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The latest book news for the week of April 6, 1990

Bret Easton Ellis, Stephen King, and Barbara Goldsmith were in the news this week

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Bum Wrap
Charter subscribers to environmentally minded Garbage magazine received a special gift — a lapel pin shaped like a little garbage can. Unfortunately, the pins were packed in nonbiodegradable plastic bubble wrap. Readers also have chastised Garbage for accepting ads from General Electric, which readers feel has a controversial environmental record.

Rules of Subtraction
Literary brat-packer Bret Easton Ellis has just finished his third novel — tentatively titled American Psycho — which Simon & Schuster will publish early in 1991. ”It’s about a young businessman who works at Shearson and is also a serial murderer,” Ellis says. Like his previous books, Less Than Zero and The Rules of Attraction, Psycho is a chronicle of excesses. But Ellis insists his new characters, mostly young crash-era Wall Streeters, have more in their heads than high finance and high times: ”It is not so much about losing their jobs as about losing their minds.”

King of Hearts
Stephen King, in a recent speech in Portland, Ore.: ”People want to know why I do this, why I write such gross stuff. I like to tell them I have the heart of a small boy — and I keep it in a jar on my desk.”

Slow Fire
Ten years ago, when author Barbara Goldsmith was working on Little Gloria… Happy at Last, she discovered that much of her research material, printed on the acid paper in use since 1850, was disintegrating. So Goldsmith began a drive to use acid-free, or alkaline, paper. Backed by writers’ and publishers’ organizations, she persuaded a number of major publishing houses to switch to alkaline paper. And she got Congress involved. The Senate has passed a bill requiring all important government documents to be printed on alkaline paper, and Goldsmith hopes it will pass in the House before the end of the year. But she doesn’t want to stop there. ”I’d like to see every paper mill stop using destructive additives so our cultural heritage will be around in 500 years instead of evaporating in three decades.”

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