The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.
- Phyllis Krasilovsky, author of sweet, simple children's books such as The Very Little Girl and The First Tulips in Holland, died Wednesday of complications following a stroke, her daughter told The New York Times. She was 87. Krasilovsky began writing stories for her husband's 5-year-old cousin, who was dying of cancer. "I would sit all day at my desk working at a magazine and on my lunch break I would write him stories," she told a Connecticut news outlet.
- Philip Roth's spoke to the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, and the interview was published in the Times. Asked about his treatment of male characters, he says, "As I see it, my focus has never been on masculine power rampant and triumphant but rather on the antithesis: masculine power impaired. I have hardly been singing a paean to male superiority but rather representing manhood stumbling, constricted, humbled, devastated and brought down."
- George R.R. Martin's hysterically anticipated book The Winds of Winter, the sixth volume in his A Song of Ice and Fire series, is previewed in Entertainment Weekly. It begins, "Somewhere off in the far distance, a dying man was screaming for his mother." A release date for the book hasn't yet been announced.
The Best Books Coming Out This Week:
- Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi. Oyeyemi's fifth book is the Snow White myth reimagined through the lens of race in midcentury America. It retains much of the eeriness and power of the fairy tale published by the Brothers Grimm, but it is told with much more empathy: We find ourselves in the uncomfortable position of understanding — and even loving — the wicked stepmother.
- Book of Hours: Poems by Kevin Young. Young's exceptional collection of poetry is anchored in the death of his father and the birth of his son. Of grieving his father, he writes, "It is forgetting, not watery / memory, that scares me ... Not the storm / but the calm / that slays me."