The Authorized Biographer's Dilemma; Uggie Gets a Book Deal

This article is from the archive of our partner .

Today in publishing and literature: The release date of Joe Posnanski's authorized Joe Paterno biography gets moved up, a book based on a Tumblr that's actually worth buying, and Uggie the dog continues to extend his canine 15 minutes of fame.

Simon & Schuster has moved up the release date of Paterno, the authorized biography of the late Penn State coach by former Sports Illustrated columnist Joe Posnanski originally scheduled to come out next June, to late summer of this year. Meanwhile, biographers like David Maraniss admit they're fascinated to see how Posnanski -- who defended Paterno last year in a series of blog posts -- will incorporate the circumstances of Paterno's ignominious exit last November with a project that was pitched to publishers (and the Paterno family) in 2009 as an overwhelmingly positive look at a figure who changed college sports and academia for the better. [The New York Times]

It's always vaguely depressing when a beloved Tumblr publishes a book that's nothing but a few hundred blog posts bound together, topped off with a fancy cover and maybe an introduction by a semi-notable name. Jason Oberholtzer and Cody Westphal make it clear that's not the approach they took when writing the book version of I Love Charts, which comes out tomorrow. Mother Jones describes it as a "memoir told through charts," an assessment Oberholtzer doesn't disagree with, noting the project originally was supposed to be just another coffee table book. But "I felt weird writing a book that I didn't think needed to exist," he explains. "[N]ow I feel like it's at least self-contained and it's worth existing, for some reason."  [Mother Jones]

Recommended Reading

Galley Books is going to publish a joke memoir by Uggie, the Jack Russell terrier that appeared in The Artist. Slated to come out in October, Uggie: My Story will apparently be "transcribed by biographer and presumed dog whisperer Wendy Holden," which makes sense, because dogs are notoriously bad typers. [AP]

The Telegraph has a lengthy excerpt from Mrs. Robinson's Disgrace, the new Victorian-era true crime tale from Kate Summerscale, who covered similar terrain back in 2008 with The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher. That book was very good, and Mrs. Robinson's Disgrace looks to be more of the same: class intrigue, scandal, and an unsolvable mystery that readers will feel compelled to try and solve.   [The Telegraph]

Some of the 20th Century's most celebrated American authors cut their teeth working for daily newspapers. With fewer publications sending writers out on assignment, there's a case to be made that literature will also suffer in a world with fewer and fewer daily newspapers.Try to imagine what would have become of Hemingway, that shell-shocked World War I vet, if he hadn’t found work on the Kansas City Star, and later, the job as a foreign correspondent for the Toronto Star that allowed him to move to Paris and raise a family." writes Michael Bourne. He also notes Hunter S. Thompson's "best books began as paid reporting assignments." It's not that new voices can't emerge from, say the blogosphere, but that those writers aren't getting the chance to go out into the world and cultivate the experiences that will later serve as the basis from important books. [The Millions]

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.