Monday’s Margins: Still Hungry, Still in Style, John Wray in 5.
…Happy Birthday to The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Booktrade: “20th March, the first day of Spring, marks the official launch day of the 40th anniversary of The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, a book which sells one copy every 30 seconds somewhere in the world, day and night. Translated into more than 45 languages, this special picture book has now sold over 29 million copies.” MediaBistro: “The famed caterpillar actually began his life as an ordinary worm. After some fortuitous experimentation with a hole puncher, Carle got to thinking about a bookworm and created A Week with Willi Worm, which ended with the title character growing into a morbildy obese worm. “I showed it to my editor, Ann Beneduce, and she didn’t like the worm so much,” explains Carle in a video on his website. “She said, ‘How about a caterpillar?’ And I said, ‘Butterfly!'” And the rest is history.””
…Happy Birthday to The Elements of Style, which was first published ten years before The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
The Seattle Times: “…William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White worked four decades apart, yet the little known turn-of-the-century Cornell University English professor and his universally famous student produced a classic that has become one of America’s most influential and best-known guides on grammar and usage. “Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style” has sold more than 10 million copies since its initial publication in April 1959. Its present-day publisher, Longman Publishers, has put out a special black leather-bound, gold-embossed edition in tribute of the 50th anniversary. …The 50th anniversary edition has 95 pages, but also includes several pages of testimonials from famous literary figures past and present, Angell’s foreword, an introduction written by White to the 1979 edition and an afterword by Charles Osgood, anchor of CBS News Sunday Morning.” I have a copy here; it’s very nice, compliments my Elements of Style audiobook nicely. (I’m not joking.) My only gripe is that Longman did not “omit needless words” when they included a testimonial from “famous literary figure past/present” Ben Affleck. (I’m still not joking.) (Kind of wish I was, though.)
…Finally: John Wray, author of the acclaimed Lowboy, has a story appearing this week at the excellent Five Chapters website.
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