Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Artist/Author Mercedes Helnwein Interview in Lula Magazine

Mercedes Helnwein, whose debut novel THE POTENTIAL HAZARDS OF HESTER DAY (Simon & Schuster, 2008) was represented by us in association with Ed Victor Ltd., is interviewed at length in the current issue of Lula Magazine.  The interview can be read on Mercedes' site here.

SOUL OF A PEOPLE Documentary Nominated for WGA Award

Andrea Kalin and client David Taylor's documentary, which premiered on The Smithsonian Channel in September,  has been nominated for the "Documentary -- Other than Current Events" award from the Writers Guild of America.  David's tie-in book, also titled SOUL OF A PEOPLE:  The WPA Writers' Project Uncovers Depression America, with an introduction by Douglas Brinkley, was published by John Wiley a little under a year ago.

BookTV on CSPAN 2 has video from the 2009 Nation Book Festival of Taylor and Brinkley discussing the book, and there is also a segment of just the author speaking about the book.  There was an All Things Considered segment on NPR, and David was also interviewed about the book, arts, and democracy by Bethanne Patrick for The Book Studio, the PBS online series.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Literary Side of the Hamptons

The blog An Aesthete's Lament's mission is "to inspire you to live with more personal panache: whoever you are, whatever your income, and wherever you live," a mission certainly shared by the late, great Mark Hampton, also known as "The First Decorator" for his work on the White House. David Patrick Columbia, whose excellent New York Social Diary chronicles a rarefied world with much panache, brought it to Duane's attention.

We've been looking for the right publisher to reprint both ON DECORATING (Random House, 1989) and LEGENDARY DECORATORS OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY (Doubleday, 1992) for a while, and were happy to read the blog's call for reissue of the first book.

 Duane Hampton's MARK HAMPTON: An American Decorator (Rizzoli, April 2010), a celebration of the career of her late husband, Mark, whom the New York Times called "an icon of American Style," will be published next spring. A classic American success story, Hampton grew up in small-town Indiana and went on to worldwide fame. He began his career working for some of the greatest interior designers of the age: Mrs. Henry Parish II, David Hicks, and McMillen, Inc. He later went on to design for such clients as Brooke Astor, Estee Lauder, Jacqueline Onassis, and the Henry Kissingers, in addition to his work on the White House, Camp David, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art, and the American Academy in Rome. Known for the tremendous depth and breadth of his knowledge, Hampton refused to be pigeonholed into a trademark style, moving effortlessly from sleek modernism to English country and back again. A highly popular lecturer who drew crowds, Hampton was also the author of the aforementioned books, as well as a designer of both furniture and fabrics.

Rich with original materials including Hampton’s watercolors, sketches, and notebooks, as well as hundreds of images of Hampton’s important commissions, and impeccably researched and intimately written, this will be a visual feast for everyone interested in interiors as well as an important addition to the history of interior design.

Duane also wrote MARK HAMPTON: On Friendship (HarperCollins, 2001), a collection of Mark's occasional watercolors through time.

The family business--and literary tradition-- continues with Mark and Duane's daughter, who is President and featured designer of Mark Hampton LLC. Alexa Hampton's forthcoming THE LANGUAGE OF INTERIOR DESIGN (Clarkson Potter, Fall 2010) offers the core principles of her approach to interior design, which she has dubbed “The Julie Andrews Approach:” "once you know the notes to sing, you can sing most anything." Alexa keenly felt that there needed to be a design book written that addressed design’s language so people could reliably “speak” it. The bigger the profession gets, she believes, the more people need to understand that there are foundational principles that support it.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A HEARTBEAT AND A GUITAR nominated for 13th Belmont Book Award!

Antonino D'Ambrosio's cultural history is up for the best book on country music award, to be presented at the annual International Country Music Conference at Belmont University on May 28th.

Antonino will be in Seattle December 12th at Elliot Bay Books 7PM presenting the book with musician Rocky Votolato.

