Can we step back for one moment and point out that 2013’s shaping up to be the most fun year in recent publishing history? And it’s only October!
The year opens with the New York Times Magazine putting a mid-career short-fiction writer on its cover and declaring his new collection the “best book you’ll read all year.” Book becomes massive bestseller and a National Book Award finalist. (It should be noted readers were happy to pay for a $26.00 hardcover composed entirely of stories previously published elsewhere.)
In the same year of NSA scandals and Edward Snowden, J.K. Rowling and Little, Brown pulls the wool over the world’s eyes and quietly release a thriller under a pseudonym. The secret lasts a full four months, revealed only when a lawyer’s spouse lets slip the news at a dinner party in London. To reiterate: the world’s second highest-selling living fiction writer (behind Danielle Steel) released a book without anyone finding out for sixteen weeks.
Also in the U.K., the Man Booker Prize is awarded to a 28 year old for an 850-page novel, making Eleanor Catton the youngest recipient and The Luminaries the longest winning novel.
And then straight out of left field, Thomas Pynchon releases this “book trailer”:
…And goes on to the National Book Award shortlist for the first time since 1974.
ALSO. Short-story maestro Alice Munro announces her retirement in July, wins the Nobel three months later. In a 112 years, she’s the only winner to be cited specifically for short fiction.
AND FINALLY. Morrissey releases his autobiography in England. As a Penguin Classic. It’s currently #1. This is the actual cover:
God I can’t wait until November. Maybe Bob Dylan’ll be named Poet Laureate and Penguin Random House will buy the Knicks.