Authors Deface Own Books for Charity


Literary organization English PEN has chosen an interesting way to raise funds: ask authors to annotate first editions of their books, and then auction them off.

J. K. Rowling is the prize catch in terms of predicted auction money, but 49 other writers are participating, from Philip Pullman to Jeanette Winterson.

…Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney, looking through his first book of poems, Death of a Naturalist, published in 1966, adds a note to “The Early Purges” which might well have been accompanied by a sigh: “One of the most popular in schools since it can start a good argument. But at this stage, I’d like to rewrite it.”

Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →