and her daughter Rose Wilder Lane, herself a well-known author, tried and failed to get an edited version of the autobiography published throughout the early 1930s." It will be published by the South Dakota State Historical Society Press.
- Simin Behbahani, the poet often called the "Lioness of Iran," died on Tuesday morning in Tehran. She was 87. In a remembrance, NPR senior producer Davar Ardalan said, "Her words were piercing and fierce, lamenting on the lack of freedom of expression through the ages. For six decades, many Iranians found refuge in her poetry as a way to nurture their hunger for dialogue, peace, human rights and equality."
- For The New Yorker, Teju Cole writes about racism in the U.S., James Baldwin and Baldwin's wonderful essay "Stranger in the Village." He says, "The news of the day (old news, but raw as a fresh wound) is that black American life is disposable from the point of view of policing, sentencing, economic policy, and countless terrifying forms of disregard. There is a vivid performance of innocence, but there's no actual innocence left. The moral ledger remains so far in the negative that we can't even get started on the question of reparations. Baldwin wrote Stranger in the Village more than sixty years ago. Now what?" (For further reading, see Laila Lalami's piece for NPR on Baldwin's Notes of a Native Son and the chaos in Ferguson, Mo.)
- "I wrote fiction for 17 years before I found out I was a fantasy novelist." — Lev Grossman writes in The New York Times about discovering his vocation.
- An 86-year-old great-great-grandmother named Georgia Gorringe has published her first romance novel. "It's about a bored housewife, and she listens to talk radio," Gorringe told KUTV in Salt Lake City, adding, "And that voice on the radio, oh, he had a magic voice! And it just turned her on!" The station quotes Gorringe's daughter as saying, "Sometimes I'm like, Mother, how could you do that? How can you write that?" Gorringe didn't specify whether the sexy voice was based on a real radio host. (But we have our guesses.)
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