Articles by Bill Morris

April 2, 2011

Billy Joel Gets Cold Feet 1

Could this be the start of a trend? HarperCollins paid the singer Billy Joel $3 million for a memoir back in 2008. Joel wrote The Book of Joel, the publisher edited it, and a June publication date was set. Last week, however, Joel abruptly backed out of the deal and apparently will return the portion […]

March 23, 2011

Is Copyright a Guardian Angel or a Killer of Creativity? A Conversation with Alfred Steiner 5

“In the art world when one artist copies another artist, it only helps the artist being copied.”

March 12, 2011

Is All publicity Good Publicity? 6

Is all publicity good publicity? Are all reviews—even bad ones—good for books? The answer, according to a new study [pdf] by the journal Marketing Science, depends on whether the writer is well known or unknown. The study examined the impact of a New York Times review on the sales of more than 200 hardcover titles. […]

March 8, 2011

Grief, the Cruel and Fickle Muse 21

Grief, all of a sudden, is hot.  Books by authors who have lost a loved one are becoming so common they’re now a classifiable snowflake in the unending blizzard of memoirs.

March 2, 2011

Open City Closes 0

Open City, a showcase for edgy writing for the past 20 years, is closing down due to the withdrawal of several sources of funding. “These things are not institutions,” founder and co-editor Thomas Beller tells the New York Observer.

February 15, 2011

To Blurb or Not to Blurb? 27

This seemingly innocent question was put to me for the first time a couple of weeks ago when a paperback review copy of a non-fiction book arrived in my mailbox.

February 8, 2011

Typewriter Art 1

Luddites rejoice! If you still use a manual typewriter, you already know that they’re superior to laptops for writing. Now comes proof that they’re also better at making art than text-based computer art programs like ASCII and its “colored cousin,” ANSI. The video’s narrator tells us, in German, that many of the subjects autographed their […]

February 3, 2011

Staff Pick: Sarah Bakewell’s How to Live 5

It’s a ripping story, splashed with bloody horrors and punctuated by moments of serene beauty.

January 26, 2011

Jay-Z is Not a Proudhon of Hip-Hop 10

All art comes from art.  To admit this is not to concede that there’s no such thing as originality any more than it’s a license to borrow without attribution and then call it your own. 

January 14, 2011

When We Aspire to Write Like Ourselves: A Conversation with Carl H. Klaus 13

I wanted to see if I could create literary non-fiction out of short-term memory.