In a brief statement yesterday, Christopher Hitchens explained his sudden book tour cancellations: “I have been advised by my physician that I must undergo a course of chemotherapy on my esophagus. This advice seems persuasive to me. I regret having had to cancel so many engagements at such short notice.” News outlets concluded that the treatment is related to esophageal cancer, which is linked to both smoking (Hitchens was a heavy smoker until recently) as well as drinking alcohol.
Two-time Pulitzer-winner (most recently in 2009 for the collection The Shadow of Sirius) W.S. Merwin has been named the Library of Congress’s new Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry for the US. The Washington Post writes: “Over a 60-year career, he has consistently explored the usual poetic themes — man’s relation to the natural world, memory and the mix of resignation and wisdom that makes life bearable. But he has done so with uncommon rigor, clarity, ecstatic vision and depth.”
Krista Stroever has started as senior editor for Mira Books, one of the single title imprints of Harlequin. She was previously senior editor for Silhouette Desire.
Kjersti Egerdahl has been promoted from associate editor to editor at becker&mayer! book producers.
FoladÃ© Bell has joined Serendipity Literary Agency as an associate agent. Most recently she was an assistant editor at trade publication Radio & Records.
Barnes & Noble.com evp, shopping Jamie Iannone has also joined the board of directors of Children’s Place Retail Stores.
NBN has launched a new department making design and production services available to publishers.
It took the London Book Fair until yesterday to release “audited” attendance figures for their April show. Due to the volcanic ashpocalypse, total attendance was down 32 percent (which means that approximately 65 percent to 70 percent of international visitors did not make it.)