Sunday, January 22, 2017

Why Books Are a Crazy Business (and thank heaven for that).


I attended a lecture with Harold Augenbraum, the out-going Director of the National Book Awards, at the Jack Kerouac House, 1418 Clouser Ave, Orlando, Florida 32804. In partnership with Rollins College "Winter With the Writers" program, The Kerouac Project  hosted the guest lecture.

Harold Augenbraum is Executive Director of the National Book Foundation, presenter of the National Book Awards. He has published seven books on Latino literature of the United States and translated several books for Penguin Classics including two novels by the Filipino writer José Rizal. In 2012, he co-translated (with Ilan Stavans) The Plain in Flames by Juan Rulfo and in 2013 Penguin published his edition of the Collected Poems of Marcel Proust. Last year he was awarded an honorary doctorate (honoris causa) by Concordia College (Moorhead, Minnesota) and in September he will be a Franke Visiting Fellow at Yale University.

Harold's talk was witty and light hearted. Some people might thin that the book publishing business would have shrunk because of the Internet, but the opposite is true, there are more books being published today than ever before. Making money in publishing is however tricky and as difficult as picking horses at the races.

As always there was wine and mingling after the lecture. There is always a creative excitement to these gatherings. If you want to experience the heart of the Orlando literary scene then get out to a Kerouac house event.

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