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Friday Book News: “True Grit,” eBooks Everywhere, and More

  • Truer Grit Was Never Wrote: The UK's Telegraph offers a profile of Charles Portis, the author of True Grit, who is getting some special attention now that the Coen brothers-directed film adaptation has been nominated for a flurry of Oscars.

    Portis has the the kind of colorful personality you might expect from the creator of Rooster Cogburn:

    "A reporter from The Times wanted to arm-wrestle, and as I recall, he kept challenging me," Portis once revealed in a rare interview with Roy Reed for the Little Rock Gazette. "So we went at it and there was a pop. His arm broke. Very strange. He went into a kind of swoon."

    Plus: fans of the film may want to check out a PDF of a comic that depicts the story Cogburn relates in court — especially if you couldn't understand a word Jeff Bridges was saying in the scene. (Via)

  • e-Booker Prize: This year's Booker Prize judges received e-reader devices to help them sift through the finalists.

    Publishers have been asked to submit their 2011 entries in both digital and physical form.

    [...] A spokeswoman for the prize told the BBC that the change in the submission rules was to give more flexibility.

    "The technology is there, so we should use it to give the judges the option," she said.

    Judges will still be able to request hard copies of the books if they prefer, the Booker representative added.

    The fruits of all that e-reading will be revealed in July, when the longlist is announced, followed by October's prize-winner. No word on whether a vowel prefix will need to be added to the name of the prize.

  • Hobbit Delays: Already tired of updates about Peter Jackson's film version of The Hobbit? Well, you might be in luck: Jackson has undergone surgery for an ulcer, which will cause "a slight delay" to the start of filming.
  • Found in Translation: They're so easily overlooked, yet so damn crucial. After all, no one in the English-reading world would have a clue about the works of Steig Larsson, Haruki Murakami, or Roberto Bolano without a translator.

    So, it makes sense to have an award that honors the year's best translations — and here is the longlist for this year's prize.

  • e-Pocalypse Now: Amazon has announced that it sold more e-books than paperback books in the last three months of 2010. Before you freak out, try to remember that chocolate and peanut butter don't have to be exclusive — they can live together quite happily in our mouths!

÷ ÷ ÷

Chris Bolton co-created the all-ages webcomic Smash, which will soon be published by Candlewick Press, and created the comedy series Wage Slaves. His short story "The Red Room" was published in Portland Noir from Akashic Books.

Books mentioned in this post

  1. Portland Noir (Akashic Noir)
    Used Trade Paper $8.50
  2. True Grit
    Used Trade Paper $5.50

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