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Monday, October 23, 2006

An Odd Writing World

So get this, a woman is taking a creative writing class, the teacher (Jim Crace) notices she has a bit of talent, and so she submits her novel to a publishing house. Voila, Diane Setterfield has sold her first book for L800,000 and an additional million over in the States.

I don't know how it works in Canada (although I bet it's the same) but in the States you cannot copyright a book title. Marley and Me, number one on the New York Times non-fiction best seller list, has the same title as the one Bob Marley's manager wrote. Better yet there was a time about three years ago when three best sellers within a two year period all had the same title. Harry Potter anyone?

Finally, David Lipsky in a New York Times review writes, "Halfway through my second reading of Elena Ferrante's 'Troubling Love' -- 70 more pages to go in seamy Naples -- I tore the book down the middle. It's the first time a novel ever made me get physical, and it was the first good mood I'd been in for weeks."

Admit it, there's something refreshing in a reviewer who can finally say such a thing.

And it gets better. A web search found this from the same reviewer: "It's a smelly book. (...) Troubling Love is soggy with tears -- and the blank mood that follows a good long cry -- but you can't isolate the source of the weeping. (...) Ferrante is fascinated by the moments when a personality -- like a wire stretched too far from its power source -- shorts and corrodes." - David Lipsky, The New York Times Book Review