Today in publishing and literature: Paul Auster is fighting with the prime minister of Turkey, a comprehensive guide to the best literary Tumblrs, and Billy Ray Cyrus is the latest celebrity to benefit from Amazon Publishing's largesse.
Amazon has responded to the suggestion that its newly-launched publishing arm is short on big-name authors by announcing they've reached a deal to publish a memoir by Billy Ray Cyrus. Take that, Farrar, Straus and Giroux! Terms weren't released, but the book is called Hillbilly Heart, and is slated to come out in the spring of 2013. In a press release, Cyrus promised to write with "great candor" about his career and famous daughter, an approach that worked well for him in his lengthy, sad-sack interview with GQ last year. [GalleyCat]
Uh-oh: Paul Auster, the author of the confusing but highly-praised New York Trilogy, is fighting with the Turkish government. It's the first instance of an American postmodern novelist trading barbs with the prime minister of a Eurasian country that we can recall, and it started earlier this week when Auster complained to the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet that his request to come to the country and visit with jailed authors and journalists had been denied. "Us Democrats got rid of the Bushes," Auster grumbled. "We got rid of Cheney who should have been put on trial for war crimes. What is going on in Turkey?" Turkey's prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan didn't like that, and responded on Wednesday: "As if we need you!" Erdogan scoffed. "Who cares if you come or not? Would Turkey lose any grandeur?" He went on to criticize Auster for visiting Israel and called him "an ignorant man." Auster continues presses the issue on why he can't visit any of the nearly 100 writers currently jailed in Turkey. It's worth noting that Auster is vice president of PEN American Center, which closely monitors the status of imprisoned writers around the world, which explains the initial request. Corrected An earlier version of this item mistakenly attributed the "ignorant man" line to Auster, rather than Erdogan. [The Guardian]