On December 19th at 8PM Antonino will be presenting a show with artist Shepard Fairey at his Subliminal Projects Gallery called 'A Furious Heartbeat." Shepard will be showing his original artwork for Antonino's film LET FURY HAVE THE HOUR and the book. He will be performing with Wayne Kramer (MC5) and special guests. For more info: http://www.subliminalprojects.com/

"This is cultural history at its finest." The Progressive Favorite Book of 2009

On worldhum.com, Cullen Thomas's "A Tourist’s Afghanistan"

Read the current Top Story about Cullen's friend Barry Misenheimer, an independent traveler in the war-torn country, replete with a Japanese tourist couple.

Check out his web site here, and the publisher's page here.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Boston Globe speaks with Antonino D'Ambrosio about Johnny "Cash's lost treasure."

Download this two hour special on the book on Pirate Cat Radio out of San Francisco--considered one of the best indy radio stations in the country.

GritTV with Laura Flanders featured Antonino's last book and upcoming film LET FURY HAVE THE HOUR: The Punk Rock Politics of Joe Strummer, which you can view here.

Here is Shepard Fairey's cover for the Nation Books reissue of that book:

Monday, December 7, 2009

Peter Hessler's forthcoming COUNTRY DRIVING gets a starred Kirkus

"...The result is a remarkably detailed, engrossing account of China today. The human side of China’s great transformation, told with humor, affection and great insight."

Publisher's Weekly also gave it a starred review, saying: "In his latest feat of penetrating social reportage, New Yorker writer Hessler (Oracle Bones) again proves himself America's keenest observer of the New China."

Check out Peter's Facebook page here.

Read some of his New Yorker pieces here, or National Geographic here.

COUNTRY DRIVING: A Journey Through China from Farm to Factory will be on sale February 9, 2010.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Check out Antonino D'Ambrosio on Laura Flanders

"A Heartbeat and a Guitar is more than the story of a Johnny Cash album. It is the moving story, through song, of the epic story of Native Americans. To remember Ira Hayes is to learn the story behind the famous Iwo Jima photograph of Joe Rosenthal. This is a must read book for all who want to understand our true history."
--John Rothman, host of K60 Newstalk 810AM, San Francisco

As much about the present as about the past, HEARTBEAT AND A GUITAR offers up an unknown cultural history of the the United States as told through Cash's little-known and most controversial record. It reveals a country struggling between decline and progression, turmoil and democratic change.

Catch Antonino at 3PM on 12/6 at a "Sundays at Sunny’s" reading at a beautiful old waterfront bar, Sunny’s Bar, 253 Conover Street, Red Hook, Brooklyn.

Interview on socialistworker.org.

Read about "Greening with Envy" by Bonnie Tsui in The Atlantic

Friday, November 13, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009

Peter Hessler's COUNTRY DRIVING gets a starred PW Review

About Peter's third book, to be published in the US and Canada by Harper next February, PW writes: "In his latest feat of penetrating social reportage, New Yorker writer Hessler (Oracle Bones) again proves himself America's keenest observer of the New China. Hessler investigates the country's lurch into modernity through three engrossing narratives. In an epic road trip following the Great Wall across northern China, he surveys dilapidated frontier outposts from the imperial past while barely surviving the advent of the nation's uniquely terrifying car culture. He probes the transformation of village life through the saga of a family of peasants trying to remake themselves as middle-class entrepreneurs. Finally, he explores China's frantic industrialization, embodied by the managers and workers at a fly-by-night bra-parts factory in a Special Economic Zone. Hessler has a sharp eye for contradictions, from the absurdities of Chinese drivers' education courses—low-speed obstacle courses are mandatory, while seat belts and turn signals are deemed optional—to the leveling of an entire mountain to make way for the Renli Environmental Protection Company. Better yet, he has a knack for finding the human-scale stories that make China's vast upheavals both comprehensible and moving. The result is a fascinating portrait of a society tearing off into the future with only the sketchiest of maps. (Feb.)"

