National best-selling author Trisha R Thomas will be on hand at the essence music festival signing copies of her fabulous books! Check her out! She is fabulous!
ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL
Ernest Morial Convention Center 900 Convention Center Blvd, New Orleans in Hall (B) in conjunction with the Empowerment Seminars, which run Friday, July 3- Sunday, July 5, 2009. These events are FREE and open to the public.
Even before the unexpected announcement came this month, Michael Thomas had enjoyed a run of good luck with “Man Gone Down,” his first novel. Published in 2007 in paperback by Black Cat, an imprint of Grove/Atlantic, it got strong reviews, was named to several “10 Best Books” lists that year, including that of The New York Times Book Review, and is now in its fourth printing, with 65,000 copies shipped.
Michael Thomas, center, author of “Man Gone Down,” with Eibhlin Byrne, Lord Mayor of Dublin, and Christopher Houghton of the Impac Dublin prize committee. But short of being selected for Oprah’s book club, winning the International Impac Dublin Literary Award may be the best thing that could happen to a new voice like Mr. Thomas. The prize is worth 100,000 euros, or about $138,000, and coincides with publication of “Man Gone Down” in Britain. The announcement immediately generated inquiries from foreign publishing houses.
“I kind of wrote that in a fit,” Mr. Thomas, 41, who teaches literature and creative writing at Hunter College, said of the novel. “I had a bunch of jobs. I was teaching four classes a semester and two or three in the summer, and working construction and coaching soccer and baseball and trying to build my house. I don’t think it is something I could replicate.”
“Man Gone Down” focuses on four increasingly desperate days in the life of an unnamed black narrator living in Brooklyn, whose marriage seems to be falling apart. Brilliant and troubled, he is on the eve of his 35th birthday but is broke, struggling not to lapse back into alcoholism and burdened by the knowledge he has fallen short of the promise he seemed to show as a younger man.
Mr. Thomas acknowledges certain surface similarities to the character he has created. He too grew up in Boston, dropped out of college and scuffled, is a black man married to a white woman (with three children, two boys and a girl, whose first initials correspond to those of the narrator’s children) and has a best friend who is white.
“I was a weird kid, a black kid living in public housing in the wealthiest city east of the Mississippi, who looked at least on the surface to be normal or even cool, even though my head was somewhere else most of the time,” he said. “But I don’t think either of us is pessimistic about race,” he added, speaking of himself and his fictional character.
In its award citation, the five-member Impac Dublin jury called Mr. Thomas “a writer of enthralling voice and startling insight.” It described “Man Gone Down” as a “drama of individual survival set against the myth of an integrated and racially normalized America” and said it “shows, in unsentimental clarity, the way the future can close mercilessly on those marginalized by race and social circumstance.”
The Impac Dublin award is often described as “the largest and most international” literary prize in the world after the Nobel. It is open to fiction written in any language, with nominations made by libraries; in the 2009 competition, 157 libraries in 41 different countries offered 146 candidates. The prize, first awarded in 1996, was established by the Dublin city government and is financed by Impac, the multinational business consulting company.
British bookies have a history of taking bets on literary competitions, and they clearly saw “Man Gone Down” as a long-shot in this particular horse race, placing it seventh among eight finalists. The odds-on favorite was Junot Diaz’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao,” followed closely by “The Reluctant Fundamentalist,” written by Mohsin Hamid, who was born in Pakistan, studied in the United States and now lives in London.
In fact, the single nomination for “Man Gone Down” came not from an American library but from the National Library Service of Barbados. The two most frequent nominations from American libraries were Mr. Diaz’s novel and Michael Chabon’s “Yiddish Policemen’s Union.”
“When a Pulitzer is on the list, the odds get stacked immediately,” said James Ryan, an Irish novelist and professor of creative writing who was on the prize jury. “But what arrested my attention with Michael Thomas was his pacing, that he was right in there with his story and his voice from the word go. He’s cutting-edge fiction, right up there.”
