Books

The Difference Between Lena Dunham and Aziz Ansari’s Million-Dollar Book Deals

Hey, remember when Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s ‘Learned’ (now a book that you can touch with your own hands), was first announced to the media in late 2012? Headlines like “Lena Dunham has a memoir” and “Lena Dunham’s memoir is going to auction $1 million as a minimum” were the source of quite a few slings and arrows in the press.

Dunham’s memoir sold for an advance of $3.7 million, a price that was par for the course in the context of the slew of celebrity memoirs that hits bookstores each month — just a year later, Parks and Recreation‘s Aziz Ansari, sold his currently untitled book, described as a look at “modern romance,” for $3.5 million. I was reminded of this when writing about Not That Kind of Girl earlier, and I thought that Dunham’s and Anzari’s advances were worth some comparison. … Read More

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2014 Kirkus Prize Finalists Announced

Hey! It’s a book prize that actually offers a significant amount of money to the recipients, and the list of… Read More

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Flavorwire Roundtable: Is Lena Dunham a Voice of a Generation in ‘Not That Kind of Girl’?

We are living through a golden age of the female-comedian memoir. Stoked by Chelsea Handler’s consistently bestselling memoirs about drinking and sex, the genre became a full-on trend with Tina Fey’s Bossypants in 2011. The latest example is Not That Kind of Girl, the debut book by Girls creator, writer, director, and lead actress Lena Dunham. Notable for garnering a $3.7 million advance and much attendant outrage, it’s filled with essays about the 28-year-old artist’s life so far, with subjects ranging from childhood to boys to work. So, beyond the hype, is Not That Kind of Girl any good? And is Dunham the voice of our generation — or a voice of a? Four Flavorwire staffers have four different… Read More

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Joanna Newsom Will Narrate ‘Inherent Vice’ as “Earth Goddess”-Like Character

Finally, Joanna Newsom makes an appearance after her marriage to Adam Samberg—but not, unfortunately, with a new album; rather,… Read More

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What It Means to Be “Wanted” : Saeed Jones on His Book ‘Prelude to Bruise’

“Thank you Max, for that maaaarvelous introduction,” seethes Bette Midler circa 1993, from inside Saeed Jones’s Twitter account. In fact, tonight, it seems he’s been live-tweeting Hocus Pocus. I’m oscillating between this amusing distraction and lines from his new book, Prelude to Bruise, like, “If I ever strangled sparrows/it was only because I dreamed/of better songs.” If this is how poetry works these days, then I’m all for it — Yeats might have been interested in the occult, but I don’t believe he ever wrote about Kathy Najimy’s witchcraft. … Read More

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Ursula K. Le Guin and Other Literary Heavyweights Call Amazon/Hachette “Censorship”

In this morning’s New York Times, Ursula K. Le Guin has some strong words against Amazon, regarding the… Read More

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“Why Are They Sabotaging Us?” Famous Authors Speak Out on Amazon vs. Hachette

The war between Amazon and Hachette has dominated this year’s book news. But what gets lost in this fight — a fight which is taking place, as noted by Sherman Alexie, between giant corporations — is that the authors are the ones who are suffering. And lord knows authors suffer enough already. They stayed quiet during the first months of this fight, hoping, probably, that some concession would be made in favor of humanity rather than corporations. But as Amazon vs. Hachette drags on, big-name authors from Neil Gaiman to Malcolm Gladwell to Sherman Alexie are speaking out against Amazon’s bullish practices. Here’s what they have to… Read More

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Why OkCupid Users Don’t Mind Being Lab Rats: Christian Rudder on His New Book ‘Dataclysm’

OkCupid co-founder and president Christian Rudder is a man of many talents. He may be best known as the “voice” of the site, with his entertaining and witty writing on the OkTrends blog, where he parses all sorts of user data to come up with some fascinating insights into our universally weird human nature. For example, here’s one difference between the way women and men look at the dating market: … Read More

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