Friday, April 30, 2010

In The Guardian Kevin Rushby get white-knuckled with COUNTRY DRIVING by Peter Hessler

Peter Hessler, the New Yorker's man in Beijing, has been an invaluable guide to modern China in his last two books, River Town and Oracle Bones.In Country Driving, which has just been longlisted for the Samuel Johnson prize, he continues to take us to places that others never seem to reach.

...Hessler may not be from "our China", but he is an extraordinarily sympathetic and patient outsider, albeit one whose motoring expectations are constantly confounded

....The book is full of wonderful close observations, such as the hitch-hiker with a "crooked moustache that crossed his lip like a calligrapher's mistake". The broader picture is of a culture being simultaneously destroyed and created before our eyes. The decor in Wei Jia's family living room in Sancha becomes a symbol of the cultural and social mayhem. Progress has brought a motley accumulation of ornaments: a pig's fetus in a bottle, two Ming-dynasty cannons rescued from the Great Wall, a Buddhist shrine, two bottles of Johnnie Walker whisky, and pictures of a People's Army tank opposite one of the Denver skyline. The author looks around and reflects: "How could anybody hope to make sense of this world?"

We can only be grateful that we have Peter Hessler to try.

New York Social Diary Interviews Duane Hampton

Sian Ballen opens with:

From the very start of my interview with Duane Hampton, widow of renowned decorator Mark Hampton, I felt like I was chatting with an old girl friend. She’s a witty, charming woman with a keen sense of humor who sees life for what it is and makes it work.

After the early death of her husband in 1998 she was left holding the (beautifully decorated) fort at the age of 55. As she herself says: “You have to figure out a new life for yourself—and it’s not all terrible.” While their youngest daughter, Alexa Hampton, continued to head the family design firm, Duane returned to her earlier career as a writer. Her latest book, Mark Hampton, An American Decorator, is released this week by Rizzoli. It is, as one might expect, a tribute to a man of many talents: a famous decorator, loyal friend, devoted father and a marriage to wife who was his equal partner on every stage.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

TAG Fine Arts en route to New York!!!!

Agency friends Hobby and Diana of TAG Fine Arts return once again to this year's AAF NYC. They will be exhibiting new and exclusive works from their stable of artists including Adam Bridgland, Robin Duttson, Gonkar Gyatso (check out Gonkar's blog here), Hazel Nichols, John Pasche, Rob Ryan and David Spiller. They will also be bringing over from the UK previously unseen prints by established British artists including: Sir Peter Blake (featured here), Sir Terry Frost and Damien Hirst.

In a happy collaboration with the agency, TAG and Tibetan artist Gonkar Gyatso have given permission to Dzogchen Ponlop for him to use Gonkar's "The Buddha Sakyamuni," on the cover of REBEL BUDDHA:  On the Road to Freedom, which will be published starting in November in numerous languages around the world. About the book, Pema Chödrön, author of WHEN THINGS FALL APART, says REBEL BUDDHA "shatters old myths and sweeps away cultural baggage, presenting the essence of the Buddha's teachings in a fresh, contemporary voice. With uncommon clarity and authority, he offers a new vision for the future of Buddhism that is at once shocking and hopeful. This is a small book with a big message that is timely and important."

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Moderate Voice Embraces the Suck: Matt Gallagher's KABOOM

Kathrine Tomlinson of California Literary Review tries to compare Gallagher’s book to other war literature – she misses the point. Ms Tomlinson has never been in the military or close to war and doesn’t understand that this is not a book about war but a book about soldier’s relationships in war. It’s about what they refer to in the military as esprit de corps. It’s about those personal relationships – looking out for others in your unit regardless of politics.  -- Ron Beaseley

Check out this interview with Matt by Mr. Everything Eruptin:

Sunday, April 25, 2010

"Logrolling in Our Time?" Bonnie Tsui on Jim Meehan, Others in Boston Globe

Intrepid explorer client Bonnie Tsui happens to write about Jim Meehan, mixologist client, in "Straight-up retro" in this pleasing coincidence.

Three Golfers' and An Agent's Journey to London

William Clark Associates--also known as me, myself, and I--represented at the volcano-challenged London Book Fair this year, which took place from the 20th through the 22nd of April, and from which so many Americans and Europeans were  absent and missed.  Many associates--family, friends, and colleagues--have inquired after our attendance, so setting aside the attentions of our wife on a Sunday evening, here goes...