Despite the accolades, Mr. Thomas seems somewhat wary, even uneasy, about embracing his good fortune. He wondered whether his triumph should be attributed solely to the merits of his novel or whether other, nonliterary motives may also have been in play.
“My role now is some noble savage,” he said, “some person who has risen to grace from some sort of strange beginnings.” Or as he put it at another point in an interview Friday afternoon at a coffee shop in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, near his home, “If you don’t have a physical deformity and are of above average intelligence and are black or from any marginalized minority, you become a poster boy for uplift.”
Mr. Thomas said he worried in particular that he might inadvertently have become a symbol of the global wave of optimism that has accompanied the election of Barack Obama, even though his novel was published before Mr. Obama became a candidate. When he traveled to Ireland this month to receive the prize, he said, people kept suggesting to him that “Everything is fine now, isn’t it?,” which is not his view.
From the time his manuscript started circulating among publishers, Mr. Thomas said, he was told that it was “difficult,” and he accumulated a long list of rejection slips before Grove/Atlantic took a chance.
If “difficult” means unapologetically literary, Mr. Thomas pleads guilty as charged. “Man Gone Down” is rife with quotations from the poetry of T. S. Eliot, and references to F. Scott Fitzgerald and “Moby-Dick” mingle with allusions to the work of Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin and Lorraine Hansberry.
The novel’s title itself reflects Mr. Thomas’s broad interests and erudition. Though it contains echoes of the blues, a musical form that Mr. Thomas said “always made sense to me because it operates from a well of sorrow, but not despair,” the title actually comes from a passage in which the narrator compares himself to Beowulf trying to make his way across “an ocean of memory” that is “deep, almost frozen and swimming with monsters.”
At the moment, Mr. Thomas is finishing a memoir that he describes as a history of “four generations of Thomas men, and the Red Sox and Boston and New York.” After that, he envisions three novels that already “are quite clear in my head.” Winning the Impac Dublin prize should make that process easier, or at least he hopes so.
“It lowers the stress of chasing money around and provides some time,” he said. “I can pay off whatever credit card debt I have and get off this high wire for a couple of years, and then start over again. As a friend told me, there is no down side to this: ‘You can’t find one, even you.’ ”
“Every opportunity I’ve had, I’ve either spurned or shunned or squandered through whatever kind of chip I’ve had, or rage or suspicion,” he added. “Whatever I feel, this is a new opportunity to be a part of things, and my way of being a part of things is writing. That’s my covenant.”
Michael Jackson the king of pop dies today of cardiac arrest. He will be missed by so many. He was so influential to many of the artist of today. Please be respectful and give his family the privacy that they need. God Bless his family and kids.
Join us for a discussion that you don't want to miss. Author, activist and art fanatic Shelley Seale will be joining us to discuss her book "The Weight Of Silence:Invisible Children Of India." We will also chat with her about her continued work with the children of India as well as her future plans. Mark your calenders for an unforgettable book chat with the one and only Shelley Seale.
Join us on June 24 at 12pm pst for great book chat!
Today National Best selling author Angela Winters came on the show. She was a delight to chat with about ther books! We chatted about her book series "view park." She also explained how she has had great longevity in the literary industry. When we got into chatting about the books in the series, I could sense fire and passion coming from her. She described the storyline, and the characters. She described some of the issues in the series and why some of the things happened the way they did. She is one of the greats and it's very evident. Author Angela Winters has written over 20 books and still continues to brings us facinating stories about facinating people. She is pursuing a law degree to be an attorney. Wow a lady that can write and very smart! My hat goes off to Angela because she is a true writer with true passion for this industry.
Check out the interview at www.blogtalkradio.com/diva29
Here's something Harry Potter's people would like to make disappear.
Bloomsbury Publishing is rejecting plagiarism charges against cash cow J.K. Rowling. The estate of little-known fantasy writer Adrian Jacobs claims Rowling ripped off the plot of his 1987 book, The Adventures of Willy the Wizard No. 1 Livid Land, for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the fourth entry in her phenomenally successful series.
