The Hard-Working Little Publisher Keeping Local History Books Alive

“Arcadia’s business turns the traditional publishing model on its head. Big New York publishers are looking for the next blockbuster to sell 2 million copies across the English-speaking world in a month. Arcadia wants to find a book that will sell 1,000 copies this year in, say, McMullen Valley, Ariz.” Says the company’s CEO, “The books are completely evergreen. Once you publish them, they sell forever. So even though the initial numbers are modest, you’re creating a kind of annuity.” – The Washington Post

Novelist Writes New Narnia Book With Out C.S. Lewis Estate’s Permission

Francis Spufford, who won a Costa Book Award and an Ondaatje Prize for his 2016 book Golden Hill, has spent 3½ years working on a Narnia prequel he’s titled The Stone Table. “After finishing the novel, Spufford made a ‘tentative’ approach to ask the Lewis estate if they might agree to publication, but did not receive a reply. Eventually he printed up 75 copies and started giving them to friends” — who are praising it to the skies. – The Guardian

How The Internet Is Changing How We Preserve Endangered Languages

Across the world, language revitalization movements are attempting to reverse language loss. While levels of institutional support and overall strategies differ, the goal is the same. Language is more than a way to communicate basic information, it expresses culture and identity: it’s used to explain the surrounding world, to sing songs, to worship, and to pass on stories. Languages are a link that bond people in a community to each another and to their shared past. – The Outline

Against The Bad Sex In Fiction Awards

Catherine Brown: “At the risk of taking too-seriously an award of which the keynote is not seriousness, there are several problems involved in this that are worth considering. One is the implicit hypocrisy that the award has brought great publicity to its parent magazine because of the very fact – which the award ostensibly disparages – that sex sells.” – IAI News

When Culture Is At The End Of An Algorithm, We Lose The Juice Of Engaging With It

Christian Lorentzen: “The new books coverage is more like litter. Endless lists of recommendations blight the landscape with superlatives that are hard to believe, especially, as is inevitable, when they aren’t drawn from the work of critics but compiled by poorly paid writers who haven’t read the books they’re recommending, a standard practice in preview lists. Proliferating recommendations become what Elizabeth Hardwick called ‘a hidden dissuader, gently, blandly, respectfully denying whatever vivacious interest there might be in books or in literary matters generally.’ Readers are better served by the algorithm, which never pretends to have an actual opinion.” – Harper’s

The Booker Prize-Winner Who Underwent An Exorcism

Marlon James knew he was gay from a young age, but he believed he shouldn’t be, so he underwent an exorcism through his church. “He describes the exorcism process as ‘a kind of mental control’: ‘Back then I thought they were just driving out demons,’ he recalls. James said he was sick multiple times during the ‘cure’: ‘Then one day it hit me: ‘What if I got rid of the church?’ And that worked smashingly.'” – The Observer (UK)