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Book News: Putin Biographer To Write Book On Tsarnaev Brothers

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

  • Riverhead Books has announced a deal for a book about Boston Marathon bombing suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. It will be written by Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen, author of the biography The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin, the publisher announced in a press release Wednesday. The book, according to the release, seeks to explain "who the brothers were, where they came from, what shaped them, and how they came to do what they appear to have done."
  • Claire Messud, asked in an interview with Publisher's Weekly whether she would want to be friends with the protagonist of her latest novel, responded: "For heaven's sake, what kind of question is that? Would you want to be friends with Humbert Humbert? Would you want to be friends with Mickey Sabbath? Saleem Sinai? Hamlet? Krapp? Oedipus? Oscar Wao? Antigone? Raskolnikov? Any of the characters in The Corrections? Any of the characters in Infinite Jest? Any of the characters in anything Pynchon has ever written? Or Martin Amis? Or Orhan Pamuk? Or Alice Munro, for that matter? If you're reading to find friends, you're in deep trouble. We read to find life, in all its possibilities."
  • "How to smash capitalism (while you work out)": a new blog imagines Cosmopolitan magazine for Marxists. You know, in case you've ever wondered: "Is unceasing class warfare ruining your skin?"
  • The announcement earlier this week about New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's book deal has fueled speculation that he's looking to run for president in 2016. Democratic National Committee Vice Chairwoman Donna Brazile writes in an email to NPR that "when you're thinking of taking your brand from state side to the national landscape, the first rule of politics is to write a compelling book and tell your story." She adds, "Governor Cuomo is not one to follow, he knows how to lead."
  • Joyce Carol Oates writes on Julian Barnes in The Times Literary Supplement: "He is relentless in self-analysis, exacting to the point of obsession in exposing the rawness of his grief."
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