The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.
- The former girlfriend of the late, iconoclastic artist Jean-Michel Basquiat is reportedly planning to write a book that will include previously unseen works of art — including murals he painted on the walls of her apartment when they lived together in the 1970s. Basquiat began his career as a graffiti artist before falling in with Andy Warhol and then becoming briefly famous before his death of a heroin overdose in 1988. Now Basquiat’s paintings sell for tens of millions of dollars.
- “The cheap, awful, miserable, touchy, social-metaphysical mediocrity!” — Ayn Rand on C.S. Lewis.
- Amazon bought Goodreads, the book recommendation website with 16 million members, which NPR’s Krishnadev Calamur wrote about last night. Salon reported that “a shudder went through the entire world of publishing Thursday afternoon.” A blogger for the small publisher Melville House added, “[Goodreads] CEO Otis Chandler wrote that the seven year old website had ‘join[ed] the Amazon family.’ Our regular readers will know that this is akin to claiming you’ve been adopted by your neighborhood sarlacc pit.” The acquisition seems to be partly a response to the launch of Bookish.com, a book recommendation website funded by publishers Simon & Schuster, Penguin and Hachette.
- E. L. Doctorow, the author of Ragtime, is coming out with a new novel in 2014, according to publisher Random House.
- “That [my Wikipedia entry] hasn’t been deleted is as close to fame as one now gets.” — writer McKenzie Wark, in an interview with the Los Angeles Review of Books.
Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.