'The Help' Is a Romping, Stomping Kindle Monster

Plus: R. Crumb snubs Australian design festival over 'pervert' flap

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Today in the book world: The Help makes Kindle history, HBO is developing The Art of Fielding, and Steve Hillard's Tolkien alternate history inches towards the screen.

  • Kathryn Stockett's novel The Help is the first single title to sell over one million copies on Kindle. Authors like James Patterson and Janet Evanovich and Michael Connelly are all members of the so-called "Kindle million club," but they all got there based on the strength of multiple books. [paid Content]
  • HBO is developing author Chad Harbach's upcoming debut novel The Art of Fielding for a possible series, with Scott Rudin attached to executive produce. Harbach made headlines back in 2010 when he sold the book, about five individuals on a Midwest liberal arts campus connected together by a stray baseball throw, to Little, Brown for $650,000 after a "a two-day telephone auction of eight publishers," according to Bloomberg. At the time, Harbach had just lost his job as a copy editor. He's one of the five founders of nonprofit literary magazine n+1. [The Millions via Variety]
  • Graphic novelist, comedian, and illustrator R. Crumb cancelled an appearance at Graphic, "a weekend of graphic storytelling, animation & music" held at the Sydney Opera House after the city's Sunday Telegraph ran an article identifying Crumb as "a self-confessed sex pervert" whose material "sparked outrage with sexual assault crisis groups." The Fritz the Cat creator told The Australian he was withdrawing from next week's festival, explaining, "I have a lot of anxiety about having to confront some angry sexual assault crisis group." [unBeige]
  • Author Steve Hillard has signed a deal with EMO Films to develop his novel Mirkwood: A Life of JRR Tolkien for the screen. Earlier this year, Hillard had to resolve a claim by Tolkien's estate, who claimed Hillard fictional depiction of the Lord of the Rings author as a WWII codebreaker would infringe on his name and likeness. Eventually, the book was able to be published ith a modified reference to Tolkien on its cover along with a disclaimer, 'This is a work of fiction which is neither endorsed nor connected with The J.R.R. Tolkien Estate or its publisher.'" [The Hollywood Reporter]
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.