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Booknews worldwide: Melbourne fest, controversial publications, Booker via txt

August 26, 2008 | 11:28 am


• The Melbourne Writers Festival has kicked off, and a few blog reports have popped up.(via) Hits so far: Augusten Burroughs, Nam Le and, despite only appearing via satellite from Edinburgh, Salman Rushdie.

• Remember when Random House shelved "The Jewel of Medina," a novel about Muhammad's wife, amid speculations that it might be as controversial as "The Satanic Verses"? Well, a Danish publisher now says it would like to publish the book — as if the Danes needed another Muslim controversy.

• One of the best bookstore names ever: New York's Unopressive Non-Imperialist Bargain Books. Making its politics eminently clear — plus, it's cheap!

• When the Man Booker shortlist is announced, excerpts of the in-the-running books will be available via text or audio message to fans in England. After the Sept. 9 announcement, readers who send a text message will get their free shortlist short excerpt; those who like what they hear can purchase the whole thing.

• In Mexico City, Daniel Hernandez salutes Colombian-born author Alvaro Mutis, who turned 85 yesterday.

• The man who co-wrote "100 Things to Do Before You Die" has. Dave Freeman, an ad executive, died after a fall in his home in Venice, Calif., on Aug. 17. He was 47.

— Carolyn Kellogg

Photo by macinate via flickr