The Darling North by Anne Kennedy - an invitation

Auckland University Press Invites you to celebrate the publication of

The Darling North
by Anne Kennedy

4.45–6.15pm, Thursday 10 May 2012
Alleluya, 183 Karangahape Road
(Shop 20, St Kevin’s Arcade), Auckland City

RSVP to Auckland University Press by 8 May
Phone 09-373-7528 or email

Bibliophilia - Dunedin is a Mecca of literary-mindedness


Katie Kenny - Feature Writer - Critic

Beneath its scarfie reputation, Dunedin is a Mecca of literary-mindedness. The Octagon surrounds a statue of Burns the Bard, Dunedin was the birthplace of our national anthem, and a disproportion number of New Zealand’s best writers have strong links to Otago.

The difficulty as a Dunedin newibe is to know where to go to find this “underground” lit scene. But you don’t need to be a bibliophile to look beyond the UBS. Allow me – a self-confessed, book-obsessed student of English – to share with you the location of various rabbit holes which lead into the subsurface literary scene.

Before we start ...

First things first: Coffee. Yes, if you’re going to delve totally into Dunedin’s lit scene, then Circadian Rhythm needs to be on your map. This gluten free, vegan/vegetarian cafe sells delicious coffee and a range of (surprisingly delicious) homemade treats. Its qualification for this article, however, is its status as Dunedin’s local poet haunt. The regulars are authentically “artsy,” and anyone is welcome to attend the frequent public poetry readings. Now that we are adequately caffeinated let’s begin with a nearby, student-friendly store. 

Visit some of the bookshops of Dunedin with Katie Kenny.


Press Release:
Sydney, London, New York, 1st May 2012:

HarperCollins today announced that Michael Moynahan has decided to retire as CEO of HarperCollins Australia and New Zealand, in order to return to his native New Zealand. James Kellow, currently
Commercial Director, will be the new CEO ANZ from 1st June 2012.
HarperCollins UK and International CEO, Victoria Barnsley said: “It is with great
regret that we see Michael depart from HarperCollins. His huge energy and
experience during four years at the helm have helped move the business to a
different level. In addition, in his other capacity as a Board Director of HarperCollins
India, Michael’s knowledge of the Indian publishing market has been invaluable and I
welcome his decision to remain on the Indian Board until the end of this year. I am
sure I speak on behalf of all the team, both Michael’s direct reports and those of us
who work with him in HarperCollins’ offices around the world, when I say that he will
be greatly missed by all of us.
“James Kellow is the natural successor to Michael - they have been a great team
together in the past four years, seeing the business through some challenging times.
Personally, I have known James for many years, since we worked together at 4th
Estate in the 1990s, and I am sure he is the right person to lead the business in the
times ahead."
Michael Moynahan said: “HarperCollins Australia and New Zealand is a truly great
company which I have been very proud to lead. The commitment this company has
to its authors, its customers and its people, is second to none. The creative way it
approaches everything it does gives me confidence that whatever the future brings, it
will face the challenges with great gusto. My decision to leave has been a personal
one but I leave knowing that this is a truly first-class team. I have greatly enjoyed my
time at HarperCollins, in most part because of the people, and there has been no
greater joy for me than to come to work everyday with this incredibly talented group. I
want to thank James, Shona, Christine, Malcolm, Tony and rest of the senior team
for their tremendous support over the last few years and in particular wish James the
very best in his new role.”
James Kellow has over 20 years publishing experience, having held senior Sales and
Marketing roles in Penguin, Simon & Schuster and 4th Estate, all in the UK. In his
current role, he has been responsible for sales, marketing, digital and publishing
operations and has, with Michael, helped steer the business over the last few years.
James Kellow said: “I couldn't be more positive about our future. Michael has been
an inspirational leader over the past four years and has transformed the company.
We are now brilliantly placed to go on and achieve so much for our authors, our
readers and our people. I'm very much looking forward to building on Michael's
contribution and leading this fantastic team to great success.'

"The Forrests" novel launched in style with Forrest wine !

My local restaurant, Sunday Painters, was packed to the gunwales last evening for the launch of Emily Perkins new novel, the already much-praised THE FORRESTS.

Among the literati I noticed in the audience were Susanna Andrew, Kevin Ireland, Jacinda Ardern, Steve Braunias, Mark Broatch, Jolisa Gracewood, Simon Wilson, Charlotte Grimshaw, Karl Maughan, Sarah Laing, Finlay MacDonald, Carol Hirschfeld, Gaeme Lay, Robyn Malcolm, Greg McGee, Anne O'Brien, Jennifer Ward Lealand, Tim Wilson, Bernard Brown, Stuart Hoar, Donna Malane, Sue Orr, Peter Simpson, Michele Leggott, and Ian Wedde. No doubt there were others I didn't see.

