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April 19, 2008


Salman Rushdie talks to the Scotsman about his new novel.

He says that writing The Enchantress Of Florence saved his life, by which he means that it gave him a sense of purpose and worth. "Books have done that to me more than once, actually," he says. "Haroun And The Sea Of Stories saved my life in a more literal way. I was writing that in the first year after the fatwa, and doing so because I had promised my son I would write a book for him. It pulled me out of a terrible slump and downward spiral. It reminded me why I wanted to be a writer, and what I loved about it, and it got my head straight at a point in my life when it really hadn't been for a while. I think it's kind of strange that the two books I've written that have a quality of joy – Haroun and this new one – were both written at relatively bleak moments."

Robert Forster, formerly of the Go-Betweens, talks to the Australian.

He admits that he has entertained the idea of writing a novel since he was 21, "and there have been little starts, times when I've gone two or three days in my diary writing 1500 words. But it never leapt off the page to me. And I knew that to do it I'd have to stop music. If you're going to be a novelist, that's a whole other job. I knew I'd have to stop music and go somewhere and write absolute garbage for six months or so and then I just might get a beginning. You can't write a novel on the run in rock'n'roll."

Kathleen Edwards talks to the Toronto Star about songwriting.

"I usually write alone and locked away ... I'm the stereotypical depressed songwriter. I envy writers like (Bruce) Springsteen – I've seen pictures of him carrying a notebook and scribbling ideas down whenever they occur to him. I usually have to wait for the right circumstances. This time, when Jim called to say he'd put together a band he wanted me to play with, only a couple of songs were finished. The rest I wrote in California, some actually in the studio."

The Telegraph-Journal profiles author Richard Ford.

His work has been published in 26 languages, which makes for a lot of international invitations.

"I'm still childlike in being amazed that a book that I could write . . . could end up being read by people in Cairo and Greece and Scandinavia.

"It's still to me kind of miraculous, so I go in that state of wonderment."

He also goes, he says, because people who love literature, especially European readers, tend to hold writers in high esteem. He likes breaking down the image of author as intellectual.

"I think it's refreshing for them to have to find me, 'cause I'm such an average, ordinary kind of Joe. And because I'm such an average, ordinary kind of Joe it makes the miracle of literature even more miraculous."

antiMUSIC lists ten reasons to avoid the new Coldplay CD.

Isabel Fonseca talks to the New York Times about being married to another writer (Martin Amis in her case).

Speaking of her husband, she said, ‘It’s probably awful for him that I’ve done this thing, write a novel. I didn’t mean to. I don’t think it’s his kind of book, really — he doesn’t read that much fiction anyway.” She added that being married to a famous novelist who is also a formidable critic is a mixed blessing. “Imagine having Martin all to yourself at the dinner table. For free! He’s got a very interesting point of view.” She went on: “Also, one of the lucky things about living with another writer is that they really understand what it’s like to be preoccupied — you know, a pretend mother and a pretend husband. I remember when I was in school and I’d bring my friends home and my father would just be getting up in the middle of the afternoon. I suffered agonies of embarrassment.”

Alternative Reel lists the top ten banned films of the 20th century. interviews Edward Anderson of the 1900s.

OMC: How has the mp3 blogosphere changed the way you promote a record?

EA: That's tough. It's hard to say because I don't do much of the actual promotion myself, and also I haven't put out that many records before, so I don't really have much to weigh it against. Before, in my older bands, I would just release a record and no-one would know about it. I think in a way the blogs have replaced some of the radio promotion that we would have done before. It's a way a lot of people hear about music, so it's nice to get those people on your side. On the other hand, I'll read some of the blogs and they'll say good or bad things, and I'm not even sure who the people are or if anybody even reads it. Anyone could post anything, so it's nice to have the blogs, but it's also nice to have some more established sources as well.

The Times Online lists the 50 greatest crime writers.

Brian Wood talks to New York magazine's the Vulture blog about his upcoming YA graphic novel, The New York Four.

Where did The New York Four come from?

The editor at Minx called me and asked me to pitch her a New York story. I was surprised — I wouldn't have thought of me for a YA book, although looking back I guess a lot of my stories, like Demo and Local, are sort of accidentally appropriate to that world. So I tried to make something in that vein.

To celebrate Record Store Day, NPR's All Things Considered has singer-songwriter James McMurtry share his music shopping memories.

The Futurist offers a couple of mp3s from Pash's recent WOXY Lounge Act session.

New York magazine's Vulture blog interviews cartoonist Jimmy Gownley, whose children's comic Amelia Rules! received four Eisner award nominations this year.

Do you see your sales dropping for the monthly comics and rising for the trade collections?

The comics have sold the same for three years. The collections now sell 20 or 30 times as many copies as the individual pamphlets. My guess is very soon we will stop doing individual comics and just publish collections.

Minnesota Public Radio's The Current features Hot Chip with an interview and in-studio performance.

also at Largehearted Boy:

2007 online music lists
Daily Downloads
Try It Before You Buy It (mp3s and full album streams from this week's CD releases)
this week's CD releases


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