October 2010 News
October 29, 2010
“I have to reject the notion that I am a “self-identified pacifist” for the simple reason that I haven’t self-identified as a pacifist. The only alternatives are not to be an advocate for war and violence or to be dead. There is another possibility: that of being a nonviolent activist.” —David Swanson
“. . . Movements that seek radical political change—the restructuring of society and/or the redistribution of wealth and power—are rarely successful when they limit themselves to nonviolent tactics. I say “rarely” because anything is possible. But I’m a student of history and I can’t think of any. ” —Ted Rall
October 15, 2010
When novelist, screenwriter, and poet Barry Gifford submitted a manuscript of 42 interlinked short stories to his longtime publisher, Dan Simon at Seven Stories, both Simon and the press’s publicist Ruth Weiner thought that their kids would enjoy it. Now Seven Stories is in the midst of readying Gifford’s Sad Stories of the Death of Kings for both children and adults. It will be the press’s first book to be released simultaneously, in paper over board for older teens and paperback original for adults, and it will feature two different pieces of cover art.
Although Gifford wrote the book for adults, he likes the idea of dual editions. “I thought, Why not? I’m happy to have this double-barreled publication,” he said. Not only was Gifford aware of Sherman Alexie’s successful transition to YA, but Simon asked him only to change one sentence. The new sentence ended up going into both editions. —From Publishers Weekly
October 13, 2010
So it would seem that even a completely gentrified San Francisco offers writers a rich vein of noir opportunity. Yet the lone novelist today determinedly probing the dark side of San Francisco’s endless battle to clean up the streets is Peter Plate. Plate’s latest novel, Elegy Written on a Crowded Street (Seven Stories Press, 176 pages, $13.95), is his ninth noir novel in a hardboiled writing career that spans the era of out-of-control gentrification in the city.
With little fanfare or support, against the real life backdrop of police sweeps of the homeless and the start of the dot-com boom, Plate has produced a shelf of books that represent a lonely, yet noble and deeply radical literary effort to write noir crime fiction in which the criminals, not the cops, are the protagonists. Taken as a whole, they offer a compelling and defiant portrait of the psychic toll the disappearance of loved people, places, and opportunity from the city has taken on those left behind. — San Francisco Bay Guardian on Peter Plate
October 13, 2010
The photo you’re looking at is a copy of Ralph Nader’s “Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!”, just last week published in China for the first time by Hunan Literature and Art Publishing House — and signed by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett — as fiction slowly becomes reality. Congratulations to Ralph Nader!
October 12, 2010
“I waited this long to post here because I don’t always think it is going to get better,” [Hello, Cruel World author Kate] Bornstein says in her video for the ["It Gets Better"] project. “Sometimes it gets worse, a whole lot worse than I thought it would get worse.”
“I had to wait until I thought it would [get better]. This is a day I think it’s going to get better. It only took me a week to get to this day, so what do you know?” she says. “It got better!” — Josh Fernandez of Temple News, on Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” project
October 5, 2010
I was very clear with the authors that I was more interested in them talking about how they created — those environments, more than the environments and methods where they destroyed themselves. I do a workshop on art and self-destruction. In one exercise, we describe the physical environment where we hurt ourselves — where do we do it — what’s happening. We write this anonymously and read — and it’s always the same room. It’s always the same dark room, and the shades are drawn, and the air is crystallized with an uncertainty of our fate. We know those dark places so well; we don’t need them described. What is far more important, is seeing the environment of the way out. — Sabrina Chapadjiev, interviewed for Mildred Pierce