If you think 40 million readers can’t be wrong, think again. On Monday, Publishers Weekly named 50 Shades of Grey author E.L. James as the magazine’s “Person of the Year.” That award was not an award for the book, though it surely sounded like that to many critics who have lambasted PW for the choice.
“We chose E.L. James because her success has inspired a new generation of authors, and influenced the way publishers now look for new writers,” Andrew Albanese, PW’s senior writer, tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally. “You can argue the book’s literary merits, but what we at PW want you to look at is the wave of new writers now pouring in behind James, and their potential to really shake up literature.”
And in the week’s review of reviews, Rose Fox finds Touch & Go, a thriller set in Boston with a plot seemingly stolen from the front page of the city’s tabloid. “The book opens with the brutally efficient kidnapping of the Denbe family from their Back Bay Boston townhouse,” Fox says. “Lisa Gardner effectively alternates between the physical and emotional disintegration of the captive family and the efforts of law enforcement officials to find the Denbes as they dig into the secrets of the family construction company, its key employees, and its finances.”
Every Friday, CCC’s “Beyond the Book” speaks with the editors and reporters of “Publishers Weekly” for an early look at the news that publishers, editors, authors, agents and librarians will be talking about when they return to work on Monday.