October 8, 2013 Smart, who was held captive for nine months at age 14, describes the 2002 ordeal in a new memoir called My Story. She's now an advocate for children's safety education and says "the best punishment" she can give her abusers is to move on with her life and be happy.
October 8, 2013 In the first of a series of posts about the process of publishing a first novel, Martha Woodroof talks to agents about how they fall in love with new authors and what it takes to get from the first romantic blush to a solid business relationship.
October 8, 2013 Also: Sleuthing the first story by Edgar Allan Poe; the merits of YA literature; Atavist Books launches.
October 8, 2013 Ann Leckie's debut novel, Ancillary Justice, is the tale of former starship AI Breq. Now an autonomous human, Breq is out to kill the devious dictator who rules her corner of the galaxy. Reviewer Genevieve Valentine says Ancillary Justice is "a space opera that skillfully handles both choruses and arias."
October 7, 2013 In softcover fiction, Will Self spelunks the depths of consciousness in a mental hospital; Amity Gaige divulges an East German immigrant's secrets; Cristina Garcia defines the space that separates a dictator from an exile; and Ayana Mathis follows the life of a mother during the Great Migration.
October 7, 2013 Jhumpa Lahiri's new novel, The Lowland, is on the long list for the National Book Award and the shortlist for the Man Booker. Critic Maureen Corrigan says Lahiri should start making room in her trophy cabinet; The Lowland is a beautiful tale of a family transformed by political violence.
October 7, 2013 Claims have recently emerged that there will be more stories published from famously reclusive author J.D. Salinger. While this was treated as something of a bombshell in book circles, Susan Stamberg remembers when Salinger's editor at The New Yorker gave her a hint — over 30 years ago.
October 7, 2013 Also: Erica Jong on Fear of Flying; Amazon warehouse workers threaten to strike; the best books coming out this week.
October 7, 2013 Bo Burnham got his start in comedy on the Internet rather than in clubs. He found fame on YouTube and parlayed millions of views into a thriving career. Now, he's turned to the printed page with Egghead: Or, You Can't Survive on Ideas Alone, a collection of comedic poetry modeled on Shel Silverstein.
October 7, 2013 Brothers Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru take an exhaustive look at how the NFL has dealt with allegations that playing football can lead to brain damage. They say the NFL has repeatedly avoided tying football to brain injury, even as it has given disability payments to former players with dementia-related conditions.
October 6, 2013 Phyllis Chesler met Abdul-Kareem — a young, wealthy Muslim — in college. They fell in love, got married and, in 1961, traveled to his native Afghanistan together. There, Chesler soon found herself a virtual prisoner — an Afghan wife with no rights. An American Bride in Kabul is her memoir of that experience.
October 6, 2013 Long before they met, fell in love, got married and became co-authors, Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston both read A Spell for Chameleon. The first novel in Piers Anthony's "Xanth" series is a silly book, full of corny jokes. But for teenage Melissa and Michael, it was a winking glimpse into the world of adult relationships.
October 5, 2013 Acclaimed British author William Boyd was tapped last year to write the latest James Bond novel. The new book, called Solo, takes 007 on his first trip to Africa. Boyd says the Bond of the novels is quite different from the Bond on the screen — and that he sees a definite overlap between spies and novelists.