Today in books and publishing: former Komen executive criticizes Planned Parenthood; Geoff Dyer on Joseph Conrad; Brooklyn Book Festival breaks record; comic strip entered in DoJ suit.
Did Planned Parenthood have it in for Susan G. Komen? In her new book, the former Susan G. Komen executive who controversially decided to pull grant money from Planned Parenthood portrays the health care service as "a bunch of schoolyard thugs" who were "blatantly partisan." Karen Handel's awkwardly titled book Planned Bullyhood details her side of the debacle. She claims Planned Parenthood "browbeat" Komen over their decision to pull a small amount of funding during tough economic times, and that the ensuing mess only ended up hurting women and forcing top Komen executives to resign. Reproductive rights have become a hot-button issue in this election cycle, and it's worth noting that Handel is against abortion in most cases, and previously ran in the Republican primary for the Georgia governorship. [The Daily Beast]
A Brooklyn Book Festival for the books. This year's Brooklyn Book Festival will feature the highest number of author appearances in the event's history. Over 280 authors are scheduled to speak, including names like Carol Higgins Clark, Adrian Tomine, Paul Auster, Colson Whitehead and ... uh ... Tony Danza. The event takes place in Brooklyn Borough Hall and Plaza on September 23rd. [Galleycat]
Geoff Dyer boards the Heart of Darkness. The unclassifiable British writer spent a night in the Roi des Belges, a one-bedroom construction that overlooks the Thames, modeled on the riverboat that inspired Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. The space was commissioned by Alain de Botton's Living Architecture and site-specific art organization Artangel to provide a unique perspective on London, but Dyer used his stay as an opportunity to reflect on Joseph Conrad's perplexing legacy. "Conrad has generated an impressive critical literature," Dyer writes. "Readings of Heart of Darkness necessarily consider not just the book itself but previous readings. The result is a kind of critical river." He then goes on to navigate the unlikely confluences between Conrad and artists like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jorge Luis Borges and Bob Dylan. [Guernica]
Comic amicus brief submitted in DoJ price-fixing suit. The Department of Justice's lawsuit against Apple and major publishers for alleged e-book price collusion is dead serious. Whatever the decision turns out to be, it will surely alter the economics of the publishing industry for years to come. But Bob Kohn, the founder of RoyaltyShare, pokes a bit of fun at the fight with his comic strip amicus brief. In it, he maintains that Amazon's bargain-bin pricing might be illegal. It's a fun and informative read for anyone curious about the case. [Publishers Weekly]
A heavyweight slate of fall releases. Junot Díaz, Zadie Smith, Michael Chabon, JK Rowling, Salman Rushdie, Ian McEwan and Tom Wolfe are all releasing books soon, "colliding in one of the most crowded literary traffic jams in recent memory," as The New York Times' Julie Bosman puts it in her preview of fall releases. [The New York Times]
You know what your phone is missing? An interactive app of The Diary of Anne Frank, with audio readings by Helena Bonham Carter. That's what it's missing. [New York Daily News]
DFW gets clean. Plenty of episodes in David Foster Wallace's life are ripe for mythologizing: his years as a tennis prodigy, his daunting academic achievements, his abrupt suicide. But perhaps no time in his life was as crucial to his formation as a writer than the time he spent recovering from substance addiction in McLean Hospital in 1989. "The four weeks Wallace spent at McLean in November 1989 changed his life," D.T. Max writes in Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story, an excerpt of which appears on The New Yorker's Page Turner blog. "This was not his first or most serious crisis, but he felt now as if he had hit a new bottom or a different kind of bottom." [The New Yorker]