Before the regime change in Burma, Ye Htet Oo ran a secret library even though he risked facing “three months in jail for every book he lent without permission from the censorship board.”
According to The Secret Literary Life of Augusto Pinochet author Cristóbal Peña, the Chilean dictator “was tormented by an intense inferiority complex, which he tried to deal with by collecting books.” A recent article in The New York Times provides a look at that book collection, which totaled around 50,000 books and has been valued at around $3 million.
How would you feel if your novels all fell apart at the end? The writer Ann Bauer knows this feeling, and it’s painful -- she says that her readers inevitably tell her the endings of her novels are all wrong. (You could also read our own Sonya Chung's essay on literary endings.)
British novelist Elizabeth Jane Howard has died at the age of 90. She was famous for The Cazalet Chronicles and her literary love affairs with Kingsley Amis (one of her three husbands), Cecil Day-Lewis, and Arthur Koestler. Despite that her writing career spanned 60 years, she admitted that she found writing frightening in a recent interview. "You’ve got to be pretty nervous about the challenge, the blank page – anything could be on it, it could be crap or it could be wonderful."