The Asian American Literary Review is releasing their Special Issue Commemorating the 10th Anniversary of September 11 with a launch party this Friday at 7pm in downtown New York at Alwan for the Arts. The 350-page(!) issue has interviews, essays, and first person testimony on 9/11 by South/Asian and Arab American contributors — including Kazim Ali, Amitava Kumar, and Khin Mai Aung from AALDEF (the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund) — several of whom should be at the launch.
Amazon has given its entire front page over to a "letter" from CEO Jeff Bezos touting Dan Brown's forthcoming gnostic thriller The Lost Symbol. It's a mix of hyperbole and "thrilling" intrigue. My favorite excerpts: "This is one of the most anticipated publishing events of all time." "The book remains so deeply under wraps that we've agreed to keep our stockpile under 24-hour guard in its own chain-link enclosure, with two locks requiring two separate people for entry." Bezos goes on to promise that Amazon will deliver Kindle owners the book "wirelessly while [they] sleep."
Read Karl Ove Knausgaard’s acceptance speech for the Welt Literaturpreis, an annual prize awarded by the German newspaper Die Welt, at The New Yorker. He writes, “The difference between engaging with a real neighbor and one in a novel is that the former occurs in the social sphere, within the boundaries of its rules and practical constraints, whereas the latter occurs outside of it, in the reader’s own most private, intimate sphere, where the rules that govern our social interaction do not apply and its practical constraints do not exist.” You could also check out Knausgaard’s book excerpt at The Millions.
This is really happening: In February, an IBM-programmed computer will take on former champions (including Ken Jennings) in three games of Jeopardy. (via)
Steven Millhauser's new collection We Others is out this week, as are Hisham Matar's Anatomy of a Disappearance and Alex Shakar's Luminarium. Here at The Millions, Shakar recently offered the harrowing story of the publication of his first novel. Alexandra Fuller has a new memoir out. Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness. and foodies are celebrating with 40 Years of Chez Panisse: The Power of Gathering.
On their Tumblr, Little Fiction is previewing some of the books being released in 2014-2015 by authors they’ve recently worked with. Meanwhile, Chad Post put together “Le Translation Preview” to promote some international work being published this July. Think of both lists as complementary compendiums to our Great Second-Half 2014 Book Preview.