Betting Big on Literary Newcomers [The Wallstreet Journal] The publishing industry’s hunt for the next blockbuster has given rise to an elite new club: the million-dollar literary debut.
The need to secure one of the few must-read books of the year has given rise to an elite new club: the million-dollar literary debut. At least four literary debut novels planned for 2016 earned advances reported at $1 million or more, a number agents say is striking in the world of highbrow fiction. At least three such debuts were published this year, and two in 2014. “City on Fire,” by first-time novelist Garth Risk Hallberg, came out last month amid a flurry of publicity after receiving a nearly $2 million advance from Alfred A. Knopf, one of the largest ever for a literary debut.[more inside]
Morrissey’s debut novel List of the Lost is published today. The author has explained that “The theme is demonology … the left-handed path of black magic. It is about a sports relay team in 1970s America who accidentally kill a wretch who, in esoteric language, might be known as a Fetch … a discarnate entity in physical form.” The initial reviews have not been kind: “an unpolished turd of a book” reckons Michael Hann at The Guardian; “a bizarre misogynistic ramble” opines Nico Hines of The Daily Beast. [more inside]
As we enter the final hours waiting for the long-awaited debut of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, let's look at a previous debut: Colbert's first ever television appearance. In 1993 (two years before his first 'various characters' gig on Comedy Central's "Exit 57"), he had a brief role near the end of an episode of "Missing Persons" (first 45 seconds of the clip, credit at 1:50), a short-lived police procedural starring Daniel J. "Hill Street Blues" Travanti and co-produced by another Legendary TV Stephen (J. Cannell). [more inside]
Wendy Melvoin is fresh from high school. She is a wearing a V-necked sleeveless top, and patterned shorts. She is playing the first chords of a new song on her purple guitar, opening chords that she wrote, a circular motif with a chorus effect. Wendy is nineteen and she has the high cheekbones and diffident confidence of a Hollywood upbringing. She half-smiles at the faces that crowd close to the low club stage. This is Wendy’s first gig with the new band, and the song she is playing is “Purple Rain,” and nobody in the audience has ever heard “Purple Rain” before because this is the night that Prince and the Revolution record the song.
“The crowd is his domain, just as the air is the bird’s, and water that of the fish. His passion and his profession is to merge with the crowd.”
The 65-Year-Old Virgin: Robert Bergman’s photographs, finally revealed. "The last time Robert Bergman had a gallery show, it was 1964, and he was 20 years old. The college dropout and his best friend, Danny Seymour, took their earliest photographs, produced in a 'lint-filled darkroom'—a.k.a. his mother’s laundry room—to a 'rinky-dink bookstore' in Minneapolis’s run-down West Bank. 'Me and Danny just threw some pictures up on the wall,' he says. 'You couldn’t even call that a show.' Bergman is 65 now, and making a real debut in not one but three venues, at P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center; Chelsea’s Yossi Milo Gallery; and, extraordinarily, the National Gallery of Art. (This is the National Gallery’s first artist’s debut show ever.)" An interview with Robert Bergman, and a slideshow of some of his work.
The-Artist-Once-Again-Known-As-Prince debuts his new single on Napster - The Work - Pt. 1, which is the first track from Prince's new album, The Rainbow Children will be available on Friday. Prince has worked without a major label contract since 1994 after a contract dispute with Warner Music.