Frank Dikotter’s MAO’S GREAT FAMINE won the UK’s richest nonfiction book award, the Samuel Johnson Prize. The judges called it a”meticulous account of a brutal manmade calamity is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the history of the 20th century.” (Bloomsbury and Walker published it in both the UK and US.)
Bookmasters has hired Ernesto Martinez as manager of Spanish-language products and programs, overseeing their growing Spanish-language book and content services division. For the past five years, he was Borders’ Spanish language book buyer.
Copyright Clearance Center has hired author and high tech industry veteran Haralambos “Babis” Marmanis as chief technology officer and vp, engineering. He was CTO at Emptoris. CEO Tracey Armstrong says, “CCC is committed to creating cutting edge solutions for rightsholders and content users. I’m confident Babis will further our goal of providing smart licensing solutions that simplify the responsible reuse of content.”
Author of The Book of Unholy Mischief and the recently published The Sandalwood Tree Elle Newmark, 65, died recently following after a two-year battle with acute respiratory distress syndrome. Newmark had told the San Diego Union Tribune in April when her latest book was published, “You ask me the one overriding feeling I will have at the end of my life and it’s gratitude. I’ve had a charmed life as far as I’m concerned.” (She originally self-published her first novel, then called Bones of the Dead.)
The Atlantic looks at the life’s work of Beverly Cleary, 95. A Benjamin Schwarz essay says her “body of work shows why topicality derails great literature.” Her 41 books are said to have sold over 91 million copies.
In a companion interview, Cleary says that “although their circumstances have changed, I don’t think children’s inner feelings have changed” since she started writing. And she disagrees with part of Schwarz’s essay: “I simply have written about a little girl growing up, and so her life is different at different stages.”
The new illustrations commissioned for Harper’s new World of Beverly Cleary collection were not her idea: “my publisher felt it was time for a change.” Cleary does not use the internet, did not read the Harry Potter books, and does not plan to publish any new books: “I hope children will be happy with the books I’ve written, and go on to be readers all of their lives.”