The Iowa Review will begin accepting submissions for the Jeff Sharlet Memorial Award for Veterans on April 15. The award honors creative writing by members of the U.S. military, and it’s open to both veterans as well as active duty personnel.
Just when you thought we’d covered every aspect of the story of self-publishing, something like this happens. A Canadian serial killer convicted of killing six women and charged in the deaths of another twenty has self-published a memoir on Amazon in which he maintains his innocence. The papers were allegedly smuggled out of the prison by another inmate and published by a self-publishing service under a pseudonym. Amazon has since discontinued sales of the book.
What do you do if you’re Leo Tolstoy, 20 years old and being treated in isolation for venereal disease? Start a diary, of course. Because you’re Tolstoy, you’ll probably use this diary to make a plan of your day, and then comment on how your actual activities line up with your ideals (“not quite,” usually). And, to be as Tolstoy-ish as possible, why not rate all your actions on a general moral scale? An example: “Arose somewhat late and read, but did not have time to write. Poiret came, I fenced, and did not send him away (sloth and cowardice). Ivanov came, I spoke with him for too long (cowardice). Koloshin (Sergei) came to drink vodka, I did not escort him out (cowardice).” And so on. For some long-term perspective, pair with The Millions‘s perennially popular “Tolstoy or Dostoevsky? 8 Experts on Who’s Greater.”
If we were to buy ourselves a gift this year, it would be Penguin’s “One Hundred Book Covers in One Box” postcard set.
George Packer at Lapham’s Quarterly writes of meeting a young Burmese reader of Charles Dickens: “‘All of those characters are me,’ [he] explained. ‘Neither a British nor American young man living in the twenty-first century can understand a Dickens as well as I can…I am more equipped to understand Dickens than modern novels. I don’t know what is air conditioning, what is subway, what is fingerprint exam.’” (via Book Bench)