Archive for July, 2006

Waterstone’s: WestEnders episode 3,000

Gerry Johnson, new m.d. of Waterstone’s, is quoted in the Telegraph saying he was surprised by the ferocity of the reaction from authors and publishers to the chain’s bid for Ottakar’s. It is unusual, he said. Get with the program Gerry! The relationship between the two has long been more
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Bill Buford: Cookbooks are for wimps

It all started at a dinner party in Buford’s Manhattan apartment. Among the guests was Mario Batali, TV chef and proprietor of acclaimed New York eatery Babbo. He turned out to be the dinner guest from hell. Within moments of his arrival chez Buford, the writer knew inviting him was a mistake. Batali, one of the new breed of alpha-male cooks whose main rule is excess, took over, treating his host to his first lesson in muscular cookery and other guests to a night of macho drinking.

Poetry Report: Free Verse: Opportunities for Black and Asian Poets

When the initial list for the influential Next Generation Poets was drawn up one thing stood out: there were no Black or Asian poets on the list. The judges responded by sending out a frantic call for minority ethnic names to be submitted. They knew the talent was out there, but for some reason, it was being overlooked by the people that matter: the presses.

Londonstani and TV ads for books

Inflated advances paid to first time authors because they look marketable and have no sales record to sully their chances with the chains and supermarkets. It is a ludicrous, neophile culture, which militates against nurturing talent and condemns many promising young – and established- authors to either a future of dimishing advances as publishers “correct” past mistakes or a future on the slush pile because their books never earned out


Vulnerability in starkly macho clothing contrasted against ball-crushing femininity is nothing new for Besson. Nikita offered us a beautiful woman able to kick ass, while Jean Reno’s performance as conflicted, gentle assassin Leon in the eponymous film is a landmark of recent cinema history.

Vikram Seth: A family affair

“It is not as if the book was not well received, it was, and the questions and answers from the floor when I did events were very affecting. But just being there in Berlin, where these things took place, speaking in German and answering these questions, it was,” he pauses, searching for the right words. “It was tougher than it has been for me with other books.”

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