Work Alone: Ernest Hemingway’s 1954 Nobel Acceptance Speech

From The Marginalian: “One can never be alone enough to write,” Susan Sontag observed. Solitude, in fact, seems central to many great writers’ daily routines — so much so, it appears, that part of the writer’s curse might be the ineffable struggle to submit to the spell of solitude and escape the grip of loneliness at the same … Read more

The Spine Collector

From Vulture: On the morning of March 1, 2017, Catherine Mörk and Linda Altrov Berg were in the offices of Norstedts, a book publisher in Sweden, when they received an unusual email. A colleague in Venice was asking for a top-secret document: the unpublished manuscript of the forth-coming fifth book in Stieg Larsson’s “Millennium” series. … Read more

For years, a mysterious figure has been stealing books before their release. Is it espionage? Revenge? Or a complete waste of time?

From Vulture: On the morning of March 1, 2017, Catherine Mörk and Linda Altrov Berg were in the offices of Norstedts, a book publisher in Sweden, when they received an unusual email. A colleague in Venice was asking for a top-secret document: the unpublished manuscript of the forth-coming fifth book in Stieg Larsson’s “Millennium” series. … Read more

Storytel Passes 1 Million Nordic Subscribers, Streaming Sales Up

From Publishing Perspectives: In its second-quarter report today (August 6), Sweden’s Storytel–the international marketplace’s most aggressively expansive service in the audiobook field–has reported streaming sales up 19 percent over Q2 2020 and a deepening subscriber base that jumped 29 percent year-over-year. An understandable point of pride leads the report from Jonas Tellander and his team … Read more

‘The Spotify Play’ Review: Better Than Piracy

From The Wall Street Journal: Neil Young, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham owe Daniel Ek an enormous debt of gratitude right about now. The rock legends have all recently sold their song publishing rights for gigantic sums, sell-offs that can partially be attributed to the surge in digital revenue that accounts for more than half … Read more

Is American Fiction Too Provincial?

From Public Books: Autumn brings the peak of the literary prize season: winners of the Booker, the National Book Award, the Women’s Prize, the Prix Goncourt, and the Nobel will all be announced by mid-November. American authors and books will be contenders for almost every award, large and small, for which they are eligible. That … Read more

Publishers in the Baltics: Differing Expectations for a Pandemic Recovery

From Publishing Perspectives: While a Latvian publisher seems encouraged, a counterpart in Estonia is less upbeat. And Russia’s LitRes is eyeing the region for its digital-sales potential in ebooks and audio. . . . . [T]he Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center sees Latvia (population 1.9 million) with 2,194 cases and 40 deaths. In Estonia (population 1.4 million), … Read more

Ernest Hemingway’s Footsteps Through Havana

From Smithsonian Magazine: When Ernest Hemingway penned his novel The Old Man and the Sea at his farm outside Havana, he likely had no idea the success it would receive, garnering him both a Pulitzer Prize in fiction in 1953 and a Nobel Prize in literature in 1954. When it was announced, 65 years ago on October … Read more

Why the U.S. Sent Librarians Undercover to Gather Intelligence During World War II

From Time Magazine: No one had a well-defined plan to send microfilm specialists to war when Franklin Roosevelt agreed to established the Interdepartmental Committee for the Acquisition of Foreign Publications (IDC). The agency initially struggled to gain traction. yet over the course of the war, the IDC developed an extensive operation to provide printed sources … Read more

Protests grow as Peter Handke receives Nobel medal in Sweden

From The Guardian: As Turkey joins Albania and Kosovo in boycotting Tuesday’s Nobel prize ceremony for Peter Handke over his support for Slobodan Milosevic’s genocidal regime, war correspondents from Christiane Amanpour to Jeremy Bowen are protesting his win by sharing their harrowing stories from the conflict in the former Yugoslavia. The Austrian writer, whose stance … Read more

Eminem Publisher Sues Spotify Claiming Massive Copyright Breach, “Unconstitutional” Law

From The Hollywood Reporter: Eminem’s publisher Eight Mile Style has filed a major new lawsuit claiming Spotify has infringed hundreds of song copyrights and challenging the constitutionality of a recently passed music licensing law. In a suit filed Wednesday in federal court in Nashville, Eight Mile accuses Spotify of willful copyright infringement by reproducing “Lose … Read more

Helvetica, the World’s Most Popular Font, Gets a Face-Lift

From Wired: “Helvetica is like water,” says a recent video about the most popular typeface in the world. The 62-year-old font family, with its sans-serif shapes and clean corners, is ubiquitous. It is used on the signage in New York’s subway system. It is the brand identity of American Airlines, as well as American Apparel. It is … Read more

Murakami Withdraws from The Alternative Nobel Prize in Literature

From BookRiot: Japanese author Haruki Murakami has asked to withdraw his nomination as one of the four finalists for The New Academy Prize in Literature, also known as the alternative Nobel Prize in Literature. According to The New Academy’s press release, Murakami is deeply honored by the nomination; however, he wishes to withdraw to focus on … Read more

Swedish Supreme Court says that painting based on photograph is new and independent creation and hence … non-infringing

From The IPKat: The case reported is colloquially known as Swedish scapegoats – a case from 2017 that made all the way up to the Swedish Supreme Court, and concerned a copyright dispute between the author of a close-up photograph and the author of a painting that was based on that photograph. Markus Andersson is a Swedish … Read more

China confirms Swedish publisher Gui Minhai has been detained

From CNN: China has confirmed for the first time that a Hong Kong-based Swedish citizen who published and sold books critical of the Chinese government has been detained following his purported arrest last month. At a Ministry of Foreign Affairs briefing Tuesday, a spokesman said that Gui Minhai, who was apprehended by plainclothes police on a … Read more