I especially liked the fact that The Forrests was launched with splendid Forrest Wines. Great synchronicity. Special book, special wine.
Brigid Forrest flew up especially from Marlborough to pour the wine on the night and a grand job she did too offering us a choice of their Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Reisling. 
I had a couple of glasses of the excellent, quite dry Reisling and was so impressed I'm off to Glengarry's this morning to buy a case for home.

Kathleen Farrar, MD Bloomsbury Australia attended to the official launch to which Emily replied in her usual elegant and understated way.
A few photographs from the evening below courtesy of whiz Allen & Unwin publicist Abba Renshaw:

 Caro and Ange from Unity Books did a roaring trade
A bevy of beauties..............
 The Bookman with Bloomsbury's Australian MD Kathleen Farrar

Part of the happy crowd.

And for a video review visit Unity Books

And Paul Litterick was the lucky winner of the 6 pack of Forrest Wines from the book launch.

Tuesday Poem is Helen Lowe's Fey

 It's Helen Lowe's month. Her third novel The Gathering of the Lost, the second novel in The Wall of Night series, is just out, and today her poem Fey has been selected for the Tuesday Poem by fellow poet Alicia Ponder. 
Apart from her fiction, Helen is an active member of New Zealand's poetry scene.  She is a member of the New Zealand Poetry Society, hosts a monthly poetry feature for Women on Air, Plains 96.9 FM, and is a member of the Tuesday Poetry group via her blog. She has won numerous awards for her fiction which can be found on her website

Alicia Ponder says, 'I was first introduced to Helen's work through her novel 'Thornspell', and I remember being particularly impressed by the lyricism of her language, along with her obvious love for romance, myth and fairytale.  A very powerful combination - especially in a poet - so of course when I found she was a member of the Tuesday Poem group I was instantly drawn to her poems.  With pieces ranging from Haiku to works inspired by Homer's Odyssey, each has its own unique voice, its own soul, and its own story to tell.  

I remember seeing Fey when it was blogged in December 2011, and it sent me straight back to my misspent youth - where anything was possible and there were fairies at the end of the garden.' 

After reading Helen's poem, click on the TP sidebar to find a host of other poems written by the 30 poets in the group or chosen by them to feature. 

Your Unselfish Kindness Robin Hyde’s autobiographical writings - Mary Edmond-Paul

Robin Hyde’s extraordinary but short life (1906–39) included a precocious early career as poet and parliamentary reporter. As a journalist, she juggled writing for the social pages with highly political reporting on unemployment, prison conditions and the alienation of Maori land. 
She also struggled with drug addiction and depression, single motherhood twice over, and a lengthy period as a voluntary patient in a residential clinic (the Lodge) attached to Auckland Mental Hospital in Avondale. 
There she produced several novels, and manuscripts of autobiographical writings. Her life culminated in brilliant reporting on the Sino/Japanese War following a journey into China in 1938.

Your Unselfish Kindness publishes the autobiographies for the first time. In 1937, fearing for her life in occupied China, Hyde wrote a letter to her mother asking that she ‘not let prejudice of any kind stop the publication’ of her work or of anything about her life, ‘if anybody should be interested in it  ...  Don’t tear anything up please’.

In effect, those words give permission for publication of this personal writing, allowing us at last to see Hyde’s struggle with conventions and attitudes – the forms of sanity on offer in the New Zealand of the 1930s – and how the ‘unselfish kindness’ of her doctor assisted her to recover from a breakdown and become a significant writer. Virginia Woolf was the first to use the term ‘life-writing’ – and was still writing in the 1930s that we had yet to learn about women’s lives, and that there had never been a truthful woman’s autobiography. Hyde’s autobiography is one Woolf might have imagined. As Mary Edmond-Paul makes clear in her careful and well-researched introduction, which brings many new insights to the study of New Zealand literature through her discussion of mental illness and therapeutic approaches to it in the early decades of the twentieth century, Hyde’s life writing is important because it gives testament to experiences that have formed our present world.

About the editor: 
Mary Edmond-Paul is the author ofHer Side of the Story: Readings of Mander, Mansfield and Hyde, the editor of Lighted Windows: Critical essays on Robin Hyde and co-editor of Gothic New Zealand (with Jennifer Lawn and Misha Kavka). She is a senior lecturer in English and Media Studies at Massey University Albany, in Auckland.

 Otago University Press -  RRP $40.00 / £27.50 UK

Kathryn & Ross Petras On Assembling a ‘Modern’ Poetry Collection

By Maryann Yin on Galley Cat,  April 30, 2012

Happy National Poetry Month! All throughout April, we interviewed poets about working in the digital age. To end the month, we spoke with brother-sister writing team Kathryn & Ross Petras.
Many have come to know the Petras siblings for the The Stupidest Things website and companion books. They recently edited a collection of modern poetry culled from politicians, reality TV stars and music recording artists.
Workman Publishing released The Anthology of Really Important Modern Poetry: Timeless ‘Poems’ By Snooki, John Boehner, Kanye West and Other Well-Versed Celebrities earlier this month. Follow this link to access their blog and read pieces from Twilight Saga actor Robert Pattinson, former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin and pop star Ke$ha.

Check out the highlights from our interview below…

K = Kathryn Petras
R = Ross Petras

Q: How did you conceive of the idea for this collection?
R: It was a joint process – we’d been talking with our editor at Workman, Bruce Tracey, whom we’ve known for years. He edits our ‘Stupidest Things Ever Said’ calendar, and we all thought it’d be fun to get longer quotes that couldn’t fit on a calendar page and do something with them. We’d long ago done a book ‘Very Bad Poetry’ – with selections from some of the worst (real) poets and poetry from the past– including some real gems – (like ‘APindaresque on the Grunting of a Hog’ and ‘Ode to a Mammoth Cheese’) – so we thought we’d go modern and off the beaten track with this. It’s been fun.
Q: How did you land your book deal for this work?
R: We worked up some samples, Bruce looked at them, and they went onto an editorial committee, who decided yes. Then the normal routine: he called our agent, Andrea Somberg, and with offers on price, deadlines, etc. Naturally Andrea, as she always does, immediately asked for quite a bit more, along with far better terms, even more naturally Bruce came back offering a only a little bit more, and then we all met in the happy middle. We already had gone to work; we loved the idea and were ready to go at almost any price.
Q: Can you talk about the process for putting this collection together? How did you select these poems?
R: Unconscious poetry is out there – particularly with politicians and celebrities. It’s not necessarily their fault they sound oddly, funnily, discordantly poetic – they’re speaking all the time and the recorders are almost always on. And in the case of the book – we were there too. (Figuratively, we should add. I would never want to be anywhere near Snooki.) So, like deep-sea fishermen (and women) we trolled the internet, finding transcripts of particularly egregious speeches and interviews. We also had friends and readers looking for appropriate passages. We listened to speeches and interviews also, writing down the best bits. Then we winnowed down, played with putting the passages into poetic forms – and picked the ones we thought looked and sounded best. Some people were just naturally good with words – or maybe ‘interesting with words’ is a better way of putting it. Sarah Palin, Donald Trump and Jets coach Rex Ryan absolutely fascinated us.
Q: Any advice for reading poetry out loud?
K: Breathe! Relax! Think about what you’re reading! Don’t mumble! (Oh no, I’m beginning to channel Ethel Merman in Gypsy telling Natalie Wood to ‘Sing out, Louise!’).
Q: What is the definition of ‘modern poetry’?
R: In terms of this book, we chose words that came from living people; hence modern poetry would be defined as ‘living poetry’ in all forms. In terms of literary theory – well, that’s a tough one. Our book in fact uses old forms of poetry as well as modern free verse – haiku, sonnets, quatrains, etc. But as they’re all by modern, living people, we still call it modern. And sometimes they play off the old with new forms – such as the Sporadic meter of business pundit Jim Cramer. Besides, modern poetry is really more of an ‘any form goes’ – from free verse on. And, of course, one advantage of being a writer or compiler of a book is that you get to make definitions, at least before the editor’s corrections. So modern poetry is poetry written or spoken by living people. Especially when included in this book.
Q: How do Jersey Shore star Snooki, Vice President Joe Biden and rapper P. Diddy qualify as ‘modern poets’?
K: Actually, I think the better term for them would be ‘modern ‘poets’ since they’re more ‘poets’ than poets. As to how they qualify? Hmm…it’s our contention that anyone can be a modern ‘poet,’ if their words, their thoughts, and their lyricism come together in a certain alchemic way. And, of course, if we find it. It’s like pornography I guess–you know it when you see it.
Q: What’s next for you two?
K: More stupidity, of course–it’s a never-ending task…And we’re working on a book with the working title of Wretched Writing, which is an A to Z look at the absolute worst (dare I say ‘wrotten’?) writing ever, with examples, from asinine analogies to overused euphemisms in sex scene to new (and bad) word creation. Needless to say, it has been a riot to work on.

