Friday, July 29, 2011

Ready to Rumpus

Maurice Sendak, author of 'Where the Wild Things Are,' is back after 30 years with a new book called Bumble-Ardy.

Bumble-Ardy is the first book Maurice Sendak has both written and illustrated in 30 years. I called him the other day to talk about it, and we were both surprised it had been that long. “Jesus,” he said. “What have I been doing?” We went through a list. He designed operas here and abroad, illustrated dozens of books—by Tony Kushner and Herman Melville and Shakespeare, among many others—and had a best-seller just a few years ago, in Mommy?, a pop-up book about a boy looking for his mother in a haunted mansion.
But in terms of a book completely his own, Bumble-Ardy is the first since 1981’s Outside Over There. Not that he wants to make a big deal out of it. “People from New York have been calling, to see if I’m still alive. When I answer the phone, you can hear the disappointment in their voice.”
Sendak’s sense of humor is pitch-black and ribald, though this fact, and the baroque essence of his work, is often lost on readers now that his books have become canonical. “A woman came up to me the other day and said, ‘You’re the kiddie-book man!’ I wanted to kill her.” He hates to be thought of as safe or his work as classic, and he won’t tolerate overpraise. “My work is not great, but it’s respectable. I have no false illusions.”
He’s wrong, of course. Sendak is the best-known, and by most measures simply the best, living creator of picture books, and in the stretch of years since his most prolific period—when he made In the Night Kitchen, Where the Wild Things Are, Kenny’s Window, The Sign on Rosie’s Door, and the “Nutshell Library”—his work has only grown in stature. No one has been more uncompromising, more idiosyncratic, and more in touch with the unhinged and chiaroscuro subconscious of a child.
- Dave Eggers, writing for Vanity Fair

Read the rest of the article here.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Penguin's Great Food Series

Great Food is an original series that brings together the sharpest, funniest, most delicious writing about food from the past four hundred years. Featuring twenty authors, the series is a heady mixture of recipes, literature and simple pleasures of hearing from distinctive voices from history. This series celebrates food writing as writing, revives forgotten, inspirational chefs and writers whose works will inspire cooks and readers everywhere.

The Great Food series offers something for every food lover: the enthusiastic cook who bites the bullet and makes their own haschiche fudge or mutton with oysters; the armchair foodie, reading for inspiration and pleasure; the social history lover who relishes the chance to peek inside a Victorian kitchen; and everybody who appreciates evocative, intimate and entertaining writing.

See the rest of the series here.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Rock on

When Sammy Hagar appeared at Left Bank Books in St. Louis in March to autograph copies of his memoir, it was not a typical book signing.

Sammy Hagar's memoir, “Red,” sold at least 61,000 copies in hardcover.
Mr. Hagar, the former Van Halen lead singer, started sipping tequila as soon as the event began. Police officers were hired to provide security. And nervous bookstore employees pleaded with eager female fans not to lift their shirts in front of Mr. Hagar when they reached the signing table.
“Nobody did,” said Kris Kleindienst, the relieved bookstore owner.
Such are the perils of working with the rock ’n’ roll legends who have lined up to write their life stories lately, a group that includes Keith Richards, Ozzy Osbourne, Patti Smith, Pete Townshend, Bob Mould and Gregg Allman.
In a squirrely market for books, the rock memoir has taken off, spurring publishers to pursue more book deals with musicians willing to tell their stories.

- Julie Bosman, New York Times

Read the rest of the article here.