Open City, a showcase for edgy writing for the past 20 years, is closing down due to the withdrawal of several sources of funding. “These things are not institutions,” founder and co-editor Thomas Beller tells the New York Observer.
Superagent Andrew (“The Jackal”) Wylie disses the e-book and modern publishing’s “wild weekend in Las Vegas approach” to book acquisition in the Wall Street Journal Magazine. But the best part is an online slide show depicting Wylie’s journey from a wild-eyed hippie cabbie in 1971 to the uberwasp wheeler-dealer that he is today.
We’ve mentioned the “What books have stayed with you?” social media trend before, and now Facebook has tallied up the most popular titles by country. The results are both exactly what you would expect – The Little Prince ranks high in France, One Hundred Years of Solitude fairs well in Latin America – and a little surprising as the Harry Potter series tops the list in countries ranging from India to Italy to Brazil.
Cole Stryker‘s Epic Win for Anonymous: How 4chan’s Army Conquered the Web looks into one of the internet’s most infamous image boards. Housing Works Bookstore will be hosting a party in September to celebrate its launch. To tide you over, you can check out the author’s interview at Betabeat.
Attention Sassy and Jane fans: Infant savant/fashion blogger Tavi Gevinson and Jane Pratt (founder of Sassy and Jane) are starting a new magazine. The publication’s a bit of a mystery right now (no name or website yet), but if you want to be notified when the project launches, click here to get on the e-mail list.
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My book, The Late American Novel: Writers on the Future of Books is out today (more on that here), and also out this week is Joshua Foer’s (the latest of the Foer’s to throw his hat in the authorial ring) Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything, buzzed about food memoir Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef, a new look at the modern world’s most ubiquitous commodity James Gleick’s The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood, Library of America boxing anthology At The Fights: American Writers on Boxing, Mat Johnson’s Poe-inspired Pym, and Victoria Patterson’s This Vacant Paradise. New in Paperback: Sam Lipsyte’s The Ask and Chang-rae Lee’s The Surrendered.
Don’t Cry author Mary Gaitskill reviews Gillian Flynn’s wildly successful thriller, Gone Girl, for the pages of Bookforum. What she finds is that the book isn’t really frightening because of its plot per se, but rather because its two main characters “do not resemble actual people so much as grotesquely smiling masks driven by forces of extreme artifice, and it’s exactly that extreme artificial quality that’s frightening to the point of sickening.” For what it’s worth, Edan Lepucki, Michael Bourne, Ed Park, Janet Potter, and Jennifer duBois each named Flynn’s book in their most recent Year in Reading pieces.