Platinum edition of The Best-Loved Bear continues beloved storybook’s legacy

Scholastic New Zealand is delighted to release a platinum edition of the award-winning picture book The Best-Loved Bear in May 2012.
The redesigned edition is timed to celebrate the book’s Premier New Zealand Bestsellers Platinum accreditation.
Premier New Zealand Bestsellers is a programme run by Booksellers NZ to provide recognition of outstanding sales of a book within New Zealand. Platinum accreditation is awarded when sales of a children’s or young adult book reach 40,000 copies.

Originally published in 1994, The Best-Loved Bear is a timeless story with a reassuring message. In 1995 it won the AIM Picture Book of the Year Award (now the NZ Post Children’s Picture Book Award).

‘This [is an] endearing, gentle tale for pre-school and even older children who still cherish their battered old teds.’ – Magpies
‘It’s a perfect book.’ – Evening Standard

Diana Noonan, the author of The Best-Loved Bear, also wrote the bestseller Quaky Cat, illustrated by Gavin Bishop, in response to the Christchurch earthquake. That book has already raised $150,000 for Christchurch charities.

When Women Were Birds

The Book We're Talking About This Week - HuffPost

"When Women Were Birds" by Terry Tempest Williams
Sarah Crichton Books, $23
Published April 10th, 2012

What is it about?
After her mother's death, Terry Tempest Williams opens her mother's journals - and finds that they are all blank. This book is a meditation on what information they could have contained, as well as a fragmented memoir of Williams' own life, mixed in with reflections on womanhood, her Mormon upbringing, and environmentalism. It contains 54 short pieces, labeled as "variations on voice" - her mother was 54 when she died, and Williams is 54 years old now.

Why are we talking about it?
It's a lyrical, timeless book that rewards quiet, attentive reading - a rare thing in today's publishing marketplace. It also contains a simple flickbook of a bird flying, next to the text. We like that.

Who wrote it?
Terry Tempest Williams is an author and conservationist who has been highly decorated for her work in wilderness preservation, in particular in Utah, where she was raised. She is a member of the Ecology Hall of Fame. She has previously written books about the essays, and children's books.

Who will read it?
Fans of Williams' work; people who enjoy lyricism and strong feminine themes; teenage girls and older women, possibily together.

What do the reviewers say?

Click here to read what reviewers said, and to read a short excerpt from the book

Mother, May ALL the Text Classics?

From  TEXT Publishing's newsletter

It's that month you've all been waiting for: May, when the Text Classics series launches and you can once again read some of the finest and funniest examples of outstanding Australian literature.
Publisher Michael Heyward's editorialin this weekend's Sydney Morning Herald is just the latest dispatch in our ongoing campaign to raise awareness both of our great heritage of literature and of the ways we are failing to show it adequate respect.
That's all very serious and worthy, but we can boil it down to one simple thing: these are fantastic books, and it is such a privilege to be able to bring them to you. It's a literary feast—go on a cultural binge!

Piano Forte Stories and Soundscapes from Colonial New Zealand - Kirstine Moffat

In 1827 the newly wed Elizabeth Mair arrived in Paihia, on board the mission schooner Herald. Her treasured Broadwood grand square piano accompanied her, almost certainly the first piano to arrive in New Zealand.

Piano Forte focuses on the era in which the piano became of central significance in the private, social and cultural lives of many New Zealanders. It is a book composed of many voices, being based on memoirs, diaries, letters, concert programmes, company records, fiction and visual images. The stories begin in 1827, with the arrival of what was probably the first piano to be brought to New Zealand, and end in 1930, when the increasing popularity of the phonograph, the radio and the introduction of talkie movies were beginning to have a profound impact on people’s leisure activities.

Initially, the piano was a stranger in this land, a European musical instrument that introduced Maori to a new sound world and which provided European settlers with a reassuring sense of ‘home’. For both, it offered opportunities for social and cultural activities, and, as time went by, a possible career. By the end of the period, the piano, too, had thoroughly settled in, no longer a stranger but a loved, essential part of New Zealand society.

A selection of historical sketches, paintings and photographs of the piano in many contexts is included as a visual evocation of piano soundscapes.

About the author:
Kirstine Moffat was born in Scotland and arrived in New Zealand at the age of seven. She has lived in Queenstown, Cambridge, Wellington, Tauranga, and Hamilton. She is the Convenor of English at the University of Waikato, where her research focuses on New Zealand settlement writing and culture. For as long as she can remember, she has loved books and playing the piano. This is her first book.

Otago University Press -  RRP $45.00 / £24.50 UK

Are American YA Covers Too Generic?

