Author News and Book Reports

Dennis Lehane 'sucked at everything' until he discovered writing
Dennis Lehane, who we last saw at the 2004 BookExpo America, brought a kind of brutal honesty and self criticism, salted with humor, to the BEA 2008 annual Sunday breakfast panel, which shouldn't be a surprise given the gritty suspense novels he writes about his hometown Boston hardscrabble neighborhoods. Introduced by Jon Stewart's Daily Show funnyman John Hodgeman, Lehane began by introducing his new blockbuster, The Given Day (william Morrow; September, 2008) as a big book, not to be confused with a 'doorstop.' Lehane then traced his path to bestselling author by recalling the first book he ever read (Smokey the Bear) and what learning to read meant to him. Saying he 'sucked at everything,' Lehane told the story of how he started writing and offered insights into how he overcame the challenges of a writing career. Lehane concluded his remarks with an impassioned belief in the ineluctable value of books and the long-term future of book publishing. A member of PEN/Faulkner, Lehane also took time out from promoting his new novel at BEA to give a reading at a special PEN Writers Against the Surveillance State session, featuring ten top authors and performing artists protesting the Bush Administration's Patriot Act and domestic spying programs.

Book and Author Headlines

Alec Baldwin takes a 'light-hearted' look at the dark side of divorce: Hollywood movie and TV star Alec Baldwin takes aim at divorce courts, lawyers, and laws that strip parents of their dignity and respect for one another in what all too often turns into a vicious custody battle over their parental rights.

Tama Janowitz and Arthur Nersesian champion 'loser lit': Tama Janowitz and Arthur Nersesian read from their cult classics and talk about their affinity for 'loser lit.'

Paul Krugman wins Nobel economics prize: Princeton professor, [I]New York Times[/I] columnist and bestselling author Paul Krugman wins 2008 Nobel prize for economics.

Neil Gaiman breaks new ground with 'The Graveyard Book' and 'Coraline' movie tie-in: Neil Gaiman crosses over from adult fiction to children's fiction with new groundbreaking book, 'The Graveyard Book,' and announces another first--a movie adaptation of 'Coraline.'

Robert Pinsky bridges tragedy of New Orleans, war, and forgetting with power of words: Three-time U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky reads from and talks about his latest poetry collections, 'Gulf Music' and 'An Invitation To Poetry.'

David Ignatius, Washington Post columnist, goes Hollywood with Leonardo DiCaprio and 'Body of Lies': Washington Post foreign affairs columnist turned bestselling spy thriller author David Ignatius talks about 'Body of Lies'--the movie, the book, the reasons he turned to fiction to find truth--at the National Book Festival 2007.

Philippa Gregory and 'The Other Queen' reign over Tudors: The reigning queen of Tudor historyPhilippa Gregory presents the latest addition to her ongoing sagas of Boleyn women, 'The Other Queen.'

Christopher Buckley courts bestseller lists with latest comic novel on an unlikely topic: Christopher Buckley does it again--a comic novel as unlikely as one about the pleasures of smoking.

Indie Book Report: Bruce McPherson and authors reveal the truth about fiction: Long-time independent publisher Bruce McPherson and authors Jaimy Gordon and George Minkoff extol the virtues and warn of the pitfalls of small presses and fiction writing in America.

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