Current Weather
The Spy FM

Book News: Cache Of Letters From ‘Frankenstein’ Author Found

Filed by KOSU News in Art & Life.
January 9, 2014

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

A British academic stumbled upon a trove of unpublished letters written by Frankenstein author Mary Shelley, who was the daughter of women’s rights activist Mary Wollstonecraft and the wife of Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Nora Crook, emerita professor of English Literature at Anglia Ruskin University, said that she found the letters at the Essex Record Office. “I knew right away they had never been published before,” she told The Guardian. Written to Shelley’s friend Horace Smith and his daughter Eliza, the letters, which date from 1831 to 1849, discuss the suthor’s declining health — in one, she apologizes for her “blotty and invalidy” writing. Other letters are lighter: She says that she called a hairdresser at three in the morning the day of William IV’s coronation, and that she was “mortified” her son wasn’t taller. The letters will be published in the Keats-Shelley Journal.

Barnes & Noble appointed Michael Huseby its new CEO on Wednesday, replacing William Lynch, who abruptly left the company in July. Huseby, who has a finance background, has been running the company’s Nook digital media division. Barnes & Noble Chairman Leonard Riggio said in a statement, “Although a relative newcomer to the retail book business, he has quickly developed a comprehensive understanding of the unique opportunities and challenges the Company faces, and he has a vision for the future in which I am in complete accord.” The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki argues that, in this case, promoting an insider “makes a good deal of sense. To begin with, hiring from within is generally an underrated strategy. … It’s not that companies should only look inside for potential hires; outsiders can shake up ossified ways of thinking. But the search for a corporate savior is usually an exercise in wish fulfillment rather than a sensible business strategy.”

Next year, the National Book Festival will move from the National Mall to the Washington Convention Center, the Library of Congress announced in a press release. The National Park Service’s concerns about damage to the mall lawn prompted the move.

The American Dialect Society has named “because” as the word of the year for 2013. Although of course the word itself is nothing new, a new usage has sprung up online. With this new usage, “because” is followed by a single word, often a noun, instead of a whole clause. Ben Zimmer, chair of the New Words Committee of the American Dialect Society, explained the usage in a statement: “This past year, the very old word because exploded with new grammatical possibilities in informal online use. No longer does because have to be followed by of or a full clause. Now one often sees tersely worded rationales like ‘because science’ or ‘because reasons.’ You might not go to a party ‘because tired.’ “

Poet Paul Beilstein has a new poem in Guernica, called “Psychopomp.” An excerpt:

“The popular literature says I got the right amount of sleep, but does not say how to return safely from sleep’s charcoal rot visions.”

[Copyright 2014 NPR]

Leave a Reply

9PM to 5AM The Spy

The Spy

An eclectic mix of the Spy's library of more than 10,000 songs curated by Ferris O'Brien.

Listen Live Now!

5AM to 9AM Morning Edition

Morning Edition

For more than two decades, NPR's Morning Edition has prepared listeners for the day ahead with two hours of up-to-the-minute news, background analysis, commentary, and coverage of arts and sports.

View the program guide!

9AM to 10AM The Takeaway

The Takeaway

A fresh alternative in morning news, "The Takeaway" provides a breadth and depth of world, national and regional news coverage that is unprecedented in public media.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center