Also, in the October 26th issue of THE NEW YORKER is Peter's "Letter from Lishui: Chinese Barbizon: A factory town's "art village." There's a wonderful slideshow of photographs by Peter and his friend Mark Leong on the magazine site here.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

FRANKFURT: Berlin Verlag Features COUNTRY DRIVING by Peter Hessler as Lead Title

COUNTRY DRIVING is the lead display at Berlin Verlag's stand here in Frankfurt!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

John Woods Reviews SOUL OF A PEOPLE by David Taylor on Peace Corps Worldwide

"... this book brings together the stories and history of arguably an important piece of our twentieth century cultural heritage along with insights into what life was like during the depression. For this reason alone, it is worth reading, but beyond that, any aspiring writer should appreciate that even for the great writers, things didn’t always come easily."

Read Bonnie Tsui's Article on Touring the Navaho Nation in the Observer (UK)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Bonnie Tsui Walks with Jennifer 8. Lee through Chinatown

View New York Chinatown Tour with Bonnie Tsui in a larger map

Great Q&A with Keith McNally from the Restaurant Girl

Favorite bit: "Despite the fact that 80% of the process is painful and torturous, ultimately there's something rather rewarding about putting a restaurant together. The look, the staff, the food, the organization. All in all, I really enjoy it. Besides, I'm not sure I could do anything else. " Back in January The Observer had a great piece, too.

Dayle Haddon Gets the Steve Treatment as a Most Beautiful Woman

There's also a wonderful profile on this page. She talks about her work in Darfur here:

Read Cullen Thomas's Interview with Nick Bonner on WorldHum

The author of BROTHER ONE CELL speaks to the founder of a North Korean tour provider.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

AMERICAN CHINATOWN by Bonnie Tsui on The Book Bench / New Yorker

The New Yorker site presents a photo essay by Bonnie Tsui, author of AMERICAN CHINATOWN, just published by Free Press earlier this month.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


We were thrilled to receive finished copies of this wonderful book from the publisher today.

It has garnered the following pre-pub quotes:

A wonderfully revealing and compassionate trip into the real lives of men and women who straddle the world's two great powers. The graceful travelogue is from a hidden world in our own backyards. Tsui plunges into Chinatowns that are, like China itself, reinventing themselves before our eyes, showing not only what it means to be Chinese in the world, but also the spirit of self-invention that made America great."

"A fascinating and thoughtful look at a thoroughly American phenomenon."

"In this masterful work, Bonnie Tsui charts the fascinating history of America's Chinatowns. From geography to economics to linguistics, she presents a vibrant, intimate portrait of communities that have played a crucial role in shaping the American landscape. There are dozens of evocative, exhilarating, and touching stories here, from those of a beauty queen to a Vegas poker dealer in training. Candid, witty, and always engaging, Tsui is a wonderful guide for these many journeys."

"Bonnie Tsui has written affectionately and astutely about a subject very close to my heart: Chinatown. In speaking with old-timers, the first generation to grow up in Chinatown, and the newest immigrants, she has captured the ways that five Chinatowns connect their inhabitants to culture, history, language, food, and to China itself -- even if they've never been there. She has looked beyond the colorful tourist facades to find unique neighborhoods that serve as home for some, refuges for others, and places of memory for all."

Bonnie's reading schedule is as follows:

August 11, 2009: Launch party! Slideshow, reading, and talk
7:30 pm, The Booksmith, 1644 Haight St., San Francisco, CA; 415-863-8688

August 12, 2009: Interview on NPR’s Talk of the Nation
12 pm Pacific, check here for broadcast schedule near you

August 15, 2009: Radio interview with Peter Greenberg Worldwide
Check here for broadcast schedule near you

August 19, 2009: Live interview at KALW in San Francisco
2 pm Pacific, New America Now, on NPR

August 19, 2009: Reading & talk *UPDATED LOCATION!
6 pm, Book Passage, Ferry Building, San Francisco, CA; 415-835-1020

August 25, 2009: Reading & talk
7:30 pm, Kepler’s Books, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, CA; 650-324-4321

August 27, 2009: Reading & talk
7:30 pm, Mrs. Dalloway’s, 2904 College Ave., Berkeley, CA; 510-704-8222

