The John Carter Revival; Westeros Comes to Springfield

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Today in publishing and literature: Random House increases the price libraries have to pay for e-books, a Jose Saramago novel sees the light-of-day 59 years after it was written, and the house where Truman Capote wrote Breakfast at Tiffany's sells for $11 million.

When the Library of America edition of Edgar Rice Burroughs's Princess of Mars come out next month, it will feature an introduction by Junot Diaz, who won a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award for his 2007 novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. As The New York Times notes, that's "quite an elevation" for a century-old, slightly clunky pulp novel about a Civil War veteran who wakes up on Mars (naked, for some reason) and promptly becomes involved in various Martian conflicts. Then again, Disney spent a whopping $250 million on John Carter, a 3-D adaptation of Princess of Mars that comes out Friday, which seems like an even bigger elevation. [The New York Times]

Claraboya, a previously unpublished manuscript from the late Jose Saramago, the author of Blindness and Baltasar and Blimunda, has finally been released in his native Portugal, 59 years after the then-unknown author sent it to a publisher and never heard back. Though the publisher eventually found the submission in 1989 and told the Nobel Prize winner that they wanted to publish it, he refused. Random House, which publishes Saramago's work in the United Kingdom, apparently will "consider" publishing an English translation of the text. The translated version of Raised from the Ground, another unpublished novel by Saramago -- this time from 1980 -- will be released this summer. [The Guardian]

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In former homes of famous authors news: the Brooklyn Heights mansion where Truman Capote wrote Breakfast at Tiffany's has sold for $12 million after two years on the market. That's the highest price ever paid for a single-family home in Brooklyn. Capote rented a downstairs apartment in the 18-room residence, which we're guessing was at least as nice as John Updike's boyhood bedroom. [New York Daily News]

Last night's episode of The Simpsons featured a spot-on tribute to the Game of Thrones credit sequence. While we understand that fans of the original George R.R. Martin novels that inspired the HBO series may have an entirely different vision of what the kingdom of Westeros looks like, we believe they still should be flattered to see Monty Burns playing the villainous King Joffrey. That's still one of the highest cultural honors America can offer. [Arts Beat]

Random House, the only "Big 6" publisher not to place a restriction on the number of times libraries can lend out e-book editions of their books, went ahead and tripled the price of their e-books for libraries. Understandably, the American Library Association has issued a statement that "strongly urges" the publisher to reconsider the price hike. Random House spokesman Stuart Applebaum said the publisher is open to "continuing discussions" about the pricing model, which is nice to hear, but does absolutely nothing to help the cause of cash-strapped librarians trying to keep their selections fresh. [Publishers Weekly]

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