NBCC campaign to save book reviews

30 04 2007

Book review sections across America are at risk. In the last six months, the Los Angeles Times Book Review was folded into a smaller section; the Chicago Tribune will move to Saturday so that the paper could print 400,000 less copies. The San Francisco Chronicle section – one of the most popular in the country – was cut in half.

The National Book Critics Circle is tired of this and we’re going todo something about it. A few days ago we started an online petition to protest the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s recent decision to eliminate its book editor job (and with it our colleague Teresa Weaver).

In just a few days the petition has picked up almost 3000 signatures, including those of a slew of major crime novelists – Michael Connelly,Denis Lehane, James Lee Burke, Karin Slaughter – as well as Southern literary eminences, like Bobbie Ann Mason, Allan Gurganus and Clyde Edgerton. Also on there: Richard Powers, Richard Ford, Chris Offutt, Gary Shteyngart, Fay Weldon, Julia Glass, David Lodge, AM Homes, Ali Smith and others. Here’s the link.


The petition is part of a big campaign the NBCC launched this week on our blog, Critical Mass, to raise awareness of this issue. It features original pieces by George Saunders and Rick Moody, an interview with David Ulin, of the L.A. Times Book Review, as well as some commentary from the Washington Post Book World:


Would you please consider signing the petition and forwarding it to people you might think care? (Writers, booksellers, readers, friends).

It would be great, too, if you could urge some of them to participate. We’re still looking for short commentaries to post on our blog in coming days and weeks, and for people to write in to their local newspapers.

I think if we can come up with many, many signatures it might grab the AJC executives’ attention, perhaps beat back a trend which is spreading across American newspapers with alarming speed.


John Freeman
National Book Critics Circle
25 East 10th Street, 8B
New York, NY 10003


Tongass National Forest needs you!

27 04 2007

Dear Salon Friends,

I hope you will join me in writing to the U.S. Forest Service, urging them to adopt a Land management Plan that protects the Tongass National Forest (my birthplace). Protecting the remaining intact watersheds with high wildlife values and their rainforest habitats, including rare giant spruce and hemlock trees, should be the highest priority for the revised plan.

Let me thank you in advance and between paragraphs in this boilerplate message. THANKS!

If you go to the web address below you can check out what is at stake and send your own message directly to your members of Congress. Take action on this Audubon action alert at http://audubonaction.org/campaign/tongass_eis?rk=bpee_Ed11SzCW



Hello world!

12 04 2007

Howdy Saloners!

Welcome to “In the Sink.” Get it? Like, beauty salon, not frenchy sah-laaaoh salon.

Nita & I thought it would be groovy to set up a little Salon host bloggy for our ever expanding hosters to post interesting news & updates.

Salon alums–send us your publication news, reading announcements, updates!! We’ll post ’em here. If we feel like it.