Thursday, December 01, 2005

Book Deals, Literary Fellowhips, and Other Tidbits

Reporters at the San Francisco Chronicle continue to rack up book deals. Since January, Lance Williams and Mark Faiura-Wada have gotten a contract to write about the BALCO scandal; Regan McMahon has a deal to write a book on sports and parenting; and Jane Ganahal will write a memoir on dating in her 40s.

Now Publisher’s Marketplace reports that columnist Jean Gonick, has sold I WAS A TEENAGE GUMBY, a humorous memoir for the over-fifty set, to Brenda Copeland at Hyperion.

Other local literary lions: Adam Hochschild, whose last book Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire’s Slaves, was nominated for a National Book Award, has been named a Lannan Fellow. You can’t apply for these fellowships. They are like the MacArthur genius awards; someone else has to nominate you. Here’s a complete list of fellows.

I think we need a name for the Bay Area’s trio of young male literary bloggers. I’m talking about Scott, Ed, and Tito who often attend events together and then present their varying opinions. It’s Rashomon-like and very entertaining. The Mod Squad? The Man Squad? The Wonder Boys?

This time the trio went to City Arts and Lectures to hear Rick Moody and David Foster Wallace interview one another. (I’m guessing – and I’m going out on a limb here – that Wallace was the draw). The three were all more impressed by Wallace than Moody. But even if Moody wasn’t a great talker, is that any reason to stay away from his books? Here’s Ed’s take, Scott’s take, and Tito’s view.

Budd Parr of Chekov’s Mistress has come up with MetaxCafe, a new website that contains contents from dozens of literary bloggers. It’s a great idea. Stop by and tell Bud what you think.

On a sadder note, I visited A Great Good Place for Books in Montclair on Wednesday. There was a lovely picture of its late owner, Debi Echlin, in the window, and a candle with a sign, “In Loving Memory.” The staff is keeping the store open, knowing that is what Debi would have wanted. In the short time I visited, there was a stream of people coming in to express their shock and dismay at her untimely death at 52.

Tonight from 6 pm to 9 pm is the Montclair Stroll, and there will be a number of authors at the store, including Marissa Moss, Fran Gage, Peggy Knickerbocker, and more. This was one of Debi’s favorite events and the staff is hoping many customers show up. There still is no date set for a memorial.

1 comment:

Patry Francis said...

Just signed up for the Metaxu Cafe. Not totally sure how to use it yet, but got intrigued by your piece through the headline--so I'm already profitting from it.