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Book News: Gabriel Garcia Marquez Books Go Digital

Nobel Prize-winning novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez appeared in public during a celebration marking his 87th birthday on March 6 in Mexico City. He died in April.
Yuri Cortez
AFP/Getty Images
Nobel Prize-winning novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez appeared in public during a celebration marking his 87th birthday on March 6 in Mexico City. He died in April.

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

The writings of the late Gabriel Garcia Marquez are soon to make their leap from page to screen. Publisher Vintage Books has announced its plans to release nine of the Nobel Prize-winning author's works as English-language e-books for the first time. The crop of e-books, which includes Love in the Time of Cholera, will be published on Oct. 15. Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude will not be included in the release, though; The Associated Press reports that rights to the English-language version are held by HarperCollins.

A Dearth Of Diversity In Publishing:Nearly 9 in 10 employees at publishing houses identify as white or Caucasian, according to an annual survey conducted by Publishers Weekly. The survey compiled some 800 responses from among the publication's subscribers over the summer. And while this statistic may merit some headlines, the lack of diversity in publishing isn't likely to come as a surprise — either to the respondents themselves (61 percent of whom agreed there's little diversity in the industry) or to many of the authors they're working to publish, as NPR's Lynn Neary has reported. The study also found a slightly diminished, but enduring, pay gap between men and women, with the average compensation for women coming in about $25,000 less than for men.

Bradbury's Ode To A Spade:In an unpublished poem, Ray Bradbury wrote at length about his spade, which was owned before him by George Bernard Shaw. Allison Flood of The Guardianshows admirable restraint by abstaining from the wealth of possible puns — dug up! unearthed! buried treasure!— and simply reporting that the spade will auctioned this week in Los Angeles. She also offers a snippet of the poem:

I hold the dear spade in my hands,
Its vibrant lightnings strike and move along my arms,
The ghost of Shaw climbs up through me

The opening bid for the garden tool is $5,000.

A Primer On Banned Books Week:In case you missed it, Banned Books Week is now well underway. The American Library Association's annual celebration of the freedom to read — and defiance of censorship — began on Sept. 21 and will wrap up this weekend. Here's a brief reading list to help you get your footing in this year's world of banned books:

  • The American Library Association has a fascinating list of the 10 most challenged books for each year of the 21st century so far, coupled with the reasons why they were challenged.
  • If you prefer pictures to plain numbers, The Huffington Post drew up some lovely infographics on the state of challenged books today — including which authors tend to be dogged most by challenges.
  • One of those challenged authors, Sherman Alexie, offered a defense of his most famous — and most controversial — novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, in an old Wall Street Journalarticle that's worth another look.
  • One of the most banned books of the past two decades may surprise you. And NPR's Rebecca Hersher dives into its history.
  • Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Colin Dwyer covers breaking news for NPR. He reports on a wide array of subjects — from politics in Latin America and the Middle East, to the latest developments in sports and scientific research.