September 3, 2009: Reading & talk
7 pm, Books, Inc. in Opera Plaza, 601 Van Ness, San Francisco, CA; 415-776-1111

September 13, 2009: Reading & talk
2 pm, Chinatown YMCA, 273 Bowery St., New York, NY; 212-912-2460

September 14, 2009: Slideshow, reading & talk
6:30 pm, Museum of Chinese in America, 215 Centre St., New York, NY; 212-619-4785

September 15, 2009: Reading & talk
7 pm, Bluestockings, 172 Allen St., New York, NY; 212-777-6028

September 29, 2009: Reading & talk
6 pm, A joint event by the Mechanics Institute and the Asia Society, 57 Post St.,

San Francisco, CA; 415-393-0114
November 7, 2009: Slideshow & talk

2 pm, San Francisco Public Library, Chinatown Branch, 1135 Powell St., San Francisco, CA; 415-355-2888
February 9, 2010: Slideshow & talk in honor of Lunar New Year

6 pm, Chinese Historical Society of America, 965 Clay St., San Francisco, CA; 415-391-1188
February 11, 2010: Discussion & lecture

6 pm, San Francisco Public Library, Main Branch, Herb Caen Magazines & Newspapers Center, 100 Larkin St., San Francisco, CA; 415-437-4844

February 23, 2010: Slideshow & lecture
10:30 am, City College of San Francisco, Downtown Campus Library,
88 Fourth St., San Francisco, CA; 415-267-6505

February 26, 2010: Friday evening lecture series at CUNY
6 pm, Asian American/Asian Research Institute, City University of New York,
25 West 43rd St., Rm. 1000, New York, NY; 212-869-0182

March 6, 2010: Signing & presentation as part of the Lantern Festival
in conjunction with “Hollywood Chinese: The Arthur Dong Collection” exhibit
Chinese American Museum of Los Angeles, 125 Paseo de la Plaza, Los Angeles, CA; 213-485-8567

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Yuval Taylor on WNYC's Soundcheck

Yuval Taylor, co-author of FAKING IT: The Quest for Authenticity in Popular Music, talks about the new wave of theatricality in music and why sometimes fake is what feels most real with Anne Powers.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Book Studio Interviews David A. Taylor about SOUL OF A PEOPLE

The goal of The Book Studio, an online project of WETA in Washington, is to connect readers with authors through video interviews that provide the time and space for thoughtful discussions of themes and ideas. Among the authors who've stopped by the studio for interviews are Richard Russo, Alexander McCall Smith, Chris Bohjalian, Tracy Chevalier, Mary Gordon, Frank Warren, and Naomi Wolf.

Zak Pelaccio's UWS Fatty Crab Gets Two Stars

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A HEARTBEAT AND A GUITAR by Antonino D'Ambrosio On the Way

With a cover by Shepard Fairey, the designer of the Obama poster, A HEARTBEAT AND A GUITAR: Johnny Cash and the Making of Bitter Tears (Nation Books) will feature never before published photos by the great rock photographer Jim Marshall (did the photos of Cash at Folsom Prison, the famous Jimi Hendrix portrait among a thousand other things--including included a never before see photo of Dylan at Newport in '63). There are plans for a big concert at Carnegie Hall for the book, with Pete Seeger, Bruce Springsteen, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, and others.

Monday, February 16, 2009


David speaks about his second book, published by John Wiley & Sons last month. Read an excerpt from the book on the NPR site.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

GOODNIGHT BUSH by Erich Origen and Gan Golan at The Inauguration

At the Inauguration, documentary filmmaker Mark Smith filmed people reading Goodnight Bush out loud. Lines of people formed to join in this cathartic experience and cheer each other on.

That night, the Goodnight Bush Choir sang the text of the book set to four-part harmony. This video presents both events.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

SOUL OF A PEOPLE by David Taylor Amazon Editor's Pick

David Taylor's fresh look at the Federal Writers Project and tie-in to the upcoming documentary SOUL OF A PEOPLE: WRITING AMERICA'S STORY will be an Amazon Editor's Pick for February.