Today in books and fiction: Twitter to celebrate very short stories; The Mo Yan-iest Place on Earth; Chris Ware's new graphic novel shuns e-reading; it's too early for 2013 Nobel odds.
Twitter Fiction Festival. Twitterphobic readers will probably roll their eyes at the thought of fiction condensed to 140 characters or less, but some scholars are calling Tweeting a "new literary practice." Twitter thinks its platform hosts some great fiction and plans to celebrate it with its first Twitter Fiction Festival scheduled for late November. The festival won't take place IRL (how old fashioned would that be), but will last for five days under the hashtag #twitterfiction. Many well regarded writers have turned to Twitter as a creative outlet in recent years. Jennifer Egan used Twitter to serialize her story "Black Box," later published in The New Yorker. Teju Cole's account is full of brief tales he calls "Small Fates." And John Wray used Twitter to follow the exploits of a character from his novel Lowboy who ended up on the cutting room floor. [Twitter Blog]
Mo Yan land. Chinese authorities couldn't be happier about Mo Yan's Nobel win. In fact, they're so thrilled that they want to share the author's life story with the world through tourist attractions. First up: fixing Yan's birthplace. The Beijing News reports officials are urging Yan's 90-year-old father to fix up the family farm in remote Gaomi county. "Your son is no longer your son, and the house is no longer your house," Shandong official Fan Hui told Yan's father. "It does not really matter if you agree or not," he said, because the home will inevitably be absorbed into the "Mo Yan Culture Experience Zone." Other plans have also been announced for the "Red Sorghum Culture and Experience Zone," a sort of theme park based on Yan's novel Red Sorghum where visitors will get to see real peasants cultivating real sorghum (even though the crop is now unprofitable). Sounds like government-mandated fun for the whole family! [The Telegraph]