A Yemeni man claims to have unearthed the oldest copy of the Quran in the world. An inscription engraved on the manuscript’s first page indicates that it dates back to 815 AD.
“He was a glutton for books who treated each text as a plate he was required to clean.” Author and critic William Gass died this week at 93, reports The Washington Post. The recipient of three National Book Critics Circle awards for criticism and four Pushcart prizes, Gass was awarded the PEN/Nabakov Award for lifetime achievement in 2000. See our reviews of Middle C, a novel that took Gass almost 20 years to finish, and his most recent essay collection Life Sentences, which amply demonstrated his background as “a former philosophy professor, but more appropriately a philosopher of the word and an esthete.” We were also lucky enough to have him pen a Year in Reading entry for us back in 2009: “I miss the leisure that let me read just for fun, not to critique, or pronounce, or even to put on a list, but simply to savor,” Gass lamented. Nonetheless, he continued,“I do, from time to time, pick up old friends who never disappoint but will promise me a page or two of pleasure between art and ordinary life.”
Well, this is awkward. When the National Book Foundation announced its nominees last week for the Young People’s Literature category of the National Book Awards, they accidentally picked a book called Shine by Lauren Myracle when they really meant to pick Franny Billingsley’s Chime.
While doing some work for his publisher, Jesse Browner discovered something odd about a book he published twelve years ago. One sentence -- one he thought of at the time as mostly unremarkable -- went viral after the book came out, eventually reaching over two thousand hits on Google. What was it like to find this out? At The Paris Review Daily, he writes about the experience. You could also read our interview with our own Mark O'Connell on viral celebrity and his e-book Epic Fail.