Lonely at a Glen
In these tough times when even SUV sales are down, those big, fat, great, Gatsby-like book launch parties in the diwan-e-aam of five-star hotels may well be a thing of the past. HarperCollins has decided to limit their book launch parties to just a few a year. The reasoning: return on investment is zilch—all the literati, all those celeb authors, those books editors and the sundry hangers-on guzzle the booze, snap the hors d’oeuvres and forget all about the new book. Even Amish’s blockbuster The Oath of the Vayuputras didn’t have a big do. Instead, Westland got it to stores where he interacted with fans and signed copies. But as publishers look at cheaper way to launch books, where will we hacks go for our fill of Glenfiddich?
For The Annals
The University of East Anglia’s first workshop on creative writing in Calcutta was such a hit that they are starting a new programme in July. It will be on non-fiction writing and will be led by authors Amit Chaudhuri and Patrick French (India: A Portrait). “My interest in teaching the workshop comes from a feeling that India has swathes of untold history and biography needing to be written,” says French. Click here
Soap, With Grains
There are top-level changes at Picador, Pan & Macmillan. Its publisher, the suave Saugata Mukherjee, is leaving to join the rough and tumble world of TV—to Star TV Networks as creative director. So after poring over manuscripts, he will now be looking at scripts of Hindi serials. Here’s hoping Saugata will bring his vast experience with literature to small-screen soaps.