Preparations for the fair had consumed many preceding weeks, among them proofing the rights lists, selling in translation rights, and developing new projects and strategy for selling their primary rights while there.  Equally determined to take our annual guest room at The Charles Lamb in Islington, run by our impeccably gracious friend Camille Hobby-Limon, and even enjoy a cocktail or two at her and Professor Tony Conigliaro's new bar, 69 Colebrooke Row, upon arrival on Thursday evening, we woke to a cancelled flight at five o'clock that morning, and booked the only available flight on Aer Lingus to London via Shannon on Friday night.  With things shutting down throughout Friday, passage was only guaranteed to Shannon by takeoff.  If Ireland, then England!

By takeoff the flight was diverted to Dublin, and it was there we shivered in windbreaker at ten to six on Saturday morning, before taking a taxi to Dun Laoghaire, one of the ferry ports to the United Kingdom.  A minivan of guys who had behaved convivially on the flight over were unfolding onto the curb in front of the taxi, and they were made agency associates as they worked their cell phones and laptops intently.  The obviously capable trio were golfers heading home from a tour, including The Masters at Augusta, and several rounds at Pinehurst.  Including Rich, the affable golf pro from Roehampton, their American-style country club outside London;  Adam, a derivatives trader who works in Islington, and the original Mr. "Can Do;"  and "Mr. Church" from Wandsworth, who married Ms. Church of Church's Shoes, otherwise known as Jeremy.  All kind and generous fellows, who were happy to have my contribution to the effort, if not my company.

A port officer showed up at the quay and unlocked the doors, though the ferry ticket windows would remain closed until 11:00.  As other hopeful travellers were arriving at this desolate port, my acquaintances determined we needed to go as far north as possible to definitely get a ferry to Scotland.  Such a port would be Larne, somewhere somewhat north of Belfast, and a three hour trip from where we were.  Negotiating a fare with the golfers' driver from the airport, we fitted into the minivan already piled high with three set of golf clubs and three weeks' luggage and embarked for the north.

From Larne, Ireland we were ferried to Stranraer, Scotland;  driven to Carlisle;  and entrained at Carlisle for London, England.  On the way down Jeremy pointed out the Church's factory as we passed by Northampton. Via air, land, and water, it was an olfactory and visual tour of those three countries, and our companionable quartet smelled each of their manures while taking in the most verdant vistas on a spectacularly cloudless day.  We exchanged contact details before parting ways on the platform at Euston Station.

Stumbling down Elia Street around nine o'clock that evening, we gained a spring in our step reviewing the accomplishment, and were sufficiently revived to pursue that schedule fantasied prior:  drinks and a visit to the new bar with Camille's husband, the irrepressible art dealer Hobby, regular guest in our house, also resident of the pub, of course, and partner in TAG Fine Arts.

Peter Ginna, Publisher and Editorial Director of Bloomsbury Press whose nom de plume de blog is Dr. Syntax, took a similar route, which you may read about here.

Friday, April 23, 2010

AMERICAN CHINATOWN author Bonnie Tsui covers In the Wild, With Tent and Tablecloth in The New York Times

In today's Travel section Bonnie writes about the increasing number of expedition companies that offer culinary instruction along with outdoor adventure.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

On GQ, Jim Meehan posts on The Platinum Age of the Cocktail

Bartender Jim Meehan of New York's PDT on the people and cocktails that started a drinking revolution. Today: A modern classic from an industry legend

COUNTRY DRIVING by Peter Hessler on Samuel Johnson Prize Longlist

We are happy to share the news that Peter Hessler's COUNTRY DRIVING has made the longlist for the UK's most prestigious non-fiction award, the Samuel Johnson Prize!

Penelope Green is At Home With Duane Hampton in The New York Times

On the eve of the publication by Rizzoli of MARK HAMPTON: An American Decorator, Penelope Green speaks with author Duane Hampton about her  "love letter to her late husband and a vivid portrait of the times he lived and worked in."

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

In The New Yorker, Peter Hessler Goes West

Read Peter's "Go West," his New Yorker Personal History piece, about his return to the U.S. after living in China for fifteen yeards, never having lived here as an adult. Read as he changes his name while signing up for phone service and receives calls as Peter Chang, has some fun on a cold call with an NRA representative, then has his picture taken with a fake Elvis marathon runner in Vegas.

KABOOM's Matt Gallagher discusses The Things Civilians Don't Understand About War on NPR'S Talk of the Nation

Join Matt, author of KABOOM: Embracing the Suck in a Savage Little War and former Captain, U.S. Army, and Gary Solis, author of THE LAW OF ARMED CONFLICT and adjunct professor of law, Georgetown University, in a conversation with Neal Conan about the response to the leaked video of U.S. gunners in an Apache helicopter killing 12 people in Baghdad.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Join Rev. Billy at the Highline Ballroom for a MOUNTAINTOP REVIVAL!

