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A rocker who wants to write, John Edwards, John Berger and more book news

June 22, 2009 |  8:06 am

Mikeljollett_coahcella Mikel Jollett, the lead singer of the Airborne Toxic Event, says he'd like to finish his novel-in-progress, but it's too hard while the band is on tour. Jollett, who has written for the L.A. Times, is a literary rocker; he got the name of his band from the Don Delillo novel "White Noise."

Andrew Young, the longtime friend of John Edwards who accepted financial support to take in the candidate's mistress Rielle Hunter and claimed, for a short while, that he was the father of her baby, is shopping a book to publishers. Sara Nelson reports: "The situation became too much for Edwards, Young’s proposal alleges, when the National Enquirer outed the senator for his affair with Hunter, and when Elizabeth Edwards became aware of the financial arrangement. But when Young voiced his concerns to Edwards, he was cut off by the candidate, and has had virtually no contact with him or his family since."

Penguin has bought rights to a book called "Twitterature: The World's Greatest Books, Now Presented in Twenty Tweets or Less" by two college students. If there is a Twitter feed that provides examples of, say, "The Illiad" in 20 tweets, I can't find it. I can find the pre-book website, though, if you want to see some of the elements of a successful book proposal. ("Within is the birthday, Christmas, Hanukah, and 4th of July gift for every hip young person between the ages of 18 and 35 in this country.")

The British Library's head of modern manuscripts, Jamie Andrews, is tweeting about his visit to John Berger's rural French estate to collect the papers from the Booker Prize winner. Some of his Twitter links go to AudioBoo reports, which seem popular with Brits -- they have one photo and an audio recording. So far, Andrews has captured the ambience of  steep hills and cowbells. As he retrieves Berger's papers from their storage space -- a barn -- he's also agreed, as a condition of the donation, to harvest hay.

Friday, we wrote of Britain's historic newspapers; our Library of Congress and National Endowment for the Humanities have been just as busy as the British Library. There are now more than 1 million pages, from 1880 to 1922, that can be found online at Chronicling America.

The Assn. of American University Presses annual meeting has just concluded, and though they might be down, they're not out. The Chronicle of Higher Education reports: "Bloodied but still standing, the university presses that gathered here for the annual meeting of the Association of American University Presses could have been a grimmer group. With sales down by double digits and budgets in tatters, the presses may feel as if they are going through the worst of times — although next year could be worse still. But scholarly publishing, and scholarly publishers, just refuse to die."

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Mikel Jollett performs with the Airborne Toxic Event at Coachella this year. Credit: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

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