"Bloomsbury would like to state that this claim is without merit and will be defended vigorously. The allegations of plagiarism made by the estate of Adrian Jacobs are unfounded, unsubstantiated and untrue," the company said in a statement.
So what prompted the legal case?
According to the complaint, filed in 2004 and which is now making its way through London's High Court, the two books both feature wizards traveling on trains and a magical competition featuring a challenge involving a hostage situation (Goblet of Fire climaxes with the Triwizard Tournament, in which Harry saves bestie Ron and another student from the clutches of an underwater creature called a Grindylow).
Jacobs' lawyers also claimed he engaged the services of literary agent Christopher Little, who subsequently went on to represent Rowling.
Bloomsbury argues it has "never heard of Adrian Jacobs," nor was it aware of his work until the suit was filed by his son, four years after Goblet's release and seven years after Jacobs died penniless in a London hospice.
"Willy the Wizard is a very insubstantial booklet running to 36 pages which had very limited distribution. The central character of Willy the Wizard is not a young wizard, and the book does not revolve around a wizard school," stated the publisher. "The claim was unable to identify any text in the Harry Potter books which was said to copy Willy the Wizard."
Another Obama relative has a book deal. A memoir by George Obama, the president's half brother and a resident of Huruma, Kenya, will be published by Simon & Schuster in January 2010. George Obama, 27, shares the same father with his famous, older half sibling, although George and Barack Obama — 20 years apart in age — did not grow up together and did not meet as children.
George is the youngest of the senior Obama's seven children and was born six months before his father died.
Little is known about George Obama. The book, tentatively titled "Homeland" and to be written with author-journalist Damien Lewis, will tell of George Obama's fall into crime and poverty as a teenager and his eventual embrace of community organizing — a passion shared by the president — and of advocacy for the poor, an identification so strong that he chooses to live among them.
"Even had George Obama not been our President's half brother, his story is moving and inspirational," David Rosenthal, Simon & Schuster publisher and executive vice president, said in a statement Sunday. "It is an object lesson in survival, selflessness and courage."
Financial terms were not disclosed, but an official with knowledge of the negotiations said the deal was worth six figures. The official, who was not authorized to discuss the contract, spoke on condition of anonymity.
Other Obama relatives are working on books, including a half sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng; and the brother of first lady Michelle Obama, Craig Robinson. Duke University Press is releasing the doctoral dissertation of the president's mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, who died in 1995.
Barack Obama has written a pair of million-selling books, "The Audacity of Hope" and "Dreams from My Father," in which he describes George Obama as "a handsome, roundheaded boy with a wary gaze."
NEW YORK – Remember that tell-all book about A-Rod?
Just a month after making headlines with its allegations that the New York Yankees star likely used steroids as far back as high school, Selena Roberts' "A-Rod: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez" has vanished from best seller lists.
Published in early May by HarperCollins with an announced first printing of 150,000, "A-Rod" has sold just 16,000 copies so far, according to Nielsen BookScan, which tracks about 75 percent of industry sales. The book sold 11,000 in its first week, then quickly faded.
At the Rizzoli Bookstore in midtown Manhattan, "A-Rod" has sold two copies. Twenty-seven copies have sold at Posman Books, based in Grand Central Terminal, but none in the past two weeks.
"I don't think he's ever been embraced by serious fans," Logan Fox, a manager at Posman, said Wednesday. "He's still considered an outsider."
"A-Rod" fell off The New York Times' hardcover list of nonfiction best sellers after three weeks, peaking at No. 9 in late May. As of Wednesday afternoon, the book ranked No. 2,904 on Amazon.com, where even James Frey's discredited memoir "A Million Little Pieces" — at 1,776 — is outselling it.
Get your copy of a fabulous read for the summer! The book "The Secret Life Of Girls And Their Sugar Daddies" is available via www.publishamerica.com. Pick it up officially at a book store near you on July 25! Happy Reading!
