The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.
Ginny Weasley, the freckly, flame-haired girl who later marries Harry Potter, grows up to be a sports journalist, according to new writing from J.K. Rowling on the website Pottermore. (Login required.) The stories are Ginny's dispatches from the 2014 Quidditch World Cup for the magical newspaper The Daily Prophet. "Not a single Quaffle thrown, not a single Snitch caught, but the 427th Quidditch World Cup is already mired in controversy," she writes. "Magizoologists have congregated in the desert to contain the mayhem and Healers have attended more than 300 crowd members suffering from shock, broken bones and bites."
In Vanity Fair, Ian McEwan talks about having dinner with Salman Rushdie, who had a fatwa out against him: "I remember standing the next morning with Salman in the country kitchen, a gray English morning, and he was the lead item on the BBC — another Middle East figure saying he too would condemn him to death. It was a very sad moment — standing buttering toast and listening to that awful message on the radio."
James Salter remembers Peter Matthiessen, the writer and naturalist who died earlier this month: "His illness was private. It lasted more than a year, and the treatment was difficult. During it, as he became weaker, with his characteristic determination he wrote a final book, just published this past week, 'In Paradise.' He died at home, and his wife, his son Alex, and Zen family washed his body as in ancient times."
The editorial director of Ecco, Lee Boudreaux, is leaving the HarperCollins imprint to launch "Boudreaux," her own imprint at Little, Brown. She told Publisher's Weekly that the imprint will allow her to "discover the kind of electrifying and unexpected voices I've grown to treasure."
Man Booker winner Eleanor Catton writes about the process of finding inspiration for a novel: "Creative influence can have a positive or a negative charge, either imitative ('I want to try that!') or defiant ('I want to see that done differently'). Both kinds of influence are vital for the health of an idea. Too defiant, and the idea will be shrill; too imitative, and the idea will be safe. For me, the moment when these two charges first come together — when I connect, imaginatively, something that I love as a reader with something that I long for as a reader — is the moment the idea for a story is born."
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