Lit News Roundup

Bookseller friends: anyone heading to the ABA’s Winter Institute in Asheville? We’ve created a special preview edition of Matthew Neill Null’s debut novel, Honey from the Lion, and we’re excited to share the first copies with you! The final cover is forthcoming, but we couldn’t wait to reveal the tremendous praise that has arrived already from Jaimy Gordon, Joy Williams, Salvatore Scibona, Ron Rash, Zachary Lazar, Jayne Anne Phillips, Smith Henderson, Lydia Peelle, and Anthony Marra.


Look for Honey from the Lion in the galley room, and please say hello to our publisher, Emily Louise Smith, at the Sunday night Carolina Speakeasy, sponsored by Lookout, Algonquin, Duke University Press, John F. Blair, and the University of North Carolina Press. (Rumor has it she’ll be speed dating as part of the rep picks lunches too.) Missing the fun this year but want a galley? E-mail us!

Speaking of book covers
, one of our favorite designers and art director at Knopf, Peter Mendelsund, gave a fascinating interview to the Rumpus this week. Read on to find out why he considers the art director a subsidiary editor and believes that showing cover comps in front of a room of people is always a recipe for disaster. “The approval process is getting in the way of good jacketing and good marketing. Editorial and marketing and sales and the infrastructure of publishing needs to recognize the design departments as the thinking creatures that they are, and then from the other end designers need to read more and become citizens of the world and be a little more articulate.”

Again on the design front, we stumbled across this lovely collection of publisher colophons, from animals to objects (even an olive!), courtesy of Bookriot. Do you have a favorite?

Knopf’s borzoi, in honor of Peter Mendelsund

After perusing “The year of books? Today’s young people interpret reading as a social exercise” in the Independent, we wished we lived close enough to visit Beerwolf, a bookshop within a cozy, dimly-lit pub in Cornwall, where “books are flying out just as fast as pints.” The owners are committed to creating an atmosphere that encourages both reading and socializing.

Finally, in author news this week, Lookout memoirist and Radcliffe Institute fellow Ben Miller has been working on a fascinating multilingual project called MuralSpeaks!, along with two Harvard students, to translate William Carlos Williams’s “The Red Wheelbarrow” into 142 languages.

We hope that everyone has a good book—or three!—for the winter weekend ahead.