The Two-Way
5:19 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Book News: Lawrence Ferlinghetti's Travel Journals Will Be Published

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

  • Lawrence Ferlinghetti, the 94-year-old poet and founder of San Francisco's City Lights bookstore, sold his travel journals to the W.W. Norton imprint Liveright. Ferlinghetti, best known for his collection A Coney Island of the Mind, was associated with the Beat movement in San Francisco and put on trial for obscenity after publishing Allen Ginsberg's landmark poem Howl. He was acquitted. The travel journals, titled Writing Across the Landscape: Travel Journals (1950-2013), are expected to be published in September 2015.
  • Walter Dean Myers, the author of the fantastic YA novel Monster, reacts to a study that found that only 93 of the 3,200 children's books published in 2013 were about black people. He writes in a New York Times op-ed, "Books transmit values. They explore our common humanity. What is the message when some children are not represented in those books? ... Where are black children going to get a sense of who they are and what they can be?" The study, an annual look at children's books by and about people of color, was conducted by the Cooperative Children's Book Center at the University of Wisconsin.
  • J.K. Rowling has published the "History of the Quidditch World Cup" on Pottermore, her website dedicated to the world of Harry Potter [registration required ]. It traces the history of the airborne sport from its founding in the Middle Ages to modern times. She writes, "The rulebook concerning both on- and off-pitch magic is alleged to stretch to nineteen volumes and to include such rules as 'no dragon is to be introduced into the stadium for any purpose including, but not limited to, team mascot, coach or cup warmer' and 'modification of any part of the referee's body, whether or not he or she has requested such modification, will lead to a lifetime ban from the tournament and possibly imprisonment."
  • Nick Richardson considers the strange poetry of "Lorem Ipsum," the Latin-ish word jumble used as a placeholding text: "Bits of it have surprising power: the desperate insistence on loving and pursuing sorrow, for instance, that is cheated out of its justification — an incomplete object that has been either fished for, or wished for."
  • Nigella Lawson on why she became a cookbook writer: "I loved food, and felt strongly that cooking (rather like child-rearing, with which I was also much taken up at the time) should not be the preserve of the expert, but restored to its place in the home. I am not a chef, nor even a trained cook, but as I feel I must remind people all too often: if you needed a professional qualification to cook, human beings would have fallen out of the evolutionary loop a long time ago."
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