Today in publishing and literature: Zadie Smith's first novel in seven years is arriving in September, more tributes to Grove Press founder Barney Rosset, and new data about print book sales.
Penguin imprint Riverhead Books will publish Junot Diaz's short story collection This Is How You Lose Her in September. It will be Diaz's first book since his 2007 debut novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and National Book Critics Circle Award. It's unclear how many -- if any -- of the stories will be appearing for the first time in the collection. [The New York Times]
It was a busy morning for Penguin, which announced that Zadie Smith's new novel NW will also be coming out in September. It's Smith's first novel since On Beauty was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2005. [@sarahw]
John Steinbeck would have been 110 today. The loveliest tribute to the Of Mice and Men author comes from the correspondence blog Letters of Note, which re-posted a 1958 letter from the author to his teenage son Thom, who had recently informed his father he was smitten with a girl named Susan and wanted guidance on how to proceed. "Glory in it for one thing and be very glad and grateful for it," his father suggested. "The object of love is the best and most beautiful.Try to live up to it." [Letters of Note]
Your latest sign of the print apocalypse: sales of mass market paperbacks were down 40.9 % in December compared to where they were for the previous year. That number, incidentally, comes from the Association of American Publishers, which doesn't have a vested interest in pointing out the speed at which customers are abandoning their old buying habits. [GalleyCat]
The appreciations of Barney Rosset, the founder of Grove Press who died last week at the age of 89, continue. Los Angeles Times book critic David Ulin offered perhaps the most flattering tribute to Rosset we've seen yet, declaring him to be "the most important American publisher of the 20th century" for fighting to publish challenging and transgressive works from authors like Samuel Beckett, Henry Miller, and William S. Burroughs. "Without Rosset," Ulin maintains, "contemporary literature as we know it would simply not exist." [Los Angeles Times]