On the Books: University claims Elmore Leonard's archives
– Even if you don’t know the late author Elmore Leonard’s name, you probably know some of his work. Leonard, who passed away in 2013 at age 87, wrote more than 45 novels, including the Get Shorty and Rum Punch (which Quentin Tarantino later adapted for the screen with the title Jackie Brown). Leonard also wrote the television drama Justified.
Many expected the University of Texas, Austin, to acquire Leonard’s archives, but on Wednesday the University of South Carolina surprised insiders, announcing the Leonard estate chose it instead.
Elmore’s son, Peter, explained that his father admired the university and appreciated that it housed some papers from one of his idols, Ernest Hemingway. [L.A. Times]
– This has been a big week for book awards news. Add another one to the list: Author and activist Naomi Klein has won the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize—Canada’s richest non-fiction award—for her book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate. Klein said she hopes the award will help This Changes Everything expand beyond its “lefty audience.” [Publishers Weekly]
– Executives plan to transform independent publishing house McSweeney’s into a nonprofit. Dave Eggers, who founded the company in 1998, explained the move to SFGate: “We’ve always been a hand-to-mouth operation, and every year it gets just a little harder to be an independent publisher. An independent literary title that might have sold 10,000 copies 10 years ago might sell 6,000 now, for example. Now there’s the opportunity to raise money around a certain project or to write a grant for it, or even crowd-fund for it.” [SFGate]
– Andre Dubus III, best known for writing House of Sand and Fog, has made his native New England a big part of both his fictional and autobiographical works (Dirty Love and Townie, respectively). In an interview with Reuters, Dubus shared some thoughts about writing, constructing a landscape, and his most important characters. “A place has rhythms, a flow like a river,” said Dubus of writing about where he grew up. “There is a depth of authority a writer has when writing about a place they know well.”
But don’t count on the author getting one of those nifty new iPhones anytime soon. “I find it really depressing how many of us stare at screens in our hands,” Dubus said. “It’s like you walk into a room and everybody’s stoned. I’m never going to have [a smartphone]. I think we need to reclaim our solitude and the voices in our heads.” [Reuters]