Today in books and publishing: Depp to publish "authentic" books; a female version of Holden Caulfield; the First Amendment protects phone books; a Chinese writer receives a prestigious German prize.
Johnny Depp is a publisher now. Johnny Depp is a very literary guy. He even played a writer once in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. And now HarperCollins is more than happy to entrust him with his very own imprint. Called Infinitum Nihil, Depp's project will only trade in the most "authentic, outspoken, and visionary" of books. Book like Douglas Brinkley's The Unraveled Tales of Bob Dylan, coming in 2015. It will also print Woody Guthrie's unpublished novel House of Earth, which Brinkley and Depp wrote about in The New York Times Book Review recently. "We will do our best to deliver publications worthy of people's time, of people's concern," Depp writes in a statement. "Publications that might ordinarily never have breached the parapet." [USA Today]
Holden Caulfield returns. Who does The Catcher in the Rye's narrator belong to? J.D. Salinger's estate predictably argues that Holden Caulfield belongs to them and them alone. But is there ever a point when characters like Caulfield become so widely read, so intertwined with pop culture writ large, that they start to belong to everyone? Y.A. author Mary O'Connell thinks she has some claim to the character, because she's using Salinger's creation as the protagonist of her first novel for adults, In the Rye. In this story, Caulfield is a female high school senior who sets out to find her literature teacher who vanished somewhere in Manhattan. Amy Einhorn Books will publish the book, but not without some pushback. John David California was prevented from publishing his book 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye by the Salinger estate's lawyers in 2009. [The New York Times]