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A Brief History of Seven Killings went on sale last week with huge media attention, beginning with Michiko Kakutani’s flat-out rave review in the New York Timeswhere she praised that A Brief History of Seven Killings is “epic in every sense of that word: sweeping, mythic, over-the-top, colossal and dizzyingly complex.It’s also raw, dense, violent, scalding, darkly comic, exhilarating and exhausting — a testament to Mr. James’s vaulting ambition and prodigious talent.” Marlon James was interviewed for two back-to-back national profiles:  the front page of the New York Times’ Arts section and then a full interview in Wall Street Journal. Listen to Marlon’s interview with NPR’s All Things Considered here, with much more to come as he continues his nationwide book tour! Read a Letter from the Editor of A Brief History of Seven Killings.
Major media coverage continues for Steven Johnson and his new book How We Got to Now: a slate of high-profile television appearances, including The Daily ShowCBS This Morning, and Morning Joe, with more to come. There has also been terrific review coverage: The Daily Beast says that “What makes this book such a mind-expanding read is Johnson’s ability to appreciate human advancement as a vast network of influence, rather than a simple chain of one invention leading to another, and result is nothing less than a celebration of the human mind.” And the Washington Post says “How We Got to Now, Steven Johnson’s new book about ‘six innovations that made the modern world,’ is filled with weird and amusing examples…His point is simple, important and well-timed: During periods of rapid innovation, there is always tumult as citizens try to make sense of it….Johnson is an engaging writer, and he takes very complicated and disparate subjects and makes their evolution understandable.” And just a reminder that the 6-part PBS series, How We Got to Now, hosted by Steven, debuts on October 15. For a taste of the series, check out the official trailer here.
The National Book Foundation has announced its 9th annual “5 Under 35” honorees and three of the authors are published by Penguin Publishing Group imprints: Five-Under-35-ThumbnailView the complete list of 2014 honorees here. This year’s “5 Under 35” authors will be honored at the National Book Awards Week party in DUMBO, Brooklyn on Monday, November 17. The event will be hosted by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, musical director for The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. New Yorker editor Ben Greenman will moderate a conversation with the authors and serve as the evening’s Guest DJ. Riverhead’s Rosie Schaap, author of Drinking with Men: A Memoir, is the Guest Bartender. The “5 Under 35” program annually honors five young fiction writers selected by past National Book Award winners and finalists. Since 2006, the program has championed a rising generation of writers, including Penguin Random House authors Danielle Evans, Keith Gessen, Nam Le, Dinaw Mengestu, Téa Obreht, Karen Russell, Merritt Tierce, Claire Vaye Watkins, Tiphanie Yanique and Paul Yu.
Penguin Random House author Juan Gabriel Vásquez has won the prestigious International IMPAC Dublin literary award for The Sound of Things Falling, The IMPAC judges called it a “consummate literary thriller that resonates long after the final page,” also saying in the award citation, “Through a masterly command of layered time periods, spiraling mysteries and a noir palette, it reveals how intimate lives are overshadowed by history; how the past preys on the present; and how the fate of individuals as well as countries is molded by distant, or covert, events.”
Vásquez said winning this prize was “a great honor,” and he was particularly thrilled since past winners of the IMPAC award include author Javier Marías, who had greatly influenced his writing. The Sound of Things Falling, set in the dangerous world of the Colombian drug trade, was published in hardcover by Riverhead Books last August, with the Riverhead trade paperback edition going on sale June 3, 2014.