"The Pretend Wife" (Bantam Books Hardcover, 273 pages, $22), by Bridget Asher: Gwen Merchant believes she has the perfect marriage. She's even a bit smug about it until her college sweetheart walks up behind her in an ice-cream shop and orders two scoops of her.
Suddenly, Gwen is wondering what her life would have been like if she hadn't refused to answer Elliot Hull's calls after a fight over something she can't even remember.
She finds out when her husband, Peter, volunteers her to pretend to be Elliot's wife to satisfy Elliot's mother's dying wish.
Bridget Asher's second novel draws on the same kind of everywoman's daydreams that made her first, "My Husband's Sweethearts," a success. How many women in secure but dull relationships have wondered what it would have been like with the one that got away?
After a weekend with Elliot and his lovably wacky family, Gwen is convinced she still loves him. But the problem with Asher's novel is not that it asks the reader to buy into a Hollywood-style version of true love and believe a monthlong fling in college could trump a years-long marriage.
The problem is that Asher foreshadows so much that the story is predictable. There's no surprise when Gwen and Elliot declare their love again, when she learns her husband is having an affair with her best friend (because otherwise, Gwen would be the guilty one) or when she leaves her marriage.
Asher's first novel, "My Husband's Sweethearts," had an unusual take on death and infidelity, but her follow-up has none of that freshness and a subplot dealing with Gwen's grief over her mother's death feels forced. In short, "The Pretend Wife" feels a little too out of touch with the reality of marriage.
The setting was divine — a duplex on the Upper East Side. The featured speaker, Nobel laureate Toni Morrison.
The subjects: sex, violence and profanity.
In other words, the stuff that books are banned for.
Some 50 publishers, writers and other First Amendment supporters gathered over cocktails Wednesday night to launch the Free Speech Leadership Council, an advocacy arm of the National Coalition Against Censorship, a nonprofit founded in 1974.
Former HarperCollins CEO Jane Friedman, who hosted the event at her apartment, is the council's chair.
"I don't see how you can be in publishing for 40 years and not care about this," Friedman said.
Morrison, 78, has long experience with censorship. Her novels "Beloved," "Song of Solomon" and "The Bluest Eye" have frequently been threatened with removal from library shelves — and sometimes pulled — because of sexual, racial or violent content.
Seated regally in Friedman's living room as other guests stood around her, Morrison said the problem was fear — fear of information, dating back to the book of Genesis and the fatal temptation of the Tree of Knowledge.
"Knowledge is bad" is the Bible's message, Morrison said, while being interviewed by author-humorist Fran Lebowitz. "It is sinful. It will corrupt you and you will die."
And that fear still "floats around in the back of the brain," Morrison added, noting how slaves once risked their lives to learn to read. "To know stuff is a bad thing. It has consequences, and the consequences are death."
Also attending was Judy Blume, whose books, too, often show up on lists of banned works. The author, whose novels include "Forever" and "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret," joked about being forbidden as a girl to read John O'Hara's novel of a woman's uncontainable sexual desire, "A Rage to Live."
Blume, 61, first became aware of the book around age 9, when her mother warned not to look at the book, especially a certain page. The library would not allow Blume to borrow it without written permission.
When she finally got her hands on it, Blume found the novel "very satisfying.
"My husband may not like this, but I did not become a nymphomaniac," she joked.
At the end of event, signed copies were handed out of a new release edited by Morrison, "Burn This Book," which compiles essays by Morrison, John Updike, Salman Rushdie and others about writing and its risks and challenges.
On Wednesday night, Morrison recalled a letter being sent to her publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, from a Texas inmate, who informed the author that "Song of Solomon" was not permitted at the prison because it might start a riot.
"And I thought, `What a powerful book,'" Morrison said. "This book is so powerful."
Join us for an unforgettable show with national best-selling author Angela Winters. We will be chatting with her live about her book "A Price To Pay!" Angela has been in the industry for a very long time and continues to stay on her game. We will also get to know who she is and why she has such longevity in the literary world. So mark your calenders for a fabulous book chat with the one and only Angela Winters!
She will be on the show (www.blogtalkradio.com/diva29) on Friday June 19 at 1pm cst (4pm est).
To find out more information on national best-selling author Angela Winters go to: www.viewparkonline.com
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Publishers are learning from music labels' struggle to make online music profitable and combat piracy, but so-called e-books will only add value to the industry and not replace printed books, experts say.
Amid a global economic downturn, the publishing industry is also trying to deal with a growing demand for online content driven by advances in technology with electronic readers like Amazon.com's Kindle and Sony Corp's Reader.
But it is learning from music labels, who have seen a shift in fans to digital sales from physical sales. These labels have filed countless lawsuits to combat free online music-sharing sites, while trying to make digital distribution profitable.
"Our aim is not to beat up the music industry ... but that said, they sure did screw it up," Andrew Albanese, Publisher's Weekly features editor, told a panel discussion on the topic at the recent Book Expo America in New York City.
Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired magazine, told the panel the Internet broke the traditional physical distribution model for music and is now doing the same for publishing.
But while he said the popularity of the MP3 music format is a rejection by fans of compact discs, "the difference is with books there's nothing wrong with books, the book is not a value-subtract medium but a value-add medium."
"Over time (e-books) will tend to enhance and contribute to the success of the book rather than replace it," he said.
While the music industry fought free music-sharing sites such as Napster and Kazaa in court, Jared Friedman, co-founder of social publishing website Scribd, said he was optimistic about the transition of the publishing industry.
"We seem to be going straight from an Adams model to an iTunes model and skipping the many years of Napster's and Kazaa's that went in between for the music industry," he said.
Apple Inc's online music store iTunes dominates the sale of digital music, but Friedman said it was important that publishers encourage a more competitive marketplace.
"It's clear now that there's going to be enough demand for books distributed as digital content, that there is going to have to be a digital distribution mechanism for books," he said. "If we handle the transition correctly the electronic model may actually monetize better than the print model."
But Penguin USA chief executive David Shanks and president Susan Kennedy are still wary of the piracy of digital books. Penguin is owned by British publishing group Pearson.
"The thing that's the most frightening is this sense of some people that everything should be free," Kennedy told Reuters at the Book Expo
Shanks added: "Piracy is an issue that we're concerned about.
"The industry still feels that we need some sort of digital rights management ... and that's sort of evolving," he said.
Oren Teicher, the chief operating officer and incoming chief executive officer of the American Booksellers Association, said one of the key challenges is the creation of open platforms that allow all retailers to sell digital books.
"There are very clear lessons and we are very conscious of trying to prevent repetition of what happened in the music industry," he told Reuters. "The challenge for us is to incorporate all the new ways that people access information and to continue to be relevant in that dialogue."
Check out the interview with national best-selling author Trisha R Thomas chatting with blog talk's Literary Diva. Her book "nappily faithful and "nappily ever after" have made a huge impact on so many. Check out the interview!
Join us as we chat with new author Antwan floyd about his book "Crew Love." He will be joining us for literary Wed on June 10 at 3pm cst. We will be getting to know him as a father, an author and of course his book (Crew Love). So get ready for some series street lit from new author Antwan Floyd. His book will be release very soon so reserve your copy today. Meanwhile checkout Antwan Floyd; www.myspace.com/antwanfloyd
DIVA'S NATION: THE YEAR OF SOUND, MIND AND BODY! COMING SOON!
Join us for our new series "Diva's Nation." This exciting new series will cover all aspects of life, food, how-to's, relations-relationships, fashion, news and more. Everything at your fingertips will be here on "Diva Nation." So get ready for a fun new series starting Wed Jan 5 at 12pm est. Remember it's going to be a new year so why not start the year off with us for our weekly "Diva's Nation" experience. Stay tuned and keep it locked.
Tune in live on Wed Jan 5 @ 12pm est at www.blogtalkradio.com/diva29