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What's stopped. What's Going On.

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  • Small Beer/LCRW
    Local things for local people. ((((((((()))))))))))) Book Store Closing Boston bookshop Avenue Victor Hugo Bookshop will shut its doors for good in May. The
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 6, 2004
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      Local things for local people.


      Book Store Closing

      Boston bookshop Avenue Victor Hugo Bookshop will shut its doors for good
      in May. The year long attempt to save the store in a new location will come
      to an end. A loss of former customers who thought the store had closed at
      the end of 2002, compounded with an overall loss of business to chain
      stores, and to the changing shopping patterns on Newbury Street, made
      continuing the struggle impossible.
      Despite lower overhead, a large stock of over 100,000 volumes, and a
      good location only steps from where it originally opened almost thirty years
      ago, the shop has finally succumbed to the prevailing trends in the book
      business. Blue Bart, the store cat, will retire to the home of a long time
      A general 50% off sale began Thursday, April 1st for book fools and
      those who wish to be. The sale will continue until all stock is sold,
      with further reductions to follow as necessary. Shelving will be sold in

      For more information and updates please visit the website:

      Avenue Victor Hugo Bookshop
      353 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02115 (617) 266-7746

      Also closing: the Grolier Poetry Book Shop, Black Images Book Bazaar, the
      Dallas, Tex., African-American bookstore founded in 1977, Main Street Book
      Shop in White Plains, N.Y., etc. etc.

      *** AVH, as we knew it, took us in when we hardly knew whether we were
      sleeping in the street or running for senate. We were interviewed for more
      than two hours. We listed our recent favorite reads and attempted to defend
      them. (This defense would be an ongoing pattern.)
      We learned more about books and people than expected.
      We learned that there was a history to the store and we helped with a
      tiny 25th anniversary celebration (that was some time ago, now).
      The store moved from 339 to 353 Newbury St. and there was a party.
      The store earned so many "Best of Boston" Awards that at one point
      Boston Magazine decided to stop including it to let others have a chance.
      The store cat, Blue Bart (after Tyg, the cat who came before -- whom we
      never knew), arrived to little fanfare and much love. There were many people
      who knocked on the window or came in and asked, "Is that cat were alive?"
      Imagine the temptation.
      Soon we were able to find that book even when the customer didn't know
      the author or the title, but, you know, "It's green."

      AVH would probably not like it, but: send them checks. Send them money. Buy
      books during their sale.
      AVH is a small and glorious slice of a better life. They close with a
      sale to pay off debts incurred in bringing readers to unexpected books, in
      searching out the book you wanted, in storing for long years the one book
      you will only long years later discover you always needed.



      Advance word on new books:

      Trash Sex Magic:

      "It's to Chicago what Mysteries of Pittsburgh is to Pittsburgh and A
      Winter's Tale is to New York -- a winning, touching, open-eyed love letter
      -- but with trash, sex, and magic too. Unusual and wonderfully done."
      -- John Crowley, author of The Translator

      Perfect Circle:

      "Perfect Circle is a perfect read, exciting, unique, everything here but the
      Second Coming, but, Sean Stewart himself is the prize. What a talent. Write
      on, my man. Write on."
      -- Joe Lansdale, Sunset and Sawdust


      I never realized the Beastie Boys ("You've got to fight for your right to
      party") were a political band until Bush got elected.


      Stranger Things Happen by Kelly Link is now available in Japanese! You can
      look at the great cover here

      and buy the book here:


      New review of Carol Emshwiller's The Mount here at Rambles:

      "In a recent interview with Science Fiction Weekly, Ursula Le Guin called
      Emshwiller "the most unappreciated great writer we've got." The Mount proves
      Le Guin right.... If Emshwiller is not already on your top bookshelf, The
      Mount will put her there."

      Q. What is Rambles?
      A. "Your best source on the web for folk & traditional music, speculative
      fiction, folklore, concerts, movies & more."

      -- Superlatives make for difficulties. How about a tiny edit to:
      "One of the best sources on the web for folk & traditional music,
      speculative fiction, folklore, concerts, movies & more."


      Print this email out, fold into paper plane. Attempt flight tests while boss
      is power lunching, napping, or at Executive Compensation Conference.


      Ask your local library/public TV channel/rep. cinema/guy with a projector to
      get a copy of Talking to the Wall -- a movie about how the people of
      Greenfield managed to stop Wal Mart from coming to town. Are Wal Mart the
      biggest company in the world yet? "Welcome to all our shoppers presently
      shopping themselves out of a job!"

      Some of the people of Greenfield is even now trying to bring a discount shop
      to their town, despite there being 5 or 6 other Walmarts within 20 minutes.
      Power to the people: not just the Walton family.

