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Today in literature: the National Book Award finalists are announced, an excerpt from Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs biography explains the origins of his trademark blackturtleneck, and HarperCollins is giving Dennis Lehane his own imprint.

  • The finalists for the 2011 National Book Awards were announced on a special live broadcast of the Oregon Public Broadcasting show Think Out Loud. The five finalists in the Young People's Literature category are: My Name is Not Easy by Debby Dahl Edwardson, Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai, Flesh and Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy by Albert Marrin, Shine by Lauren Myracle, and Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt. The final five for poetry includes: Tonight No Poetry Will Serve by Adrienne Rich, Head Off & Split by Nikkey Finney, The Chameleon Couch by Yusef Komunyakka, Devotions by Carl Smith, and Double Shadow by Carl Phillips. In the non-fiction category, the finalists are The Convert by Deborah Phillips, Love and Capital by Mary Gabriel, The Swerve by Stephen Greenblatt, Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable, and Radioactive by Lauren Redniss. The five finalists in fiction include: The Sojourn by Andrew Krivak, The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht, The Buddha in the Attic by Julia Otsuka, Binocular Vision by Edith Pearlman, and Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward. One title notably absent from the fiction category was Jeffrey Eugenides' new novel The Marriage Plot[OPB]
  • Walter Isaacson's upcoming Steve Jobs biography includes an explanation from the late Apple co-founder about the origins of his signature black turtlenecks. In an excerpt of the book Isaacson sent to Gawker, Jobs recalls that in the 1980s he commissioned designer Issey Miyake to design a uniform for Apple employees. The result, described by Isaacson as "a jacket made of rip-stop nylon with sleeves that could unzip to make it a vest" wasn't well-received with employees, but Jobs liked the convenience of having a uniform for himself. "So I asked Issey to make me some of his black turtlenecks that I liked, and he made me like a hundred of them," he recalled . "That's what I wear...I have enough to last me the rest of my life."  [Gawker]
  • Mystic River author Dennis Lehane is getting his own imprint at HarperCollins that will publish titles with "a dark urban edge." HarperCollins also signed a deal with Anthony Bourdain last month to publish "three-to-five" titles acquired by the No Reservations host each year through its Ecco imprint. [The New York Observer]
  • Amy Winehouse's dad Mitch has signed a deal with HarperCollins to write a memoir about his late daughter. Called Amy, My Daughter, the book will be released next summer. According to The Independent, Winehouse's deal with HarperCollins will "benefit the charity set up in [Amy's] name" following her death last July after struggles with alcohol and drugs. [The Independent]

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