Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Great Regulars: More than 100,000 people have signed a petition

launched by an independent bookseller calling on Amazon "to pay their fair share of tax in the UK" and warning the online retail giant that "the unfair advantage that your tax dodge gives you is endangering many UK high street businesses".

Booksellers Frances and Keith Smith, who count the MP Margaret Hodge and the author Charlie Higson among their supporters, are now planning to deliver their appeal to 10 Downing Street, accompanied by a large crowd of authors and other allies.

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Amazon tax petition hits 100,000 signatures


The poet Jackie Kay hailed [Chinua] Achebe as "the grandfather of African fiction" who "lit up a path for many others", adding that she had reread Things Fall Apart "countless times".

"It is a book that keeps changing with the times, as he did," she said.

Achebe won the Commonwealth poetry prize for his collection Christmas in Biafra, was a finalist for the 1987 Booker prize for his novel Anthills of the Savannah, and in 2007 won the Man Booker international prize.

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Novelist Chinua Achebe dies, aged 82


The college's student body is now "calling in the strongest terms for Calypso to be rehired", arguing in a motion that "the Harlem shake did not cause a disturbance coming as it did at 11:30 pm on a Sunday evening" and that the event "only lasted roughly seven minutes".

Ellen Gibson, a student at St Hilda's, told the Cherwell: "The situation seems ridiculous. The librarian had nothing to do with the protest; she just happened to be there at the time."

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Oxford librarian dismissed over Harlem Shake video--that she wasn't in


Philip Pullman is to succeed PD James as president of the Society of Authors--the "ultimate honour" awarded by the British writers body, and a position first held by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

Pullman, the award-winning author of the children's fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials and the fictionalised biography of Jesus, The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ, will take over from James on 3 August, the crime writer's 93rd birthday and the date she has chosen to retire as president.

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Philip Pullman to be Society of Authors' new president


You would not think of telling how many buttons you had to fasten, nor how long you took to make a parting, nor how many steps you descended," [Robert Louis] Stevenson writes in the essay, published for the first time in the American magazine the Strand last week. "The youngest boy would have too much of what we call 'literary tact' to do that. Such a quantity of twaddling detail would simply bore the reader's head off."

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Robert Louis Stevenson on writing: lose the 'twaddling detail'


Barbara McDade, director of Bangor Public Library, told the Bangor Daily News that Stephen and Tabitha King had offered to pay one third of the $9m (£5.9m) the library is looking to raise for refurbishment, as long as the remaining $6m (£3.9m) is raised. "They have just been wonderful supporters of the library," said McDade.

The Kings previously donated $2.5m (£1.6m) towards a new wing for the library in the 90s, said McDade, and "also replaced our front marble steps [six or seven years ago], which were worn to the point where they were dangerous".

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Stephen King and his wife pledge $3m to Maine library


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