Early this year the Chicago TribuneThe Millions, Library Journal  and Flavorwire all featured The Vacationers by Riverhead author Emma Straub as one of their “most anticipated books of 2014,” predicting that “we’re sure you’ll see armies of folks reading The Vacationers on the beach over the summer.”  Since then, the book has proven to be a summer reading sensation, having earned starred reviews from Kirkusand Booklist; appearing in over 18 different magazines, including everything from InStyle and Cosmopolitan to Elle, Marie Claire, and Town & Country; as well as having prominent placement in just about every Summer Reading round-up from Entertainment Weekly to Parade to Buzzfeed.  In a full-page, four-starred review, People Magazine calls The Vacationers  “delicious” and “richly riveting” while New York Times book critic Janet Maslin calls it “one of the most entertaining novels of the summer.”  The always delightful Emma had a conversation with NPR’s Scott Simon and is now on the road promoting the book, hitting Boston, Washington, DC, Nashville, Los Angeles and San Francisco – where Emma is pictured with Penguin Sales Rep and event host Wendy Pearl. The book debuted on the National Indie Bestseller list as well as on The New York Times combined print & eBook bestseller list, and Riverhead expects the momentum to continue throughout the summer, with more major media to come in O Magazine¸ Ladies’ Home Journal, USA Today, Interview, E!, and Redbook. Read an Excerpt from The Vacationers
Last week on a rainy Wednesday night, wire walker, street-juggler and author Philippe Petite held a “forbidden party” in the catacombs of Brooklyn’s landmark Green-Wood Cemetery.  Reporters were treated to a presentation on his new book, CreativityThe Perfect CrimeThe New York Observer featured the party, and The Wall Street Journal interviewed him at the cemetery, “where his French lilt reverberated in the hollow crypt.” Petit is now on tour promoting Creativity to sold-out crowds across the country and continues to be featured and interviewed on national outlets including:   The New Yorker Page TurnerFast CompanyNew York Times MagazineWeekend All Things ConsideredThe Diane Rehm ShowThe Takeaway, and Dinner Party Download.
  image Fashion designer John Varvatos and legendary rock journalist Lisa Robinson took the stage at Varvatos’s Bowery boutique to discuss Robinson’s memoir There Goes Gravity: A Life in Rock and Roll in front of a standing room only audience last Thursday (5/15). Spotted in the crowd were icons Fran Lebowitz, David Johansen, Mick Rock and Bob Gruen. Robinson talked about growing up in New York’s downtown rock scene, her favorite interviews, as well as her many experiences touring with such music superstars as Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and Jay Z. Toward the end of the evening, Varvatos summed things up best: “You think you’ve met a bunch of interesting people and you’ve done a lot of cool stuff, but then you meet Lisa Robinson and you realize you haven’t done s***.”  There Goes Gravity has been prominently featured in USA TodayPeopleThe Chicago TribuneNPRand many other media outlets.
Credit: @homepourfemme Instagram photo Last Thursday, fashion designer John Varvatos and legendary rock journalist Lisa Robinson took the stage at Varvatos’s Bowery boutique to discuss Robinson’s memoir There Goes Gravity: A Life in Rock and Roll in front of a standing room only audience. Spotted in the crowd were art icons Fran Lebowitz, David Johansen, Mick Rock, Bob Gruen, and others. Robinson talked about growing up in New York’s downtown rock scene, her favorite interviews, as well as her many experiences touring with music superstars Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and Jay Z. Toward the end of the evening Varvatos said it best, “You think you’ve met a bunch of interesting people and you’ve done a lot of cool stuff, but then you meet Lisa Robinson and you realize you haven’t done s***.” There Goes Gravity is on sale now and has been prominently featured in USA Today, People, The Chicago Tribune, NPR, and many more.
Woman’s Day is holding a fantastic sweepstakes for Mambo in Chinatown, the second novel from New York Times bestselling author Jean Kwok to be published by Riverhead Books on June 24. One grand prize winner will receive a signed copy of the book and a pair of Latin ballroom dance shoes. Enter here for your chance to win. Publishers Weekly calls MAMBO IN CHINATOWN “intriguing,” and Kirkus Reviews says, “Charlie’s Cinderella story, not to mention Charlie herself, is charming.” The media buzz surrounding the book’s release continues to grow, with additional reviews and features confirmed to run in Real Simple, Glamour, The Writer Magazine and more.
Little Onion is headed for the big screen! Deadline.com announced last week that Riverhead author James McBride will produce the screen adaptation of his National Book Award-winning novel The Good Lord Bird with actors Liev Schreiber (Ray Donovan, The Manchurian Candidate) and Jaden Smith (The Karate Kid remake) set to star. The film will tell the story of young slave Henry “Onion” Shackleford’s (Smith) travels with infamous radical abolitionist John Brown (Schreiber). Schreiber will produce the film alongside McBride and Brian Taylor, with whom McBride is producing an FX miniseries based on another McBride novel, Song Yet SungUSA Today, Vulture, New York Daily News, and many other print and online outlets also reported the film news.