      (Ok, so not every dollar spent at a local store stays in the community. But,
      for instance, in a bookshop the shop buys a $10 book from the publisher (or
      distributor, etc) for $5. So when they sell that book, the publisher gets
      (not makes, there's a huge difference!) $5 and your town gets $5 (and the
      Feds get 4-8% sales tax, mais oui) which goes to pay the booksellers, the
      utility companies, the cat food, the annual charitable donations, etc. etc.

      If you buy the book at Walmart, they get a bigger discount (how? isn't that
      illegal? Oh wait, how complex are their books? I see) so the publisher (and
      therefore the author) gets less (say $3-$3.50), the store gets the same
      (because the book sold at a "discount". Of that $3.50, not much goes to the
      community. Big stores get tax breaks to come to town (in the film, they
      worked out that Wal Mart would bring the town 19 new jobs... and local
      businesses would lose $34 million in sales).

      In the film, which is a documentary, and therefore in the town, there is one
      hardware store owner in Orange (near Greenfield (colorful places) who loses
      his store due to Wal Mart. He takes a part time job at a lumber place, but
      on the whole he'd rather work for himself. He is so cheery, and so sad.

      Anyway, enough. This is no fun. Local stores are the answer in some places
      (cities and small towns) but not everywhere. Jane Jacobs probably knows the
      answer. Thank god for small businesses. Maybe we should have a Thank a Small
      Business Day where everyone sends office supplies, coupons for coffee,
      catfood if they have a cat, and lets them go first at the post office and
      the bank. Yeah. Let's do that.


      Maybe close to you?

      1) April 28th, 2004 7:30 pm
      Kelly Link, Gavin J. Grant, Brian Evenson, Geoffrey H. Goodwin
      A Panel On Writing Short Stories
      Barnes & Noble, Store #2645
      One Worcester Road, Framingham, MA 01701

      2) Please join us for the 4th ANNUAL JUNIPER LITERARY FESTIVAL

      May 7-8, 2004
      The University of Massachusetts Amherst, Memorial Hall

      FRIDAY, MAY 7:
      5pm Opening reception for the Book and Journal Fair

      8pm Fiction readings by Amy Hempel and David Gates

      SATURDAY, MAY 8:
      11am Question and Answer Forum with Amy Hempel and David Gates

      2pm Address by Marjorie Perloff:
      "The Poetics of Cultural Estrangement: Viennese High Culture and the New
      York School"

      3:15pm Issues in Independent Publishing Roundtable with: Eric Lorberer
      (Rain Taxi, moderator), Carol Ann Davis (Crazyhorse), Christian Hawkey
      (jubilat), Allan Kornblum (Coffeehouse Press), Vincent Standley (3rd bed),
      Matthew Zapruder (Verse Press)

      8pm Poetry reading by John Ashbery

      Participants in the Book and Journal Fair: 3rd bed, Coffeehouse Press,
      Conduit, Fence, Fulcrum, jubilat, The Massachusetts Review, NowCulture, Open
      City, Paris Press, Perugia Press, Rain Taxi, Slope, Small Beer Press, The
      Univ. of Mass. Press, Verse Press.

      All events take place in Memorial Hall at the University of
      Massachusetts and are free and open to the public.

      A yearly gathering of writers, editors, publishers, scholars, and
      readers, the Juniper Festival is dedicated to the exploration of issues
      vital to the literary arts. It presents important new creative, editorial,
      and scholarly work through public readings, addresses, forums, and a journal
      and book fair. A journal and book fair will run throughout the Festival,
      filling Memorial Hall with books and magazines produced through independent
      literary publishing.

      For more information, email juniper@...
      Lisa Olstein, Director, Juniper Festival

      3) May 7, 2004, 8.00 PM (Friday)
      Kelly Link opens for The Magnetic Fields who have a new album out, i:
      Calvin Theatre, Northampton, MA
      413-586-8686 http://www.iheg.com

      4) June 1, 2004, 7.30 PM
      Hannah Wolf Bowen, John Trey, Dave Schwartz, Philip Brewer, Gavin J.
      Grant and Kelly Link
      A Night of Readings (and More?) from Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet.
      Quimby's Bookstore
      1854 West North Ave, Chicago IL 60622
      773/342-0910 http://www.quimbys.com

      5) Jennifer Stevenson and with Gene Wolfe (The Knight)
      June 2, 2004, 7.00 PM, Evanston Public Library, Evanston, IL
      June 25, 2004 8.00 PM, Prairie Lights, Iowa City, Iowa

      6) Gavin Grant, Kelly Link, Small Beer Press, Sean Stewart, Jennifer
      June 4-6, 2004, BookExpo America
      McCormick Center, Chicago, IL


      Random linkage:

      Review of Bittersweet Creek and Other Stories & Other Cities at Tangent

      LCRW 13 reviewed:

      Luis Urrea interview:

      Read a story from LCRW:
      Born on the Edge of an Adjective
      By Christopher Barzak

      The New Yorker on height:
      Why Europeans are getting taller and taller‹and Americans aren¹t.
      Issue of 2004-04-05
      Posted 2004-03-29

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