Authors’ first tweets

Twitter has developed a special following in the literary community, from high-brow to low, C. Max Magee says in The Millions, and lists some first tweets by authors.

I don’t know what my first tweet was, nor how to find it amid my 4300 odd. But here are some from more organized authors.

I just opened my present from Dave McKean, The Big Fat Duck Cookbook. Heavy as a stone and beautiful. “See?” he said. “I do read your blog.” — Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) December 26, 2008

@ShitHomemaker – this is my first tweet and it’s your fault. — Salman Rushdie (@SalmanRushdie) September 15, 2011

Fine, then. I’ll twitter. — John Green (@realjohngreen) December 11, 2008

Author tweets

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‘Occupy’ novel written 100 years ago

James Oppenheim wrote a novel, The Nine-Tenths’, that was published precisely 100 years before “Occupy” protesters camped out in New York’s Zuccotti Park, John de Graaf writes in Truthout.

Z ParkZuccotti Park. (Photo: Dan Nguyen / Flickr)

Published in the fall of 1911, the novel was called The Nine-Tenths, de Graaf notes.

Hadn’t I been hearing a similar term being used widely since “Occupy” protesters took over Zuccotti Park, near Wall Street in September 2011. Did the ‘Nine-Tenths’ refer to roughly the same segment of America’s population that Occupy sought to represent exactly 100 years later?

The novel is readily obtained; free online versions are available, because its copyright ran out long ago….The reviews of the day acclaimed the book as a powerful portrait of the lives of the poor, despite some complaints about Oppenheim’s penchant for the sentimental.

Occupy 100 years ago

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Debut novel fetches nearly $2 million

The 900-page debut novel, “City on Fire,” by Garth Risk Hallberg’ took the publishing industry by storm last week, Julie Bosma reports for the NYT, more evidence that the long novel is experiencing a resurgence.

Publishers who bid on it rapturously compared it to work by Michael Chabon and Thomas Pynchon.

Big book returns

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The Village Against the World: A book by Dan Hancox

Nestled in farmland about 60 miles from Seville, Spain, exists Marinaleda, a village of 2,700 people. For 30 years, the citizens of this tiny pueblo have fought and won a struggle to create a utopia in which everyone has a job and a home, Nomi Prins reports in Truthdig.

Village_Against_the_World

In the most expensive government on the planet—ours—grossly unequal division of wealth and power is a growing blight on the face of humanity. Dangerous mechanisms of financial ruin are nurtured by governments.  

In his captivating new book, “The Village Against the World,” Dan Hancox shows, in lyrical and penetrating prose, shows us an alternative.

Another world

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Rudolph and Ruins: Abandoned Santa Parks

Brazil santa parkPark Albanoel in Brazil (photograph by Paul Keller)

Vermont SantaSANTA’S LAND, Putney, Vermont — photograph by RoadTripNE

Some places have tried to capture this fleeting joy of Christmas year-round, Allison Meier reports at Atlas Obscura, with Santa parks where there are always prancing reindeer and busy elves.

Yet even this attempt at capturing holiday joy as a sort of amusement park has its expiration date, and like a pine tree tossed to the curb with its tinsel and garland still tousled around its branches, these Santa parks have been abandoned and left to ruin.

Abandoned Santa parks

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Blast from the past: abandoned bomb shelter

A new homeowner has opened a fallout shelter sealed since 1961, Michael Barnes reports in the Austin American-Statesman.

Bomb shelterAP Photo/Austin American-Statesman, Rodolfo Gonzalez

 In the backyard of Craig Denham’s mid-century modern home is a 1961 fallout shelter in near-mint condition. Two retractable cots hang from one wall in a cramped room that is illuminated by a single light bulb. Nearby is a crank for the air shaft; across the way are spigots for water stored in tanks.

Denham points out a disabled periscope near the stairwell. “Perfect for the zombie apocalypse if it comes,” Dentham says.

Bomb shelter

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Pinky and the Brain

Boing Boing alerts us to “the greatest English-language tongue-twister of all time!”

Tongue twister video

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Alma Alexander

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