News: March 2009 Archives

First Sully book to come out by year's end

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William Morrow has two books in the works with pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, and the first one will come out late this year.

The publisher, an imprint of HarperCollins, said the first book will include stories of Sullenberger's boyhood, military service and, of course, the experience of landing his US Airways plane in New York's Hudson River on Jan. 15, averting major disaster and saving all 155 passengers. The subject and timing of the second book is not yet known.

Obama Speech
Capt. Chesley Sullenberger salutes in the House
Chamber on Capitol Hill last month prior to
President Barack Obama's address to a joint
session of Congress.
(AP Photo)

In a statement issued by the publisher, family spokesman Alex Clemens said Sullenberger is eager to return to work as a pilot sometime this summer.

Sullenberger lives in the San Francisco Bay area town of Danville, Calif.

'Time Traveler's Wife' author hits jackpot

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Chicago author Audrey Niffenegger, who wrote her way to the best seller lists six years ago with The Time Traveler's Wife, has apparently snared a $5 million advance for her followup novel, Her Fearful Symmetry.

Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, was the big winner in a hot bidding war, which also included Time Travleler publisher MacAdam Cage and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, which published the paperback.

Audrey Niffenegger
Audrey Niffenegger is also a visual artist and faculty member at Columbia College Chicago. (Al Podgorski~Sun-Times)

I would say it's a bit of a gamble for a publisher to shell out so much money for a second novel, not only in this climate of a crumbling economy, but also because second novels don't usually ever match the success of the first.

Scribner VP and editor in chief Nan Graham isn't worried.

"She really has defied custom and written a spectacular second novel, which is one of the hardest things to do in this universe," Graham told the New York Times. "She's not selling it essentially on the success of her first book."

Time will tell. The publishing industry is hurting as much as any industry these days, with layoffs and cutbacks at every turn, so kudos to Niffenegger, whose writing obviously is good enough to garner $5 million worth of confidence on their part.

Her Fearful Symmetry is scheduled for release this fall.

David Foster Wallace lives on

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This time next year, David Foster Wallace fans will be clamoring for his final book, an unfinished novel titled The Pale King. Wallace's longtime publisher, Little, Brown, plans to publish it in early 2010.

David Foster Wallace
David Foster Wallace (Sun-Times files)

Wallace, who killed himself last September at age 46, reportedly left behind "a substantial portion" of the work, and The New Yorker is running an excerpt this week alongside an article by D.T. Max.

The story centers around a bored, entry-level IRS worker named David Wallace, who works at an Illinois tax-return processing center in the '80s.

"The Pale King is an astonishment. It is David Wallace's effort to weave a novel out of life's dark matter: boredom, banality, the 'irrelevant complexity' of everyday life, all the maddening stuff that stands between us and the rest of the world and through which we have to travel to arrive at joy," said Wallace's longtime editor, Michael Pietsch. "This was as ambitious as anything he ever did, a novel that attempts to move readers deeply and help them live their lives."

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This page is a archive of entries in the News category from March 2009.

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