Private: Burying bad writing, more

In The New York Times Book Review, Laura Miller discusses the impulse of some writers to disavow their less polished works, and in some cases to try to conceal them from public view. According to Miller, Don DeLillo refuses to sign copies of one of his ealiest novels. And Alan Furst has halted publication of his first four novels, which will run between $50 and $100 from a used-book seller. The various attitudes of Salman Rushdie, E.L. Doctorow, Michael Cunningham, Neal Stephenson, Harold Bloom, Julian Barnes, Stephen King, and Anne Rice are discussed.

In an effort to compete with or unseat New York, London, Paris, Dublin and Prague as publishing capitals, Edinburgh has been lobbying the cultural arm of the United Nations to declare it the “pilot city of letters.” Various Scottish writers weigh in.

Canadians continue to ponder the fate of Toronto’s literary festival in the aftermath of Greg Gatenby’s departure. Gatenby reportedly will spend the next 18 months in Berlin, writing his literary memoirs. (Via Arts Journal.)

Kathi Diamant’s new biography of Kafka’s last and “most mysterious” love gets a positive review in the Guardian.

The creator of The Oxford Myth recalls the universal derision with which her project was met. She apologizes for the essay collection and then says:

That’s my last word on the subject – unless, that is, I can persuade my dear Lord W to stump up for an anniversary paperback. Now where did I put his number?

(Via Bookslut.)

Also via Bookslut: Candace Bushnell, author of Sex and the City, pronounces a critic of her work “morally bankrupt.” Bushnell also compares herself with Dickens and Edith Wharton.