Today in books and publishing: Martin Amis talks class; agent to the literary stars Tina Bennett has a new employer; the Justice Department responds to criticism of its investigation of Apple's e-book pricing; dispatches from the Rare Book School.
DOJ moves forward with Apple lawsuit. The Department of Justice received more than 850 public comments on its e-books price-fixing lawsuit against Apple and a handful of major publishers, most of them criticizing the DOJ side-stepping Amazon. Many critics, including Senator Charles Schumer, argue that Amazon's low wholesale pricing has given the retailer a dangerous monopoly on e-books. In a 64-page response, the DOJ says it plans to move forward with the case despite such complaints. Even if evidence could prove that Amazon used predatory pricing to gain a monopoly over the e-books market, writes the DOJ, Apple still colluded with publishers to raise prices, forcing consumers to "pay tens of millions of dollars more for e-books than they otherwise would have paid." [Ars Technica]
Dispatches from the Rare Book School. The Rare Book School is a five-week summer intensive at the University of Virginia where book lovers congregate to geek out over antiquarian, seldom-handled books. The whole thing sounds incredibly nerdy. Participants shine "mini light sabers called Zelcos" on pages, hoping to find clues about books' origins. They say things like "A book is a coalescence of human intentions" with a straight face. They even play drinking games to the gaffes in The Ninth Gate, a film starring Johnny Depp as a dubious rare books specialist. [The New York Times]
High-profile literary agent joins WME. Tina Bennett—literary agent to name-brand authors such as Malcolm Gladwell, Amy Chua, Fareed Zakaria and Laura Hillenbrand—is jumping from Janklow & Nesbit Associates to the New York literary division of William Morris Endeavor. She's been with Janklow & Nesbit since 1994, and her client list has featured many recognizable names. Bennett serves on the board of the Guggenheim Foundation. She's also a fellow of the New York Institute for the Humanities and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. [Galley Cat]
Class with Martin Amis. The infamous British novelist, who recently left London for Brooklyn, talks with New York magazine about his latest novel Lionel Asbo: State of England. The book has been taking flak for its unflattering portrayal of England's working classes, and Amis has a lot to say about how inequality structures life in England and America. At times, his compliments come off as condescending: "When I talk to these lowlife friends of mine and acquaintances, I’m amazed how brilliant they are." Elsewhere, he decries the widening gulf between haves and have-nots: "I think it’s tremendously demoralizing for a society when the divide gets that big." [New York]
A shortlist of great American novelists that leaves out Harper Lee and DFW. [The Guardian]
What do Kathy Acker, China Miéville and John Irving have in common? Tattoos. [Flavorwire]
TED Books: like TED Talks, without the talking. [Publishers Weekly]
Anna Karenina, as filmed by Atonement director Joe Wright. [Screen Rant]
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.