By Maryann Yin on Galley Cat -  April 30, 2012

Blogger Tiana Smith wrote a post judging American book covers. After comparing the American covers of several popular YA books with their foreign editions, Smith concluded: “American versions are slightly more … generic than some of their counterparts.”
Explore the cover pictures on her site–what do you think? Here’s more from Smith’s post: “Usually us Americans are cool with it if you just throw a girl on the cover. We also tend to go for the slightly more feminine, I’ve found.” Many publishing executives agree that book covers are the number one marketing tool in their arsenal.
Several commenters agreed with Smith (pictured, via). Shadow Watchers author Morgan Shamy pointed out that American book covers tend to be “more commercial.” Bibliophile L.T. Elliot slammed them because she feels they don’t convey enough emotion. Writer DL Hammons observed that “our book covers are more conservative and less likely to take chances.”

Vulture featured books...............

Lizz Winstead didn’t just create The Daily Show, serving as the show’s first head writer back in the Craig Kilborn era — she helped put both Stephen Colbert and Rachel Maddow on the map. She plucked Colbert from morning television (he was doing goofy little segments for Good Morning America), and she discovered Maddow on a morning radio show in Northampton, Massachusetts, then signed her for a political talk show co-hosted by Chuck D on Air America. This is all in Winstead’s new book, Lizz Free or Die, which shows how the Minneapolis native found her place as a feminist stand-up and political satirist in New York. (Watch the book trailer, below.) We talked to her about romance on the set of The Daily Show, what she thinks about Girls (everyone has an opinion), and wanting to be a priest.
"I just wanted to have an uninterrupted time in my life where I could say something and nobody would change the subject."  »

Uggie Is Writing a Book Now

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - NOVEMBER 21:  Uggie the dog arrives to a special screening of The Weinstein Company's "The Artist" at AMPAS Samuel Goldwyn Theater on November 21, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)So much for retirement! Since the Oscars, The Artist's mysteriously shaking wonder dog has lined up gigs pitching Nintendo and attending the White House Correspondents' Dinner; now the AP reports that a division of Simon & Schuster has inked a deal with Uggie to write his autobiography, Uggie: My Story, which will be out in October (so long from now!). Let's hope it has as much humping as Frank Langella's memoir.

Alison Bechdel, Lauren Redniss Among 2012 Guggenheim Fellows

Alison Bechdel, the graphic memoirist whose forthcoming book Are You My Mother was reviewed in New York earlier this month, and Lauren Redniss, who wrote the acclaimed illustrated history of Marie and Pierre Curie, Radioactive, were both named Guggenheim Fellows today. It's unclear how much each award winner will get as part of the fellowship — the foundation decides the amount of the grant on a case-by-case basis — but let's hope Bechdel and Redniss at least receive their prizes on giant novelty checks.
Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth) in THE HUNGER GAMES.

Young Adult novels can get away with a lot on the page, but now that Hollywood is buying up every hit YA franchise to adapt for the big screen, something is becoming very clear: These characters all have hilarious names, and when you say them out loud, it's an altogether different experience than it is to simply read them. "Katniss Everdeen" from The Hunger Games sort of works, but will we ever come to terms with "Peeta," which sounds less like the moniker for a romantic hero and more like it was recovered from a list of rejected Lucasfilm alien names? What of "Renesmee," the vampire-baby name from Twilight that sounds so goofball when spoken that the movie had to include a whole scene where the other characters give Bella the side-eye for picking it out? And now that we've got The Mortal Instruments on the way, where characters are named things like "Clary Fray" and "Magnus Bane," we put it to you: Which YA franchises have had names so silly, you simply couldn't get over them?
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 11: Actor Vince Vaughn attends the 10th Annual Chrysalis Butterfly Ball on June 11, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

FX Trying to Whip S&M Memoir Into Shape With Vince Vaughn

The ink has barely dried on the deal to turn E.L. James’s 50 Shades of Grey into a feature film at Universal Pictures, but already it seems that Hollywood is hot for S&M: We hear exclusively that Fox’s FX Network is partnering with Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Picture Show Productions to develop Shawna Kenney’s memoir I Was a Teenage Dominatrix.

Chris Weitz Will Write His Own YA Novels Now

Jose Julian, Chris Weitz== Huffington Post Screening of A Better Life== Museum of Tolerance, CA== June 13, 2011== ©Patrick McMullan== Photo - DAVID CROTTY/ Chris Weitz is more than comfortable spending an afternoon in the Young Adult section of Barnes & Noble — in addition to directing Twilight: New Moon, he also adapted Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass for the big screen. That particular project did not go the way that he or His Dark Materials fans might have liked, but Weitz is undeterred; in fact, he is so committed to the YA genre that he will now be writing his own novels for the teen set. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers will publish Weitz's trilogy of fashionably postapocalyptic novels in which teens run the world. Vulture sincerely hopes it looks nothing like this video.

