July 1, 2012
Marilynne Robinson has never let the pressures of the publishing industry rush her to write her books. In fact, 23 years separate her first novel, "Housekeeping," from her novel "Gilead," which received the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Here's what our reviewer, Merle Rubin, wrote in T he Times in December 2004 about "Gilead," which presents the autobiography of an elderly pastor living in a small Iowa town: At a moment in cultural history dominated by the shallow, the superficial, the quick fix, Marilynne Robinson is a miraculous anomaly: a writer who thoughtfully, carefully and tenaciously explores some of the deepest questions confronting the human species.
May 17, 1996 |
POP/ROCK Patti's Return: Rocker Patti Smith, whose first album since 1988, "Gone Again," hits stores on June 18, will make her first U.S. television appearance in 18 years when she shows up this weekend on Fox TV's "Saturday Night Special." Smith will perform the album's title track and also give a poetry reading. The new album includes 10 new songs, plus a cover version of Bob Dylan's "Wicked Messenger."
November 13, 1991 |
Plucking a prime asset from a debt-straitened rival, cash-rich Paramount Communications Inc. agreed Tuesday to buy Maxwell Communication Corp.'s Macmillan Computer Publishing unit for $157.5 million. The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, would catapult Paramount's Simon & Schuster unit to the top of the lucrative computer book publishing field.
July 1, 2013 |
Calling their union “the world's first truly global trade book publishing company,” Penguin and Random House finalized on Monday morning a merger that brings together two legacy publishers, at a time when the rise of the Kindle, among other forces, threatens the dominance of the traditional publishing houses. The new group is called Penguin Random House . Its logo is the rather unimaginative placement of the two famed corporate images - Penguin's penguin and the Random House domicile - next to each other.
May 19, 1987 |
British media magnate Robert Maxwell was rebuffed Monday in a surprise, $2-billion offer for Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, the largest U.S. elementary and high school textbook publisher and one of the last independent U.S. book publishing houses. But analysts said the rejection may mark just the opening skirmish of a protracted takeover battle between Maxwell, who heads a worldwide newspaper, book publishing and printing concern, and the diversified 68-year-old publishing concern.
February 28, 2001 |
Random House Inc. has asked a federal judge to bar a publisher of electronic books from copying works of William Styron, Kurt Vonnegut, and Robert Parker and selling them over the Internet. Random House, a unit of Bertelsmann AG, the world's third largest media company, says rival RosettaBooks LLC has cherry-picked eight important titles, including "Sophie's Choice" and "Slaughterhouse-Five," copied them in digital format, and begun selling them online.
March 14, 1990 |
Author Salman Rushdie's publisher has balked at issuing a paperback version of "The Satanic Verses," fearing that to do so would be "throwing petrol on (the) dying embers" of the controversy surrounding the novel, according to a magazine report circulating Tuesday. Mother Jones magazine, in its April issue, quotes what it says are internal documents from Viking Penguin Inc.
February 21, 1990 |
The Supreme Court let stand Tuesday a controversial ruling that biographers and historians may not use unpublished letters, manuscripts, diaries and other works without the permission of the writers or their heirs. Without comment, the high court dismissed an appeal by a company that had published "Bare-Faced Messiah" by Russell Miller, a biography critical of the late L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the church of Scientology (Holt vs. New Era Publications, 89-869).
August 16, 2009 |
If you love books, or know a little about the publishing industry, here are 10 reasons why Steve Hely's first novel, "How I Became a Famous Novelist" (Grove Atlantic/Black Cat: 322 pp., $14 paper), will hit you like "This Is Spinal Tap." In fact, in honor of Spinal Tap, let's crank that number to 11. 1. Hely has written for David Letterman and has a dry, sharp wit. 2. If anyone can write a rollicking satire of the publishing world, this is the guy. 3. Hely's protagonist, Pete Tarslaw, is an underemployed, underwashed liberal arts slacker who cooks up the idea of becoming a famous novelist to make his soon-to-be-married ex-girlfriend jealous.