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Frank McCourt's ill, Salman Rushdie's dinner with Thomas Pynchon and more book news

July 17, 2009 | 11:54 am


Frank McCourt, author of the bestseller "Angela's Ashes," is gravely ill and has been moved to hospice care in New York. His brother told USA Today that McCourt, 78, had been doing well after treatment for melanoma but then contracted meningitis about two weeks ago.

Turns out Salman Rushdie, who has spent plenty of time in hiding, dined with reclusive writer Thomas Pynchon a few years ago while writing about Pynchon's "Vineland." Tip for Pynchonmane David Kipen: Start hanging out with Salman Rushdie.

McGraw-Hill Education will cut 340 jobs in a final phase of its restructuring; an additional 445 positions were cut last year.

A little censorship can be good for bookstores -- if you're a short flight away. The Wall Street Journal reports that Hong Kong booksellers stock their shelves with books the Chinese can't get at home, and they have to re-stock pretty fast.

Oh, and just wondering: Has anybody else heard whispers about some movie based on a book opening this weekend?

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photos: Frank McCourt, left, by Kit DeFever / Random House. Right, Salman Rushdie by Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times