Stephen King May Have Another Gore-Fest in Him Yet

Many latter Stephen King novels have noticeably, mostly pleasantly eschewed all-out horror in favor of directions like romance, impenetrable domes amplifying small-town politicking and neighbor-murdering, and time-traveling adventures in getting JFK un-assassinated. Now King is pressing pause on all that messing about, at least for a moment. "He’s writing a book called Joyland, about an amusement park serial killer," author Neil Gaiman almost offhandedly notes in an amusing profile in the U.K.'s Sunday Times (transcript here). With so much semi-prestigious (or at least unusual) showbiz goodwill amassing around King lately — Ron Howard's crazy ambitious plans for The Dark Tower, Ben Affleck's potential trilogy adaptation of The Stand, John Mellencamp's King-written stage musical, Showtime and Brian K. Vaughan's Under the Dome miniseries, Jonathan Demme snagging the rights to 11/22/63, theatrical and Hollywood resurrections of Carrie — we could all use at least one more schlocky horror film based on a bloody work straight out of King's wheelhouse. (And King's Shining sequel Doctor Sleep, due in 2013, may even beat Joyland's return to the murder-y roots.)

The Walking Dead’s Media Empire Knows No Bounds

Robert Kirkman created The Walking Dead as a graphic novel, then became executive producer of AMC's hugely popular adaptation, then became a staple on the same network's fan series Talking Dead, too. And with all those ventures remaining stolidly ambulatory, it comes as little surprise that 2011's odd non-comic Walking Dead novel Rise of the Governor wasn't immune to the series' success, either. Kirkman and co-writer Jay Bonansinga will launch a second no-pictures-allowed book, The Road to Woodbury, on October 16, detailing more exploits of the soon-to-appear-on-TV baddie the Governor. The release will coincide with the show's third season, robbing the novel's shot at tiding over ravenous zombie-lovers. But with a comic approaching its 100th issue and a show evidently capable of reeling in 8 million viewers all at once, The Walking Dead is no longer a series that needs to play by any rules but its own. Find your own way to abide the wait, fans.

The Man within My Head by Pico Iyer: review

When Nicholas Shakespeare and Pico Iyer were schoolboys, they fell in love with Graham Greene. Now Iyer has written the book Greene’s fans feel he deserves

5 out of 5 stars
Graham Greene Photo: Rex Features
Greene had a medium’s gift for getting inside our skin in a way that some of his more highly regarded contemporaries do not. One means by which he achieved this was to keep the child in himself alive. It is part of what makes him such a writer’s writer. “He was all of us, but more so,” in the opinion of his most obvious successor, John le CarrĂ©. “I wanted to be him,” Paul Theroux confesses to Iyer. The American novelist Michael Mewshaw treads a step further: “I felt I could become Greene.”
Be careful, though, which Greene you wish to become. Gram Grin, as Kingsley Amis called him, can be a treacherous presence. Iyer notes that Greene’s “unfortunate biographer” Norman Sherry was so possessed by his subject that he ended up as Greene “the figure of tormented self-doubt”. Iyer is alert to the pitfalls of being inhabited by the wrong man – the selfish, self-conscious sinner, half languorously hammocked between easy paradoxes; a character, for instance, like Father Rivas who announces “I believe in the evil of God” – in what Greene told me was the favourite of his novels, The Honorary Consul.
Iyer, on the contrary, is determined to write “a counterbiography”: not the life of Greene, “but what it touches off in the rest of us”. He speaks for many readers and writers when he explains his seductive project to his Japanese wife, Hiroko. “I’m interested in how one can feel so much closer to someone one’s never met than to those one’s known all one’s life… Why do I feel he understands me as nobody I’ve met in my life can do? Why do I feel that I understand him, as none of his other readers quite do?”
In his attempt to answer these questions, he has written the work that those who love Greene (as I do) have dreamt of writing and, in doing it so well, absolved us of the need.
Full review at The Telegraph

The Man within My Head
by Pico Iyer
256PP, Bloomsbury t £14.99 

New Zealand Children's Books in Print 2011-2012

Hooray, the new edition is out now. A cheer went up around the trade, including one from me, with this news.
The new edition includes all books up to 2011 plus many 2012 titles to look forward to. 

·        Keep up-to-date with information about books for children from birth to secondary    school by New Zealandwriters and illustrators.
·        Annotated listings
·        Books divided into easy-to-find categories
·        Five indexes – titles, authors, illustrators, translators and photographers
·        New Zealand awards for children’s books
·        Publisher and distributor information

Recommended for libraries, schools, booksellers, authors, illustrators, designers and others interested in children’s literature.

