Today in books and publishing: Man Booker longlist announced; unpacking the DOJ's e-books suit; DC delays new Batman comic; titles censored in China sell quick in Hong Kong.
Books banned in China sell quickly in Hong Kong. China's strict censorship policies make it hard for citizens to get their hands on books about the Tiananmen Square crackdown, scandals within the party, or any other subjects officials deem too controversial for mass consumption. But in Hong Kong, a special administrative region proud of its free press, bookstores gladly stock titles banned on the mainland. And they turn quite a business by catering to vacationing Chinese curious to read taboo works. "I want to know the inside stories of the party," said one man shopping at a bookstore called People's Commune during his visit to Hong Kong, adding, "there is no way you can get those inside China." The owner of People's Commune Deng Zi Qiang estimates that 95 percent of his customers come from mainland China. [CNN]
DC holds Batman back for a month. In light of the Aurora shooting, DC Entertainment is postponing the release of a new Batman comic book. In a statement released Tuesday, DC writes that they've decided to wait a month before putting out Batman Inc #3 because, "the comic contains content that may be perceived as insensitive in light of recent events." Chris Burnham, who draws Batman Inc comic, tweeted that the imagery in question goes beyond basic comic book violence into uncanny, uncomfortable territory: "It's not just a Batman comic with guns in it. There's a specific scene that made DC & the whole Bat-team say 'Yikes.' Too close for comfort." [Reuters]
Man Booker Prize longlist. The longlist for this year's Man Booker Prize was announced today. This list features Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel, Umbrella by Will Self, Skios by Michael Frayn, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce, Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil, and six others. "We did not set out to reject the old guard but, after a year of sustained critical argument by a demanding panel of judges, the new has come powering through," writes Man Booker chairman Peter Stothard. Notable omissions include Martin Amis' Lionel Asbo: State of England, Zadie Smith's NW, Ian McEwan's Sweet Tooth, and anything by a Canadian author. [The Guardian]
Breaking down this DOJ e-book suit. There are many issues at stake in the Justice Department's suit against Apple and major publishers for allegedly conspiring to fix e-books prices. But so far, most debate about the case has been limited to the question of whether or not Amazon monopolizes the e-books market. By looking at holes in the arguments coming from both sides of the debate, Jeremy Greenfield raises some other interesting questions. Did e-book prices actually spike after Apple introduced higher price points, as the DOJ alleges? Does the agency pricing set forth by Apple and major publishers undermine or promote "unfettered competition?" And even if agency pricing were to be struck down, would Amazon realistically be able to establish a monopoly over e-books? [Digital Book World]
This nifty chart tells Hunger Games fans what to read next. [Lawrence, Kansas Public Library]
Ang Lee's Life of Pi adaptation gets a trailer. [Toronto Star]
NPR wants to know your favorite YA book. [NPR]
Andrew Hadfield says Ben Jonson > Shakespeare. [The Telegraph]
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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