Leading Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn has been working on a three-volume biography of the Liverpool band for almost a decade. Tentatively titled The Beatles: The Complete Story, the first installment was due for a publication date this year. Unfortunately, Volume One, which tracks the group from the beginning through December 1962, has hit yet another delay, and fans likely won’t see it until 2013. As Lewisohn says, the accuracy takes time, and “the whole ethos of the project is ‘do the job properly’.” Lewisohn’s last work was the 2006 Complete Beatles Recording Sessions.
FSG just launched their new online literary periodical, Work in Progress. Check out their debut issue, where you’ll find Jeffrey Eugenides chatting about his latest book with Jonathan Galassi, fiction by Lydia Davis, summer book giveaways and photos from the FSG archives. Look for the clip from an FSG letter introducing Susan Sontag’s first book in 1963: “It is difficult, as you know, to create interest in new writers.”
As the "A Year in Reading" series continues, I asked Kirby Gann, author of Our Napoleon in Rags, to share with us the best book he read all year. Here's what he said:After thinking over what books I read this past year that have stayed with me, I think I'd have to choose A Void by Georges Perec as my best "discovery" of the year. It's one of the most cleverly effusive novels I've ever read, full of virtuosity, linguistic energy (in both the original and the translation), and unique invention. A metaphysical detective story bursting with plots and sub-plots, it tells the story of the disappearance of a man named Anton Vowl. Interestingly enough, it manages to do so without ever using the letter "e," and yet the prose never feels forced or labored in order to accomplish that lack.The novel is a dazzling display of what a limiting structure can do toward firing the imagination, much like poetic forms such as the sonnet and ghazal do for poets. Usually I don't go for "game" novels, but this one impressed me greatly.Thanks Kirby!
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