Category Archives: american

Publishing lunch in New York

Kay Norris, one of the main characters in Ira Levin’s Sliver, is an editor at Diadem, and she epitomises the supposed glamour of New York trade publishing in the 1980s. She lunches in the Grill Room of the Four Seasons … Continue reading

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Getting published may be easier for some

Some novels clearly state that they are about publishing, and Jonathan Galassi’s Muse is one of them. At one point it covers the evaluation process for new manuscripts untaken by the hero, Paul Dukach, in his first job. “Manuscripts from … Continue reading

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This book that left the format of the book itself behind

In Tom McCarthy’s Satin Island, the Company is working on the Koob-Sassen Project, and the narrator is hired to write the “Great Report…The first and last word on our age”: an exciting prospect. “When Peyman, with his visionary vagueness, handed me my … Continue reading

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Truth is stranger than fiction, and vice versa

As in several novels from the past decade, books play an important role in Adam Langer’s The Thieves of Manhattan. In this 2010 view of writing and publishing in New York, some books are fiction and some are non-fiction, but all … Continue reading

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The suppression of the book is a precipitation

In Jack London’s chilling 1907 dystopia, The Iron Heel, one of the first signs that things are turning for the worst come with the publication of Alice’s father’s book following his forced resignation from his university post. Economics and Education … Continue reading

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How much memory do you need?

Victor Hugo, in his 1831 Notre Dame de Paris, famously made a connection between architecture and the printing press: “Il existe à cette époque, pour la pensée écrite en pierre, un privilège tout-à-fait comparable à notre liberté actuelle de la … Continue reading

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To the future (of the book)

10:04 says something about publishing in recent times (see The very edge of fiction), but it might also say something about changing attitudes to books. One of the many threads in the book concerns Roberto, a boy whom the narrator … Continue reading

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