$20 including P&P
To order email and the book will be sent with an invoice
Or go to and order through PayPal 

Toni Morrison to receive presidential medal of freedom

The Nobel prize-winning author of Beloved will be given the highest civilian honour in the US

Toni Morrison in New York
'Visionary force and poetic import' ... Toni Morrison in New York. Photograph: Caroll Taveras for the Guardian

Novelist Toni Morrison is to be given the highest civilian honour in the US, the presidential medal of freedom, Barack Obama has announced.
The Nobel-winning author is one of 13 recipients of the prize this year, alongside Bob Dylan, former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright and Israeli president Shimon Peres, said the White House.
"These extraordinary honourees come from different backgrounds and different walks of life, but each of them has made a lasting contribution to the life of our nation," said Obama. "They've challenged us, they've inspired us, and they've made the world a better place. I look forward to recognising them with this award."
The medal of freedom is for individuals "who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavours". Former literary recipients include Maya Angelou, whose "soul-stirring words have taught us how to reach across division and honour the beauty of our world", and EB White, author of Charlotte's Web.
Citing her works Song of Solomon, Jazz and the Pulitzer prize-winning Beloved, the White House called Morrison one of America's "most celebrated novelists". She won the Nobel prize for literature in 1993, becoming the first African-American woman to do so, for novels which the Nobel jury said were "characterised by visionary force and poetic import", and give "life to an essential aspect of American reality". Her latest book, Home, about an African-American veteran of the Korean war, has just been published.
The medals will be given out at the White House in late spring.

Mamut highest-ranking book trade figure on ST Rich List

30.04.12 | Charlotte Williams - The Bookseller

Alexander Mamut, the Blackwell and Pearson families, and Jamie and Jools Oliver are among the book trade names on the Sunday Times Rich List 2012.
Waterstones owner Alexander Mamut has become the highest ranking book trade name on the list, with the paper putting the Russian's fortune at £1.3bn, and ranking him in 53rd place. His fortune is £478m down on last year.
Viscount Cowdray and the Pearson family are in joint 164th place, with the newspaper ascribing a 3% (£195m) stake in the Pearson group, parent company to Penguin, to the family. Combined with an auction of family heirlooms in September which raised £7.9m, and the family's other assets, the family's wealth was estimated at £500m, down on £515m last year.
Toby Blackwell, 83, and his nephew Nigel, founders of the Blackwell bookshop chain, are in at number 393 with a fortune of £195m, the same amount as in 2011.

Authors making the list include Harry Potter author J K Rowling, whose fortune is up £30m on last year, at £560m. She takes 148th place on the list. The paper has added £230m to her fortune for "future income from the Potter brand, including her Pottermore website", and estimates her advance for her next book, The Casual Vacancy, at £3m. Her former agent Christopher Little's fortune is listed as £55m, though he does not make the top 1,000.
Jamie Oliver and his wife Jools land in joint 501st spot, with a fortune placed at £150m, up £44m on last year. This is attributed to sales of his cookbooks, with the next to come this autumn, as well as through his restaurant chains, television shows, and Jools Oliver's new deal with Mothercare to create childrenswear and accessories, and her pregnancy guide and story book.
Meanwhile, Lord Jeffery Archer takes 569th spot with a fortune of £130m from his books, including his latest, Only Time Will Tell, and assets including London flat and art, up £10m on last year. Poet and magazine publisher Felix Dennis is in at 164th, with a fortune estimated at £500m, staying level with last year.
Author Cecelia Ahern takes joint sixth spot on the Ireland Rich List, with a fortune of £8m (€10m).
The annual list is based on the newspaper's estimates of the minimum wealth of Britain's richest, with the valuations carried out at the beginning of the year.

Apple sued over iPad cover

A Colorado man says Apple’s smart cover for the new iPad and the iPad 2 violate his 2005 patent for a “Portable Computer Case.”
Aspen resident Jerald Bovino filed a lawsuit in federal court asking Apple and retailer Target to pay royalties for using his technology.
The claim is based on US patent 6,977,809 which describes an “integral case” that attaches to a computer. The patent says the invention is useful for situations like airport X-ray lines.
The iPad Smart Cover, which sells for $39.95, attaches to Apple tablets with a magnet and covers the screen.

The Bovino patent refers to a series of ribs on the case that protect the device:

The iPad smart cover also contains ribs (though this doesn’t mean it is infringing):

The patent was issued in 2005, six years before Apple unveiled the iPad 2 and its cover.
In a coincidence, the Patently Apple blog reported this week that the company received a design patent for the iPad cover.
Bovino may have his hands full as Apple has many intellectual property veterans in its legal team. The company may claim Bovino’s patent is invalid because it is obvious or not new.
More at Paid Content.

