Today in books and publishing: Publishers close but many stores open; 419 author takes Canada's big literary award; Mo Yan-brand liquor; will Penguin have to change its look for the merger?
Surveying the hurricane's damage to publishing, booksellers. As we reported yesterday, many bookstores were spared in Hurricane Sandy's passing through New York. Though power remains out for many Manhattan stores like McNally Jackson and Housing Works, booksellers in Brooklyn have already started reopening their doors—with the unfortunate exception of powerHouse Books in DUMBO. Owner Daniel Power estimates that the 28 inches of flooding his store sustained has caused anywhere from $15,000 to $50,000. That's bad news for a store that lacks flood insurance. See powerHouse's twitter stream for the ugly aftermath, as well as the New York Daily News' video below for the cleanup efforts. As for the New York City offices of publishers, most are closed, with many lacking power and Internet. Lest we forget, New York isn't the only place where books are bought and sold. Shelf Awareness has the most comprehensive roundup of affected bookstores, including how locations in Connecticut, New Jersey, Vermont, and Delaware weathered the storm. [New York Daily News]
Will Ferguson takes 2012's Giller. Canada really goes all out for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. As all out as Canada can go, anyway. Televised on the CBC, the black tie ceremony for the country's swankiest literary award had Kim Cattrall, an Olympic gold medalist, and other celebrities introduce the authors. So author Will Ferguson might have looked a bit out of place dressed in a Scottish kilt, but he could get away with it last night. The Calgary author took home the Giller for his novel 419, a quick-plotted thriller. The genre title is an unusual pick for this literary prize, which Ferguson acknowledged by thanking the award panel for "taking books on their own merits without any preconceptions, which is what jurors are supposed to do." He also noted the show-biz quality of the ceremony, saying, "I love the fact that in Canada literature is given the red-carpet treatment ... This is such an eccentric, eclectic, weird country." Ferguson will take home $50,000 in prize money. [The Globe & Mail]