In the blurb-saturated present, authors can decry blurbs as corrupt and silly all they like. When they publish new books, however, they will be conscripted to marketing duties, obliged to solicit blurbs, and most will provide glowing snippets to hype their friends and colleagues too.
Finding Your “Voice”: Author-Read Audiobooks
Does the author-read audiobook offer a perfect confluence between person, authorial persona, voice, and aesthetic form?
Morrison and Davis: Radicalizing Autobiography
Don’t question Angela Davis’ manuscript, Toni Morrison warned her publishing colleagues. Davis was not “Jane Fonda” but, rather, “Jean d’Arc.”
“The Last Samurai,” Unread
“In a world where the imagined purpose of the novel is to entertain—not to teach or spark further inquiry—The Last Samurai dissents.”
Even the most successful authors—like Phillis Wheatley and W. E. B. Du Bois—fail to publish all they’d like. What can that reveal about literature?
The View from the Fiction of the “New Yorker”
America’s premier literary magazine promises to offer a cosmopolitan view of the world beyond New York City. Does it deliver?
What Counts as a Bestseller?
A fundamental truth about bestseller lists? They are not a neutral window into what the public is really reading.
Audiobooks: Every Minute Counts
People who use audiobooks are expanding what reading is and can be. But they are also incentivizing publishers to change, in unexpected ways.
Where Is All the Book Data?
Industry is already using data to remake culture. To reverse the tide—to make culture more equitable—we need to decode that data for ourselves.
From One War to Another—Ukraine Facing Russia: An Interview with Volodymyr Vakhitov
They claim there is a “People of Donbass.” There is not.
“Cheerfully Monstrous”: Dodie Bellamy on Writing and Grieving
“I didn’t pay much attention to what was being put in the archives… there are letters that, if I had been paying attention, wouldn’t be there.”
“No Words”: Refugee Camps and Empathy’s Limits
Empathy will not close the refugee camps, nor will it aid refugees. So what will?
What Is a Book?
The “papers” of Toni Morrison can be accessed through a Princeton computer terminal. But where do these digital drafts end, and Beloved begin?
Quizzical: Which Academic Press Are You?
We don’t judge books by their covers, but we do sort people based on which academic presses match their personality types.
The Feminist Press at 50: An Interview with Jamia Wilson
“There was something about the resilience of an organization like this. We are the longest-running feminist publishing house in the world.”
Public Books Database
The Public Books Database is collecting the resources being offered for free by academic presses during the COVID-19 crisis.
How Capitalism Changed American Literature
Fifty years ago, almost every publisher in the United States was independent. Beginning in the late 1960s, multinational corporations consolidated the industry ...
Editor 2 Editor: Greg Britton and Jennifer Crewe
Where do scholarly editors find their authors? How do they decide which ...
Saboteurs in the Modern Academy
What hope remains for the masses of disillusioned graduate students, unemployed PhDs, and embittered faculty who still, despite everything, believe in ...
Knausgaard’s Ruthless Freedom
So here it is at last: the end of Knausgaard’s struggle. It is 1,160 pages long, divided into three parts. Part 2 consists of a long essay on Hitler. Both ...