Third of Australia's top prize-winning books out of print

Twenty of the 53 winners of the Miles Franklin award are no longer in print – is the Booker in similarly rough shape?

 - The Guardian - 30 April, 2012 

G whiz ... Booker-winning author John Berger. Photograph: Ulf Andersen/Getty

Literary Australia is angry. Twenty of the 53 books that have won its most prestigious award, the Miles Franklin, are out of print today.
"The nation's literary heritage is gathering dust," declares the Age. "The shabby treatment of these Australian treasures must end."
While plans are being mooted for the establishment of a canon of Australian classics, I decided to find out if the situation was as parlous for the 46 winners of the UK's premier literary prize, the Man Booker (which is of course open to antipodeans, too; it's been won four times, in fact, by an Australian novelist). I expected at least a few of the winners to be out of print, and was all ready to issue similarly dire pronouncements.
But no! A bit of clicking on Amazon tells me that they're all available, bar John Berger's G – and that's due for a reissue in August, so I can't get too exercised.
Our literary heritage, people, is safe for now. Panic averted. Hurrah.

A Few of Our Favorite Author vs. Critic Dustups

by . Flavorpill - Sunday Apr 29, 2012

Edmund Wilson vs Vladimir Nabokov

Nabokov and Wilson (or Volodya and Bunny, as they called each other in letters during their years-long friendship) fell out over Wilson’s negative review of Nabokov’s translation of Alexander Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin. Their relationship, already bruised from Wilson’s chilly response to Lolita (“I like it less than anything else of yours I have read,” Wilson had written to Nabokov. “Nasty subjects may make fine books; but I don’t feel you have got away with this… The various goings-on and the climax at the end…become too absurd or horrible to be tragic, yet remain too unpleasant to be funny.”), hit a wall, as Nabokov struck back, writing that Wilson was a “commonsensical, artless, average reader with a natural vocabulary of, say six hundred basic words.” They didn’t speak again for years.
More at Flavorpill

Stephen King: Tax Me, for F@%&’s Sake!

Apr 30, 2012 - The Book Beast - Stephen King

Stephen King’s books include The Wind Through the Keyhole: A Dark Tower Novel and On Writing.

"Chris Christie may be fat, but he ain’t Santa Claus. In fact, he seems unable to decide if he is New Jersey’s governor or its caporegime, and it may be a comment on the coarsening of American discourse that his brash rudeness is often taken for charm. In February, while discussing New Jersey’s newly amended income-tax law, which allows the rich to pay less (proportionally) than the middle class, Christie was asked about Warren Buffett’s observation that he paid less federal income taxes than his personal secretary, and that wasn’t fair. “He should just write a check and shut up,” Christie responded, with his typical verve. “I’m tired of hearing about it. If he wants to give the government more money, he’s got the ability to write a check—go ahead and write it.”

Heard it all before. At a rally in Florida (to support collective bargaining and to express the socialist view that firing teachers with experience was sort of a bad idea), I pointed out that I was paying taxes of roughly 28 percent on my income. My question was, “How come I’m not paying 50?” The governor of New Jersey did not respond to this radical idea, possibly being too busy at the all-you-can-eat cheese buffet at Applebee’s in Jersey City, but plenty of other people of the Christie persuasion did.
Cut a check and shut up, they said.
If you want to pay more, pay more, they said.
Tired of hearing about it, they said.
Tough shit for you guys, because I’m not tired of talking about it. I’ve known rich people, and why not, since I’m one of them? The majority would rather douse their dicks with lighter fluid, strike a match, and dance around singing “Disco Inferno” than pay one more cent in taxes to Uncle Sugar. It’s true that some rich folks put at least some of their tax savings into charitable contributions. My wife and I give away roughly $4 million a year to libraries, local fire departments that need updated lifesaving equipment (jaws of life are always a popular request), schools, and a scattering of organizations that underwrite the arts. Warren Buffett does the same; so does Bill Gates; so does Steven Spielberg; so do the Koch brothers; so did the late Steve Jobs. All fine as far as it goes, but it doesn’t go far enough.
What charitable 1-percenters can’t do is assume responsibility—America’s national responsibilities: the care of its sick and its poor, the education of its young, the repair of its failing infrastructure, the repayment of its staggering war debts. Charity from the rich can’t fix global warming or lower the price of gasoline by one single red penny. That kind of salvation does not come from Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Ballmer saying, “Okay, I’ll write a $2 million bonus check to the IRS.” That annoying responsibility stuff comes from three words that are anathema to the Tea Partiers: United American citizenry."
Full story at The Daily Beast