Here’s a fascinating article by Aatish Bhatia about “how we gave colors names, and it messed with our brains.” Grab a seat; this is a good one.
East of the West author Miroslav Penkov is sitting pretty these days. The Bulgarian fiction writer recently nabbed the BBC International Short Story Award for his collection’s titular story, “East of the West.” With a purse of £15,000, this is the world’s biggest prize for short stories, though typically it considers work by British authors only. However this year, due to the 2012 Olympics, the field was expanded to include international writers. All five judges unanimously picked Penkov’s work over the nine other submissions. You can read an excerpt online courtesy of Google Books, and you can get a little more acquainted with Penkov’s themes on Picador’s Tumblr.
In The Guardian, Year in Reading alum Joshua Ferris writes a tribute to the novelist Jim Shepard, who taught him at UC Irvine when Ferris was a student there in the early aughts. Ferris makes a case that Shepard single-handedly settles a modern debate: “A lot of critics dislike the professionalisation of creative writing. They have never had Shepard in a workshop.”
Amazon has partnered with the Wylie Agency to acquire exclusive ebook rights to 20th century classics by the likes of Philip Roth, Salman Rushdie, Saul Bellow, Norman Mailer, Louise Erdrich, John Cheever, Hunter S. Thompson, William S. Burroughs, Orhan Pamuk, V.S. Naipaul, Martin Amis, and Jorge Luis Borges. The venture is called Odyssey Editions. These books will be available in ebook form exclusively on the Kindle for the next two years.
“As a rare book collector and head of the English department at Ayer-Shirley Regional High School, Eleanor Capasso said that being sent what she believes could be a first edition of a Jane Austen novel felt a lot like winning the golden ticket to visit Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.” Find out more about how a teacher received a two-hundred-year-old copy of Persuasion. If you’re looking for rare books, our guide has got you covered.