Today in books and publishing: The woman at the center of the Polanski trial has a book deal; National Book Award finalists are announced; Dennis Lehane corrects a reviewer on a character's race; Amazon ranks authors.
Samantha Geimer on being the Polanski "Sex Victim Girl." Aside from being under house arrest in Switzerland until 2010, Roman Polanski has gotten off pretty easy for having sex with a drugged 13-year-old girl in 1977. He's gone on to direct Oscar-winning films and enjoy continuing critical praise. The girl at the center of the case hasn't fared so well. Samantha Geimer says that following the crime, she's been reduced to the tag "Sex Victim Girl" by the media. Now 47, Geimer plans to write a memoir to be published in the fall of 2013 by Atria Books titled The Girl: Emerging from the Shadow of Roman Polanski. "I offer my story now without rage, but with purpose," Geimer says. "To share a tale that in its detail will reclaim my identity. I have been dogged by tired thinking and easy tags nearly my entire life. I am not a stick figure. I know what it is like to be a woman and a victim in the realest possible way." [Wall Street Journal]
Finalists in the National Book Awards. Junot Diaz continues to have the best year ever. After lining his bank account with all that MacArthur grant loot, he now finds himself in the running for a National Book Award in fiction. His contenders in fiction include Dave Eggers, Louise Erdich, Ben Fountain, and Kevin Powers. For nonfiction, the National Book Foundation nominated Anthony Shadid posthumously for his memoir House of Stone. LBJ biographer Robert A. Caro, Behind the Beautiful Forevers author Katherine Boo, and Anne Applebaum and Domingo Martinez round out the category. Poets in the running for an NBA include David Ferry, Cynthia Huntington, Tim Seibles, Alan Shapiro, and Susan Wheeler. Finalists in the young adult category include William Alexander, Carrie Arcos, Eliot Schrefer, Patricia McCormick, and Steve Sheinkin. The winners will be announced on November 14 in a ceremony where Elmore Leonard will receive a medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters and New York Times publisher and chairman Arthur O. Sulzberger, Jr. will get the Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community. [The New York Times]