Writers hand out diplomas at U of T
CThey may buy their books from Amazon and then get their assistants to read them, but movie producers sure love bookstores. They Came Together, a new romcom featuring Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. It parodies the trend of using bookstores as a meeting place for couples destined to fall in love (see also: Notting Hill and You’ve Got Mail). ANADIAN writers turned the tables on the country’s largest university Friday by giving away free diplomas to students and passersby at the University of Toronto. The diploma giveaway, carried out by members of the Writers’ Union of Canada, called attention to the decision by U of T and many other universities to opt out of the Access Copyright agreement, through which universities pay for copies of copyright materials they use in class. The writers’ union maintains that universities are using a definition of “fair use” that is not supported in law in order to copy much larger portions of printed works than has traditionally been allowed, and in the process deprive creators of intellectual property of the right to earn an income. The author of a widely circulated personal essay on poverty is in talks with Penguin to publish a full-length examination of the experience of poverty in America. Linda Tirado, whose essay Why I Make Terrible Decisions, or Poverty Thoughts, discussed the challenges of staying healthy and feeding her kids while attending university and working at two part-time jobs, has been signed with the agency Foundry Literary and Media to publish her book, according to the publishing website Galleycat. The essay was circulated millions of times after hitting the front pages of both the Huffington Post and Jezebel. Time-Life Books — an illustrated series of non-fiction titles on a variety of historical and scientific topics — will rise from discontinued limbo this May with titles on the Second World War and the Bible, according to Publishers’ Weekly. Known to baby boomers as the feedstock for countless grade-school class projects, the books originally sold in the millions through direct mail. Time Magazine subsidiary Time Home Entertainment has recently bought back the brand, and now plans to sell new books under the Time-Life banner in the retail market. A New York bookstore that has bucked trends by opening a second location this month seems to have drawn on a similar marketing strategy to Winnipeg’s McNally Robinson Booksellers. Travel bookseller Idlewild Books opened a second location, this one in trendy Williamsburg, Brooklyn, by adding classroom space and marketing language classes to its customers. McNally Robinson, of course, offers a wide array of courses of its own in its community classroom. Next time you’re in Toronto, you can toast Canadian literature with a CanLit cocktail. The Library Bar at the Royal York has launched a line of Canadian literature cocktails saluting writers including Mordecai Richler, Alice Munro, Yann Martel and Joseph Boyden. Described in the Toronto Star by critic and novelist Nathan Whitlock, the new tipples include Boyden’s grapefruit vodka and tonic, Martel’s James Bondstyle martini and Munro’s rosemary martini. Surprisingly, Richler’s drink isn’t three fingers of Laphroaig, but a spiced Manhattan.