In honor of Rob Delaney’s on sale date, Senior citizens read Rob Delaney’s tweets on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
Independence Day celebrates a revolution – maybe the next American revolution will be for true democracy.
Happy 4th, from The &.
David Graeber, from The Democracy Project (Spiegel & Grau, 2013)
Most Americans are unaware that nowhere in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution does it say anything about the United States being a Democracy. In fact, most of those who took part in composing those founding documents readily agreed with the seventeenth-century Puritan preacher John Winthrop, who wrote that “a democracy is, among most civil nations, accounted the meanest and worst of all forms of government.”
The Netflix adaptation of ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK is coming out July 11, and we CAN NOT WAIT. I won’t name names, but an editor or two may have teared up toward the end of this trailer.
If you missed out on Piper Kerman’s memoir, the good news is that it’s out in paperback and you have plenty of time to read it before the premier.
* Nate Rich, The Daily Beast
When I was a kid I was in the chorus for my elementary school’s performance of “The H.M.S. Pinafore,” which was kind of cool because I got to dress like a pirate and kind of not cool because I still can’t get those awful Gilbert + Sullivan songs out of my head and sometimes just bellow one out at odd moments (every moment you bellow out a Gilbert + Sullivan song is an odd moment). In fact, one such moment just occurred when I stopped to consider that S&G is going to publish TWO works by Victor LaValle this year: THE DEVIL IN SILVER,a full-length novel just chosen by Publishers Weekly as one of their top ten literary picks for the fall (“a mix of ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST and DANTE’S INFERNO” — what, you’re not going to read *that*? You’re reading something better? C’mon son!) and a new, bonus, out-of-the-clear-blue-sky prequel e-only novella called LUCRETIA AND THE KROONS, which, well, here’s a paragraph plucked at random:
"The door here was dirty and hung by only the bottom hinge. The door was shut, the room was dark, but from inside Loochie heard the flapping of wings. Dozens of small wings. Or could it be hundreds? As if all the pigeons in Queens had come to this apartment, to that decrepit room, to roost. At least she hoped they were pigeons in there. She couldn’t see. But if she’d had any thoughts of hiding out in that room she let them go."
It’s a girl’s scary quest to rescue her best friend from the upside-down nightmare world found in the top-floor apartment of a Queens tenement. It’s brilliant and scary and will make you cry. Why not read it? And it’s $.99. WHAT? That’s right, 30k words for less than a buck. Preorder now, on sale 7/23. And then you’ll be ready for DEVIL IN SILVER come August.
Oh joy, oh rapture unforeseen
The sky is all ablaze!
The New York Post published an interview with Adam Carolla on Sunday in which he said, among other things, “dudes are funnier than chicks,” and, regarding writing for television, “they make you hire a certain number of chicks, and they’re always the least funny on the writing staff.”
The phenomenal media and marketing plans are now beginning for THE TOOLS by Phil Stutz and Barry Michels which goes on sale May 29th. It is a rare occasion that the buzz already has everyone talking about and trying to get this book. The book comes out at a time when everyone, regardless of age seems to be looking for “the Tools” to help them realize solutions to their personal circumstances.
A year ago, nearly to the day, I saw a quote from Lorrie Moore about the prevalence of memoirs that made me nod my head in agreement. I clicked through to the full piece, a review in the New York Review of Books of three memoirs. I noticed right away that while two of the books were written by established authors and had gotten wide coverage, the third, a book called Dear Marcus by Jerry McGill, had been self-published. The author, I learned, had been shot in the back by an unknown assailant when he was 13; in an instant, he went from being a precocious young athlete and aspiring dancer to a paraplegic. Dear Marcus was McGill’s story, written in the form of a letter to the unknown man who shot him. Despite the tragic nature of the story, Lorrie Moore described a book that was engaging, cheerful, and inspiring. “There is sorrow and fury, but this is not the Book of Job,” she wrote. Dear Marcus, she said, was “short, sweet, homespun, and inspiring in the very way that he is skeptical of.”
Intrigued, I bought a PDF of Dear Marcus, which I tore through. This book needs to reach a wider audience, I kept thinking as I read. It was a story that I wanted to share with others, one that I felt merited an editorial advocate, a beautiful package, and a broad readership. It was the frankest portrayal of living with a disability that I’d ever read, a provocative look at the culture of violence that, despite his family’s best efforts, had permeated McGill’s childhood on the Lower East Side in the 80s, and a chilling story of a young boy who had been caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. But it was also funny and skillfully crafted and astonishingly candid; McGill had a natural voice that made the book feel like an intimate conversation. To me, more than anything else, it was a book about the moments in life that we can’t prepare for but that present us with an opportunity to find strengths that we wouldn’t otherwise have known we possessed.
The next day at work, I went into stalker mode. I had to find the man who had self-published this perfect gem of a book—and I had to get to him before any other editor did. I started making semi-desperate phone calls, including to a YMCA that the author had once spoken at and to McGill’s former employers. Finally, I reached someone at Mobility International USA, an organization for whom McGill had written several blog posts, who knew Jerry and offered to pass along my information to him. A few hours later, I received a phone call from the delightful and eloquent Jerry McGill, who, thankfully, wasn’t turned off by my rambling effusiveness or by the fact that I’d just called everyone in Oregon who might have ever known him. Less than a week later Jerry had and agent and we made a deal.
I’m so thrilled to be publishing Dear Marcus this week. It’s not just a book that has inspired me and made me think about the world differently—it’s also my first acquisition.
The & Reader: The Only Thing You Need to Read About “Girls” If You Feel the Need to Read About “Girls”
"While we are making our complaints to HBO—and it is wholly right that we do—we should take a moment to survey other fields, and other stories. With some regularity, black writers are now producing high quality fiction which reflects the texture and depth of our experience. If you can’t find yourself on HBO, perhaps you can in Mat Johnson, Danielle Evans, ZZ Packer or Victor LaValle. We fight for that ideal world where we represent across genres. But even as we expand our territory, we really should support the gains we’ve made.
"Call me old fashion, but I believe in a beautiful black world unpremised on the random whims of rich white people. We exist—whether HBO adapts our stories or not."
"Girls Through the Veil" by Ta-Nehisi Coates