Saturday, 28 August 2010
Also in today's The Times, entirely by coincidence, there is a piece I have written about the new Lightship literary awards for short stories, poetry and first chapter of a novel. I will write more extensively about this soon, as I am involved as a judge of the First Chapter competition, and Alma is one of the sponsors of this wonderful new initiative created by the novelist Simon C. Kerr (www.lightshippublishing.co.uk).
Tuesday, 24 August 2010
What have I been up to? Mainly, I have been busy editing Lampedusa's Letters. I thought it'd take me a day or two – it's taken me ten long days of solid work. I am exhausted – but the book is absolutely fantastic, and I can't wait to see it out.
Social and cultural life has been abuzz too. Among other things – such as a visit to Guildford and to the Imperial War Museum – Elisabetta and I had a lovely dinner with Carole Welch (Sceptre), Pete Ayrton (Serpent's Tail), Christopher Maclehose (Quercus), Bill Swainson (Bloomsbury), Nick Caistor and Amanda Hopkinson. It was a glorious evening, and publishing was not the only subject going round the table with the wine – which was even better.
We have sent to the printers another dozen titles over the past couple of weeks, and have received finished copies of many books including Alberto Manguel's All Men Are Liars, which looks fabulous. We were supposed to go to Edinburgh for Alberto's events but had to cancel because of acute Lampedusitis. Oh well – next year.
A few nice reviews of our books have appeared, including a nice mention in the last Saturday's Times by Scott Pack, who has described Bestseller as "a caustic satire on the publishing world" (thanks Scott, I owe you one!).
The Alma and Oneworld Classics Spring 2011 were signed off today, and should be available for browsing online in the next day or two, so please keep your eyes peeled.
Weather is shitty, as you may have noticed, and is making me suicidal. I miss my kids, who are coming back on 3rd September. I try to console myself with a lot of exercise at the gym – followed by Gargantuan meals at home. And readings of Milton. And blogging. Goodnight.
Wednesday, 11 August 2010
I was there with Melissa of Pushkin Press, just as crazily bent on publishing translated fiction in this country as I am. Two like-minded fools having lunch at the Madhouse. How appropriate to eat there.
One of the waiters was the spitting image of Michael Schmidt of Carcanet, and I was slightly taken aback when he came over to our table with the bill. For a moment I thought that Michael had decided to turn to a much more profitable business, after many years of publishing poetry, often in translation.
But it wasn't him and, to our relief, at the end of the meal we were not taken away in a straitjacket.
Wednesday, 4 August 2010
For another two alleged rip-offs of books published by Alma, see this bloggerel entry:
and this one:
Sunday, 1 August 2010
. . . the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (www.alma2015.org) of 30 African countries whose primary strategic goal is to eliminate preventable malaria deaths by 2015 by scaling up coverage of all other available interventions. There are 680,000 African children dying each year from malaria – let's try not to forget this.