1. A Salon article quote by Richard Nash to the effect that independent publishers “got fucked by the Enron of publishing” has been getting a lot of mileage. In fact, this is no mere sound-bite, and the similarities between the AMS disaster and the Enron scandal go more than skin deep. In both cases, high-rolling top-tier business executives made reckless and dishonest decisions that affected the lives of countless trusting investors, partners and customers. The top Enron criminals are now either in jail or dead, but the goons over at AMS are still playing golf and sailing yachts as independent publishers like Soft Skull and Thunder’s Mouth suffer the consequences. I’m wondering when the Department of Justice is going to tell us exactly what the executive board at AMS thought they were doing as they ran the essential book distributor Publishers Group West into the ground and defaulted on their payments.
Please read Priya Jain’s article — I have a feeling we have not yet heard the last of the AMS story, and I hope journalists will keep digging.
2. Richard Hell is making a movie, and he’s put a scene (featuring himself and his assistant, whose neck he admires) up on YouTube. As I watched one of my favorite writers (not to mention musicians) method-acting in his Jim Jarmusch mood, I couldn’t help wishing I could spend a few hours checking out which books were in the Richard Hell bookshelf in the scene.
3. Dwight Garner of the New York Times Book Review is already breaking out a full-blast casual first person voice in his well-written personal note about Laura “J. T. LeRoy” Albert at Paper Cuts. I think a true blogger was born today.
4. Furthur crashes into Millbrook in a vintage video over at Syntax.
5. Garth Risk Hallberg on Nell Freudenberger’s The Dissident.
6. Curmudgeons and Caterwumpi at OUPBlog.