Archive - February 29, 2012

1
Review of A Small Key Opens Big Doors
2
Publishing’s Ecosystem on the Brink: The Backstory
3
Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala 1990-93) Gets Home Town Press on his Award

Review of A Small Key Opens Big Doors

A Small Key Opens Big Doors: 50 Years of Amazing Peace Corps Stories, Volume 3 — The Heart of Eurasia edited by Jay Chen (Kazakhstan 2005–08) Travelers’ Tales 336 pages $18.95 (paperback) 2011 Reviewed by Lawrence F. Lihosit (Honduras, 1975–77) THE PEACE CORPS AT 50 PROJECT, that includes four volumes,* offers an unparalleled, operatic ensemble of voices, singing about the world. About two hundred men and women sing to us, describing 88 of the 139 nations served by the Peace Corps during the past 50 years. The voices are divided into four geographic movements. This book includes voices from those Americans who served in Eurasia — the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, its political satellites and periphery. For those who only vaguely remember the destruction of the Berlin Wall (1989) or television film of the Russian army’s retreat as the empire dissolved (1991), this federation ruled the largest geographic . . .

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Publishing’s Ecosystem on the Brink: The Backstory

Bloomberg Businessweek’s January 25th cover shows a book engulfed in flames. The book’s title? “Amazon Wants to Burn the Book Business.” A towering pile of books dominates the front page of Sunday’s NYT Business Section. The pile starts well below the fold (print edition), breaks through the section header at the top of the page, and leans precariously. Books are starting to tumble off. “The Bookstore’s Last Stand,” reads the headline. These stories capture pretty well the state of book publishing: this appears to be no ordinary, cyclical crisis that future authors and publishers will shrug off. To understand how the book industry got into this predicament, however, a broader perspective may be needed. The cover story of February’s Harper’s Magazine provides that, discussing a fundamental shift in the federal approach to antitrust law that’s affected bookselling and countless other industries. It’s a story that hasn’t previously been told in a . . .

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Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala 1990-93) Gets Home Town Press on his Award

From The Daily Athenaeum, student newspaper of West Virginia University in Morgantown. Wednesday, February 22, 2012 • English professor receives literary award by Carlee Lammers For Mark Brazaitis, director of West Virginia University’s Creative Writing Program, inspiration and creativity have always sprung from personal experience and a fascination with particular images. “As a writer, I’m always curious about where certain images or ideas will take me,” Brazaitis said. The WVU professor is a recent winner of the University of Notre Dame’s Richard Sullivan Prize “The Incurables,” a collection of ten short stories about the impact of mental illness on the men and women in a small Ohio town. Brazaitis said the book also includes stories of other incurable conditions, familial relationships that never seem to satisfy anyone involved and romantic relationships that offer as much heartache as pleasure. “For the first story in the collection, ‘The Bridge,’ I had this vision . . .

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