I recently read Gone With the Wind for the first time, after years of being a fan of the movie, and it was something of a revelation. Fans of the book shouldn’t miss this transcript of a 1936 interview with Margaret Mitchell that has just been published online for the first time by PBS (they’re airing a Margaret Mitchell biopic in April). It’s funny to see a reporter refer to the 1860s and 70s as “the Sixties and Seventies,” and then realizing that most of Mitchell’s “research” for the book was listening to stories from people who actually remembered those days.
I heard about fighting and wounds and the primitive way they were treated, how ladies nursed in hospitals, the way gangrene smelled, what substitutes were used for drugs and food and clothing when the blockade got too tight for these necessities to be brought in from abroad. I heard about the burning and looting of Atlanta and the way the refugees from the town crowded the roads and trains to Macon, and I heard about Reconstruction, too. In fact, I heard everything in the world except that the Confederates lost the war. When I was ten years old, it was a violent shock to learn that General Lee had been defeated. I didn’t believe it when I first heard it and I was indignant. I still find it hard to believe, so strong are childhood impressions.
The LA Review of Books published an article on self-published books that mentioned some of the reasons most review outlets don’t cover them. They’re so honest that I’m considering posting a link on our submissions page. Here’s just one of the answers:
The Washington Post does not review self-published books. The Post’s fiction editor Ron Charles admits, “We simply don’t have the staff to wade through the torrent of submissions that would come in.” Charles doesn’t see that policy changing, even though more and more professional and traditionally published writers migrate to self-publishing. “It’s impossible for me to imagine a future in which a book section adds staff members.”
Woven into all that is an interesting story about how acclaimed but midlist author Richard Bauch took the self-publishing route after a break with his agent and publisher. Check it out!
The weird publishing story of the week goes to The Smoking Gun, who revealed on Wednesday that a mysterious package destined for “Karen Wright” at St. Martin’s Press contained 5 kilos of marijuana. Dogs sniffed it out and it was seized by the Feds.
St. Martins says that no person by that name is employed at their offices, located in the Flatiron Building.
And for a final laugh this Friday, check out this UCB Comedy video: Cormac McCarthy Pictionary.
What links have you discovered this week?