Herewith, a line up of excerpts, book essays and literature news. The Midweek Newsletter is back.
- We publish, here a review of Samuel Osaze’s The Strange Moon of Yenagoa, by Jumoke Verissimo. It’s a probing analysis of Osaze’s second poetry collection. A review is not a summary. It is not a praise song. It is an engagement with the work and if it is done with a bit of scrutiny by an experienced writer, it can be of immense help to the author of the subject book.
- There’s an interesting excerpt here, from Toni Kan’s latest collection Songs for Bar Beach: A Memorial In Verse. The title is My Sister Pulls Off Her Gown… You have to read it before you conclude. Mr. Kan, author of many books, and a best seller writer at that, understands the work of emotions. There are 45 poems in this collection. Watch this space for review…
- Uzor Maxim Uzuatu, the self-acclaimed god of poetry, wrote for thisislagos.com, a riveting memoir of a day he wrote for the Time Magazine right inside the Time & Life Buildings in the UK. You’d find the story in this newsletter, but you read it on the site of thisislagos.com
- Book Party For Big Lit Prize: The 13thCORA-NLNG Book party for the shortlisted authors for the Nigeria Prize for Literature (NPL) holds on the Sunday of this weekend, August 7, 2022
- AWPN Releases the Shortlist of Winning Playwrights–Now things are settled for the performance of 10 plays over the course of four days at the University of Ghana in September 2022
To Sell Books, I Offered to Wash a Car
Eventually, Square Books extended its reach not only across the square but across the country, when Richard became president of the American Booksellers Association, the trade organization for independent bookstores. He helped train other booksellers at the A.B.A.’s annual boot camp, generally by teaching a seminar on customer service, and he made a point of emphasizing advice from his mother, to kill anyone you could with kindness. He relied on one story in particular to prove this point. An irate stranger once claimed that someone from the bookstore had kicked dirt on her car, and, when Richard deduced it might have come from a flowerpot on the store’s balcony, he offered to take her to the car wash. When that turned out to be closed, he washed the car himself, at his home.
Every year, thirty or forty would-be bookstore owners heard that story, including, one year, a bright-eyed newbie from Seattle, who later said that Howorth’s car-washing story inspired him to make customer service a cornerstone of his company, Amazon. Howorth jokes that his years running the A.B.A. were partly a mea culpa for that accidental mentorship of Jeff Bezos.
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Thanks for being in touch
Head of data, Bookartville