Today in publishing and literature: Joyce Carol Oates discusses the "genre writer" label, Courtney Love's former bandmate is trying his hand at a Kurt Cobain memoir, and we're one step closer to getting e-book editions of the Harry Potter books.
Hole guitarist Eric Erlandson is writing a book of "prose, poetry and free association" on the subject of Kurt Cobain that will be released on April 8, which happens to be just three days after the 18th anniversary of Cobain's death. Erlandson says he hasn't discussed the book, called Letters to Kurt, with Hole co-founder Courtney Love, who is executor of Cobain's estate, and definitely has some unresolved feelings about her late husband. We can't imagine she's thrilled with the project, especially since she and Erlandson have also been fighting for creative control of Hole off-and-on since 2002. [Arts Beat]
Here's the cover to Bring Up the Bodies, Hilary Mantel's sequel to Wolf Hall, which won the 2009 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. The book comes out on May 22, so start brushing up on the major players from the court of Henry VIII as soon as possible.[@The_Millions, image via Amazon]
The long, halting process of releasing e-book editions of the Harry Potter series appeared to take another small step forward yesterday with the announcement that OverDrive -- the same digital distribution company that Penguin cut ties with earlier this month -- has reached a deal with Pottermore to handle distribution of e-books and digital audiobooks. That's good news, because in addition to housing all manner of Potter-related trivia, the not-yet-operational Pottermore Shop is going to be the sole vendor for digital versions of the series. OverDrive and Pottermore didn't drop any hints about when the books might be available for download, so the waiting game continues. [The Wrap]
Joyce Carol Oates has given a fascinating new interview to The Guardian in advance of the publication of her new novel Mudwoman. She details her writing process, something we always find fascinating, but also delves into the subjects of widowhood and why being pigeonholed as a genre writer doesn't bother her. "Somebody might come along and say 'Joyce has a sense of darkness and violence and tragedy', but that is not at all the sense you have when writing," Oates explains. "The writing is thrilling." [The Guardian]
Finally: a New York architect named John Locke has been designing book shelves from old payphone stands and stocking them with reading material. The idea is for locals to "draw on books for free and, in return, put new books in the place of those they take," which is civic-minded, but also sounds like an invitation for thieves. (Indeed, his prototype shelf and books were stolen.) Another problem Locke says he's run into: people not taking the books, because they don't understand the pay phone/hyperlocal lending library concept. So if you're in New York and see one of the shelves, by all means, grab some reading material. That's what you're supposed to do. [Page Views, image via Gracefulspoon.com]