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December 19, 2013 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
Toward the end of September, I found myself in a meeting room at Brooklyn Borough Hall in New York with planners from a variety of book fairs (Miami, Trinidad, Texas, Australia) discussing audience and cooperation and outreach. It was the morning after the Brooklyn Book Festival, which had drawn tens of thousands, and the atmosphere was upbeat, marked by excitement, even relief. Economics remained an issue (how to attract and pay for writers, how to advertise and promote) but there was no lamenting, no sense that things might be shutting down.
December 19, 2013 | By David Colker
If Hugh Hefner strove to put a suave, air-brushed image on sexual freedom in the 1960s, rival publisher Al Goldstein was the polar opposite. Unabashedly abrasive and foul-mouthed, the cigar-chomping, obese Goldstein called his explicit magazine Screw and seemingly reveled in giving the middle-finger sign not only to his enemies but also the world at large via an 11-foot sculpture of the gesture outside his Florida home. "To be angry is to be alive," Goldstein - who aggressively championed free speech rights - said in a New Times Broward-Palm Beach interview in 2001.
December 17, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
In 2007, Daniel Clowes published a short story in graphic novel form. On Monday, Shia LaBeouf debuted a short film he'd directed that used narration from Clowes' original word for word. On Monday night, LaBouef took to Twitter, acknowledging that Clowes' work was his "inspiration" and offering an apology "to those who assumed I wrote it. " Neither Clowes nor his publisher Fantagraphics was approached by Shia LaBeouf or his representatives to ask permission, according to Fantagraphics editor Eric Reynolds.
December 13, 2013 | By Steve Bennett
T.R. Fehrenbach never minced words. In 1998, the San Antonio historian and newspaper columnist told Texas Monthly: "I don't believe in social science or all those tables and statistics. All the great historians have been great writers. But most of the new ones write small things. Hell, I read three pages of their work and my eyes dull. " Fehrenbach, who died Dec. 1 in San Antonio of a heart condition at 88, is considered a dramatic literary craftsman. He did not write about small things.
December 11, 2013 | Patt Morrison
It's not just a brand name on a big fancy book. "Taschen" is a man, Benedikt Taschen, who started his publishing empire with a comic-book shop leveraged with a stock of remaindered art books. The firm is headquartered in Germany, but when he's in Los Angeles, his landing pad is the Chemosphere, the John Lautner flying-saucer-on-a-hillside. Taschen just released a three-volume collaboration with National Geographic ("Around the World in 125 Years"), and it's clear from the myriad images at his desk that Taschen cast his eye, and his approval, over what's in those books and so many others.
December 3, 2013 | David L. Ulin and Elaine Woo
When Andre Schiffrin was fired in 1990 as editor in chief of Pantheon Books, it was regarded as a loud shot in the war between commercialism and quality in American publishing. There were protests by noted authors, including Studs Terkel and Kurt Vonnegut, and op-ed pieces that painted a pessimistic view of the industry. In response, Schiffrin's bosses pointed out that Pantheon had lost $3 million in his last year at the helm. His ouster ended a nearly three-decade career at the prestigious imprint, where he had worked with such writers as Jean-Paul Sartre, Marguerite Duras and Gunter Grass.
December 2, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Actress Jennie Garth will publish a memoir in 2014. "Deep Thoughts from a Hollywood Blonde" is coming April 1 from the New American Library. Garth is best known for her starring role in the original "Beverly Hills, 90210" as Kelly Taylor, the high school beauty at the center of the show's love triangle. She returned as Taylor in "90210," the 2008 reprisal of the show with a new generation of teens. The publisher promises the book will go behind the scenes of 90210: "the actress opens up for the first time about the behind-the-scenes stories from 90210," it writes, as well as "her relationships with other cast members.
December 2, 2013 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic, This post has been corrected. See note below for details.
When André Schiffrin - who died in Paris on Sunday of pancreatic cancer at age 78 - was fired in 1990 as editor in chief of Pantheon Books, it was regarded as a loud shot in the war between commercialism and quality in American publishing. There were protests, op-ed pieces; in response, Schiffrin's bosses pointed out that Pantheon had lost $3 million in his last year at the helm. In his nearly three decades at the imprint, Schiffrin worked with writers including Jean-Paul Sartre, Marguerite Duras and Gunter Grass, but in the end, he was brought down by his unwillingness to scale back his list or reduce his staff.
November 20, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Award-winning television show creator Shonda Rhimes will publish her first book in 2015 with Simon & Schuster, the publisher announced Wednesday. Rhimes, one of the leading women in television, will write about both her professional and family life. The as-yet-untitled book will be part memoir, part inspiration and part advice. “Simon and Schuster is crazy for giving me a book deal as I am clearly in no position to be handing out wisdom,” Rhimes said in the release about the book.
November 19, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Brooke Shields will publish a book about the complicated relationships between mothers and daughters with Dutton, the publisher announced Tuesday. The book does not yet have a title or release date. Shields was a child star raised by a single mom, Teri, who died last year. In a release about the book, Dutton explains, "Shields will share stories of both the highs and lows of being raised by a single mother who loved the world of show business and often was a media sensation all by herself.
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