The earth is a communications field, a sky of soaring voices, oceans of articulate echoes. With mountain-top removal JP Morgan Chase is creating these hulking vaults of silence. But silence never exists in the thick tapestry of intelligence that is nature. The earth fills up its space with talking and listening beings. We are invited to talk and listen too. --Rev

Author of THA DOGGFATHER hits New York

Snoop is much less controversial than he was when I sold his autobiography written with Davin Seay THA DOGGFATHER:  The Times, Trials, And Hardcore Truths Of Snoop Dogg to William Morrow back in 1997 (Publishers Weekly: "Like the verses Snoop raps, his book comes fast and full of insight;" Kirkus: "an amusing, contemplative memoir"), and The New Yorker's Sasha Frere-Jones describes what I've always liked about his music nicely in his mention of his upcoming shows at the Brooklyn Bowl on April 19th and Irving Plaza on the 20th, writing: "few rappers have an instrument that matches Snoop’s: an easy baritone with a high ceiling that dominates any beat it faces but never tightens. Snoop’s sense of how words land is unerring, and he moves with a physical confidence that betrays a lifetime of knowing—and expecting—that he is being watched."

A HEARTBEAT AND A GUITAR author Antonino D'Ambrosio in Philadelphia and CUNY

On Saturday the 17th at 4PM he will be presenting A Heartbeat and a Guitar at the prestigious Philadelphia Book Festival. This will be a bigger, expanded show with Martin Perna, Anthony Roman, David Milone, and Gustavo Rodriguez.

On Saturday, April 24th, Antonino presents his visual art film series La Terra Promessa (Part 1 In Sun & Shadow, Part II Diamanti nel di Massima), will be screened at the CUNY's Calandra Institute as part of Terre Promesse: Excursions Towards Italian Topographies. 
11–12:15 PM
For further information call (212) 642-2094.

Artist Shepard Fairey (book cover art for A Heartbeat and a Guitar and film art for Let Fury Have the Hour), has invited Antonino to write the essay for his upcoming NYC exhibit "MAY DAY" opening May 1 at the Deitch Gallery. The essay , "May Day Calling," will be printed on the back of the signature piece of the exhibit and offered as a print by Fairey in the coming weeks. 

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Alan Tanksley on Open House NYC

Join my brother-in-law as he discusses the many design challenges he faced while designing a 3,000 square foot apartment ccupying the entire fourth floor of a cast-iron building in Soho.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Read Ponlop Rinpoche on how the Buddha wasn't a Buddhist in The Washington Post

John Meacham and Sally Quinn's conversation on religion and politics continues with Ponlop Rinpoche, author of the forthcoming REBEL BUDDHA: On the Road to Freedom (Shambhala, Fall 2010). The agency is currently holding auctions for German and Dutch language rights. REBEL BUDDHA addresses a younger generation of readers interested in Buddhism, and describes the Buddhist path from a personal, experiential point of view. At the same time, its message is radical and no-nonsense: strip your cultural clothing and expose the naked wisdom and compassion at the core of your heart. It's smart, funny, hip, and provocative, easy to read, full of heartwarming stories, and intelligence.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Zak Pelaccio discusses the History of BBQ and the Way of Fatty Cue on Heritage Radio Network

And join Linda Pelaccio (who, aside from being Zak's mom, is a former producer of talk radio and TV food shows, and is a member of Culinary Historians of New York, New York Women's Culinary Alliance, Les Dames d'Escoffier, and the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP)) for A Taste of the Past for a half hour each week as she indulges her curiosity about food, cooking, drinking and dining of the past by taking a journey through culinary history. Linda interviews authors, scholars, friends and chroniclers to learn about what was eaten, where, and how, from as long ago as ancient Mesopotamia and Rome right up to the grazing tables and deli counters of today. The show underscores food as a lively link between present and past cultures.

Learn more at:

Thursday, April 1, 2010

On, Peter Hessler's "The Great Whatnot of China"

As a personal decision, Google’s stance toward China is admirable, because the company turned down profits in order to make a statement. And it’s an effective way for Sergey Brin to express valuable lessons that he learned during the past in the Soviet Union. But his statement might have less relevance to the China of today and especially to the China of tomorrow. It reflects a frustration that is common among more idealistic foreigners, who have always hoped to provide a guiding light to the Reform years. By now it’s obvious that the Chinese reality is far murkier—all that whatnot, the great gray zone of personal improvement without political advancement. And the country has shown a strong and stubborn tendency to resist following any political model imported from abroad. Outsiders might have a great deal of influence, but it’s often indirect; foreigners can provide key tools, but the Chinese are determined to figure out how to use them on their own. And now, when it comes to the Internet, there’s one less tool out there.