Posts Tagged ‘NPR’


A wild thing returns

July 28, 2011

Maurice Sendak, with HermanJust so you know, Maurice Sendak has returned. Dave Eggers brings us the tale of the Wild Thing’s latest book, for Vanity Fair:

Bumble-Ardy is the first book Maurice Sendak has both written and illustrated in 30 years. I called him the other day to talk about it, and we were both surprised it had been that long. “Jesus,” he said. “What have I been doing?” We went through a list. He designed operas here and abroad, illustrated dozens of books—by Tony Kushner and Herman Melville and Shakespeare, among many others—and had a best-seller just a few years ago, in Mommy?, a pop-up book about a boy looking for his mother in a haunted mansion.

But in terms of a book completely his own, Bumble-Ardy is the first since 1981’s Outside Over There. Not that he wants to make a big deal out of it. “People from New York have been calling, to see if I’m still alive. When I answer the phone, you can hear the disappointment in their voice.”

Meanwhile, you can also hear the story about the effort to save a 1961 bedroom mural painted by Maurice Sendak for the Chertoff family of New York, via NPR.



Yo, Ed ….

July 25, 2011

A note for Decker: Broetry.

What? I ain’t sayin’ a word.



Books and bacon

June 27, 2009

The annual BookExpo America took place a couple of weeks ago in New York. Did you miss it? I did. Went right by without me even noticing, but that’s okay because, well, it usually does.

I think I posted something or another about Paul Constant’s coverage of the event because I was hard up for material. And that’s probably the same this year, since I haven’t shown my face around this blog since February. As to that, I’ll spare you the gory details and simply say that yes, I know feeling sorry for myself isn’t an excuse. My sincere apologies.

But this isn’t about me. How many times have I said that? Oh, right ….

So … um … oh, yeah. Paul Constant brought us his thoughts and observations concerning “The Slow, Moronic Death of Books (as We Know Them)“.

It’s strange that the only sign of growth at this BEA was in the number of journalists present, and that the people running BEA somehow seemed to think that the presence of more journalists was going to save them, considering that journalism just saw its most terrifying year in memory, too. It felt like the two industries were clinging together out in the ocean, drowning together. Since most of the bloggers were new to the party, none of them were asking any of the hard questions. No one was asking editors why they didn’t think twice before tossing out seven-figure deals for books based on zany blogs that anyone with half a brain could read for free on the internet. No one seemed to notice that major presses like HarperCollins weren’t asking booksellers what they wanted to sell or what their readers wanted to read. Instead, there were well-attended panels about making an insignificant amount of money off of Twitter. A sizeable number of booksellers were unwittingly attending their last BEA, because their bookstores are likely about to downsize or close. A bunch of people tried to hustle another bunch of people into buying something they didn’t want. Some of them succeeded, but most of them didn’t.

After the convention, MobyLives, the blog for indie publisher Melville House, published a postmortem titled “BEA Is Over… for Good?” I’m not so sure that it was the last one, but it was certainly a milestone: By the time next May’s BEA rolls around, at least one of the major publishers probably won’t be around to see it. The age of the giant conglomerate publisher is over. Publishing has always been an industry that has seen razor-thin profit margins if it saw profit at all, and the corporate model isn’t satisfied with a business model that optimally remains 1 or 2 percent above zero growth. The only way that 2009 will be considered a good year for the publishing industry is in comparison with the unprecedented disaster of 2008. People will tsk-tsk at the numbers and write endless, boring blog posts about it, which won’t be read by anyone except other people writing endless, boring blog posts about it. Here we were in the epicenter of publishing, at publishing’s big yearly event for insiders, and it was almost completely crushing any belief I had in the future of publishing. I don’t enjoy attending funerals, so unless things drastically change, I’ll probably never go back to BEA.

Cheery, no?

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‘Tis the season … to be morbid?

December 9, 2008

Let us be morbid, at least in part because it is fun to do so. And, hey, we’ll only pause to reflect on three consecutive two-letter words that contain the letter “o” because, well, I like to be annoying that way. But, to the point at hand ….

Let us begin by wishing a happy birthday to a dead man. December 9, 1608: the birth of John Milton.
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The Peabody and Peter’s nipples

April 10, 2008

The Peabody Awards don’t exactly fall under our purview, but I figured to make mention as it turns out that one of my favorite radio programs—that’s right, radio programs—is among the winners this year. And, hey, anywhere you can hear Carl Kassell doing Mel Blanc, or Neil Patrick Harris ask host Peter Sagal if he has glitter on his nipples, well, that’s some quality programming.

For those who are unfamiliar, Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me! is described in the Peabody winners’ list as “A zippy update of one of broadcasting’s long-ago staples, this live quiz show reminds listeners of the week’s news even as host Peter Sagal and various panelists make witty sport of it.”

One of the things that’s great about this show is that it’s made for the whole family. Okay, I don’t know that for sure, but I adore the show, and when I laugh my five year-old daughter wants to laugh with me. And if I do things right, this is the sort of thing she’ll enjoy listening to in ten years when she thinks I don’t know she’s getting stoned.

I suppose I shouldn’t be so hard on the Peabody Awards. Television and radio do need writers. To the other, though, Project Runway won this year, as well. Flip a coin.

Congratulations to Peter, Carl, and everyone at Wait, Wait. Good show.



More on Seltzer

March 8, 2008

More on Margaret Seltzer story: