Dog-Eared and Dispatched: January 24, 2016
While the East Coast is being pounded with snow, the entire country should be taking time for tea and reading in solidarity. In this week’s roundup of industry news we see a few common threads: corporate controversy, representation of slavery in literature, big-hitting book deals, and remembering icons who passed. Ready? Set? Read!
This week Apple attorneys filed a brief responding to the Department of Justice, demanding that the Supreme Court to review the ebook price-fixing case. The 12-page brief restates the argument that the company’s vertical relationship to publishers requires that pricing conduct be considered under the “rule of reason,” which, Apple asserts would exonerate them. Authors United, the Authors Guild, and the New American Foundation will host the discussion “Amazon’s Book Monopoly: A Threat to Freedom of Expression?” on January 27th in Washington D.C. Admission to the discussion is free, and representatives from Smashwords, New Republic, and William Morris will be featured along with authors like Scott Turow and Susan Cheever. [Publishers Weekly, New America Foundation]
Scholastic has announced that it will pull A Birthday Cake for George Washington due to outcry against the problematically rosy depiction of slavery. This has sparked industry conversations and reactions like the essay, “Turning Diversity Flare-Ups into Opportunity” by Elizabth Bluemle and the list article, “13 Honest Books About Slavery Young People Should Actually Read” by Claire Fallon for the Huffington Post. In our very own Portland, a panel discussion with local authors and activists of color titled “Diversity and Inclusion in Young Adult and Children’s Literature” will be held on Portland State University’s campus on January 28th. [Galleycat, Publishers Weekly, Ooligan Press]
Richly informed by the pop culture trends and breaking news stories of the year, major book acquisitions and publications have been making headlines this week. Reddit has published a $35, 400-page collection of excerpts from prominent Ask Me Anything interviews with people like Barack Obama and Madonna. Perseus Book Group has acquired the title, The 15:17 to Paris authored by Anthony Sasler, Alek Skarlatos, and Spencer Stone—the three Americans who stopped a terrorist attack on the train they were on in August 2015. Grand Central Publishing has signed a deal for Caitlyn Jenner’s memoir about her transition. The book is set for publication in spring 2017 and will be coauthored by Buzz Bissinger, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of Friday Night Lights. [Galleycat, Publishers Weekly, NY Times]
After the deaths of David Bowie and Alan Rickman, the media is honoring their memories with articles about their lives and work. GalleyCat reported on a collection of interviews and features concerning Rickman’s moving performance in the Harry Potter films. The Daily Beast reran an interview with David Bowie, while many outlets posted and shared Pitchfork’s list of Bowie’s 100 favorite books.[Galleycat, The Daily Beast, Pitchfork]