- Orhan Pamuk, scheduled for trial next month in his native Turkey (the charge is "insulting Turkey's national character," which carries a possible sentence of three years in prison), has been awarded the prestigious Prix Médicis étranger (a French prize given to foreign works) for his latest novel, Snow. The Prix Femina, meanwhile, decided by an exclusively female jury but open to writers of either gender, was awarded to Joyce Carol Oates for her three hundred and forty-first book, The Falls.
- Several media outlets have cancelled their coverage of a forthcoming Bloomsbury title, Hokum: An Anthology of African-American Humor, because they judge its cover to be offensive. PW Daily quotes the reaction of editor Paul Beatty, who selected the cover (and who, for those of you keeping score at home, is African-American): "the response to the jacket image parallels the larger perception that blackness is 'an offensive trait,' and that this very offensiveness 'has shaped black American humor from its minstrel beginnings.'" (Beatty's debut novel, incidentally, The White Boy Shuffle, heads the list of Books I've loved but never blurbed for this web site.)
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Books mentioned in this post
Dave is the author of Out of the Book, Volume 3: State by State