Articles by Michael Bourne
August 18, 2011
Bet you didn’t know this Saturday was the 25th anniversary of the first “going postal” shootings in Oklahoma. I have a piece at The Morning News examining America’s export of this peculiar brand of spree killings around the world, most recently to Oslo, Norway.
August 9, 2011
Time to quit moaning and groaning, publishing industry insiders: a survey released today by Bookstats shows publishers brought in 5.6% more revenue and sold 4.1% more books in 2010 than in 2008, according to the New York Times.
July 28, 2011
One comes away from Ghost Wars with two seemingly paradoxical impressions: 1. unlike most civilians, American leaders saw 9/11 coming years before it happened; and 2. barring a run of stupid luck, they had almost zero chance of stopping it, given the realities of the pre-9/11 world.
July 18, 2011
It’s official: Borders has announced it will begin liquidating its 399 bookstores this week. Store closures could begin as early as this Friday and will continue through September, according to the Times.
July 18, 2011
A Columbia University course that has taught generations of bright-eyed would-be Maxwell Perkins the ins and outs of the New York publishing biz has had to retool its curriculum to account for the e-book phenomenon, the New York Times reports.
July 4, 2011
The first edition of Leaves of Grass is a poetical Declaration of Independence in so many ways it can be hard to keep track of them all.
June 28, 2011
Philip Roth, one of America’s most distiguished and prolific novelists, tells the Financial Times that he no longer reads fiction. Why not? “I don’t know,” he says. “I wised up.”
June 22, 2011
for actors who’ve considered suicide/when the matrix isn’t enuf: Keanu Reeves, who some years ago raised hackles when he played Shakespeare’s melancholy Dane, has now written a book-length poem called Ode to Happiness that pokes fun at excessive melancholy. “I draw a hot sorrow bath/In my despair room,” it begins.
June 21, 2011
A number of indie book stores, squeezed by patrons using their shelves only for research into later online purchases, are starting to charge admission for in-store readings and events, the New York Times reports.
June 21, 2011
In April 1951, when Jack Kerouac fed the first pieces of what would become a 120-foot scroll of paper into his Underwood portable to write the first draft of his novel, On the Road, he was, in one sense, blowing up the typewriter to make his own primitive homemade word processor. Sixty years later, Kerouac’s publisher is, in its own quiet way, blowing up the book to make – what, exactly?