Just as publishing threatens to metamorphose into a world most of us won’t recognize in a decade or so, and book stores and libraries are closing in droves, bits of good book news, like green shoots, have forced themselves up through the gloom and doom. Yes, things are roiling, changing, but is the end really near? Are stories truly dead? Not if you consider that:
…A sixth-grade teacher just wrote me today to ask my help with a new fall project—his class is going to write their own novels! Yes, each and every one of them will attempt to plan and finish a complete book before the school year’s out.
…Andrew Motion, Poet Laureate of the UK for ten years, Professor of Creative Writing, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, has just published a delicious sequel to Robert Louis Stephenson’s Treasure Island. It features Long John Silver’s daughter, and I can’t put it down!
…Harry Potter’s mum, J.K. Rowling, is coming to the US in October, when her only appearance will be at New York’s Lincoln Center, where more than a thousand people will pay rock-star prices to hear her interviewed by Anne Patchett—sounds more like a state of wonder than an industry in distress, no?
…Haruki Murikami, one of my favorite authors, has caught the attention of a different kind of book person – the oddsmakers. They’re giving 10 to 1 he’ll win this year’s Nobel Prize!
…NASA announced yesterday, which would have been Ray Bradbury’s 92nd birthday, that the Mars Probe’s landing site of Curiosity is now called Bradbury Landing, in honour of the science fiction author who died earlier this year.
…And last but most fun, Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket ) recently performed (and immortalized on video) a musical tribute to librarians and books. “Without books, “ his song goes, “we wouldn’t know our elbow from our bum.” Words to read by!