Posts by: Mark Pritchard

Beacon Press to Republish Out-of-print MLK Books

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Beacon Press has come to an agreement with the heirs of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to republish four out-of-print books by the clergyman and civil rights leader, including “Strength to Love,” a collection of his most eloquent and inspiring essays tying the message of Jesus to the struggle for civil rights, as in the essay “Loving Your Enemies,” where King says:

“Far from being the pious injunction of a Utopian dreamer, the command to love one’s enemies is an absolute necessity for survival.”

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Novelist disappears into illness, addiction

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Kaye Gibbons, author of the 1987 debut best-seller Ellen Foster and several subsequent novels, is the subject of an Associated Press profile published in several newspapers and Sunday book sections over the weekend. The article traces her downfall from “vivacious” best-selling author to her 2008 arrest for forging hydrocodone prescriptions to her disappearance into mental illness.

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Why we need newspapers: They stand against tyranny

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In the 1960s and 70s, Central and South America were rife with dictatorships which used secret police, the military, right-wing death squads and tight control of the media to quash dissent and keep power. One of the most egregious of these police states was Argentina, still recovering from its anti-democratic Peronist era.

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Newspapers dying? Maybe it’s just the cities they mythologized

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An interview on New American Media with writer Richard Rodriguez has a fascinating take on what’s happening to American newspapers. Using the famously provincial San Francisco Chronicle as an example, Rodriguez says,  ”I don’t think the Chronicle is dying so much as I think that San Francisco is dying.”

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Paterson’s Great Falls, inspiration for writers, named national park

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President Barack Obama signed legislation on Monday naming the Great Falls on the Passaic River in Paterson, N.J. a national historic park.

The 77-foot falls, site of early American industrial plants, has also inspired American writers. The great 20th century poets William Carlos Williams, whose epic work “Paterson” used the falls and the river as embodiments of American spirit, and Allen Ginsberg, who also commemorated the falls in his work, grew up nearby.

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The Unhappy Writer, Links by Mark Pritchard

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imagesA recent entry on the publishing blog Galleycat told of the writer Molly Jong-Fast and how she was quitting writing to become an agent. Jong-Fast’s somewhat privileged complaints — she is the daughter of Erica Jong and the novelist Jonathan Fast, and signed her three-book contract at age 20 — put me in mind of a couple of other public laments by writers.

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