Friday, February 11, 2011

Book News: Interview Preview, BEA Has Mindy Kaling, & Feminism is Not Dead

Meander over to a Meanderings and Musings post from last week for a preview of my interview with debut author Sara J. Henry. Henry's book Learning to Swim debuts on February 22nd. It is a fabulous new series starring the practical heroine Troy Chance. (Yes -- you read that correctly. Heroine named Troy. Her name is just one of the wonderful details that makes Henry's character fairly jump off the page.) Look for a review of the book on its release day, as well as a follow-up Q&A session later that week. You can follow the sometimes sarcastic, usually current, and always entertaining author at her blog Sara in Vermont. Also, you can go ahead and read an excerpt of Learning to Swim, available via a link on her blog.

Book Expo America (BEA) announced its author line-up and MCs this week. I would absolutely love to make it there someday. Although I've been to many of the biggest and best cities in America (Boston, D.C., Charleston, Savannah, Atlanta, Tampa, Birmingham, Nashville, Memphis, Cincinnati, Chicago, Phoenix, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, to name a few), I have never been to NYC. One day I will -- and it will be in May so I can attend at least part of a BEA.

My degree is in English, but my minor was women's studies. So a survey by VIDA, mentioned in the NY Times which links book reviews to gender disparity, is right up my alley. The results -- as the comments say -- are stunning. I mean, I knew there was a lot of buzz about Jonathan Franzen being reviewed last year, but my goodness. The survey shows that in every case but one (The Atlantic, in authors reviewed), both reviewers and authors reviewed were disturbingly male. Pie graphs accompanying the survey show the marked difference, with no other graph coming close to equality. We've come so far as a culture, but still -- I think -- have miles to go.

On a different note, a fun idea popping up in the book world this week is having authors sign your e-reader. I love getting books signed, but also had several authors at the Southern Festival of Books sign a festival poster for my classroom last fall. Having an e-reader signed seems silly... Or is it genius? Follow Random House on Twitter for fun updates like this one.


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