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Book News: Hilary Mantel Has 'No Regrets' About Kate Middleton Remarks

Catherine Middleton, the duchess of Cambridge, walking in Grimsby, England. A "jointed doll"?
Getty Images
Catherine Middleton, the duchess of Cambridge, walking in Grimsby, England. A "jointed doll"?

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

  • Booker Prize-winning author Hilary Mantel is defending widely criticized comments she made in a speech earlier this year in which she compared Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton to a "jointed doll on which certain rags are hung." Mantel told the BBC in a radio interview: "It was a matter of taking the words completely out of context – twisting the context – and setting me up as a hate figure. I have absolutely no regrets at all. What I said was crystal clear." Mantel's speech, which was reprinted as an essay in the London Review of Books, was a call for respectful treatment of royals by the press (which, as some have pointed out, is a little ironic given the media reaction to this controversy).
  • Journalist Nate Thayer was enraged earlier this week when he says The Atlantic asked him to repurpose one of his articles for its website for no money – just the promise of "exposure." Thayer said no — angrily — and told New York Magazine that "exposure doesn't feed my [expletive] children." But The Atlantic might have dodged a bullet — author Jeremy Duns says some of the quotes in Thayer's article were "repurposed" from another journalist's work without proper citation. Duns says he uncovered several problematic passages, and New York Magazine claims to have found even more. Thayer denies any wrongdoing, telling the Columbia Journalism Review, "I will defend to the death my reporting and attribution of this piece."
  • The New Republic's Noreen Malone reinvents the idea of "acknowledgments" in her article about Sheryl Sandberg's seven-and-a-half pages of thanks in her new book: "And of course I could not fail to thank Martha Stewart, who I tweet at with some regularity and who continues to be my inspiration as a woman who doesn't let rules, pursuant to the federal penal code or otherwise, get in the way of her tastefully cruel mien. Any errors herein are a copy editor's or an intern's, and anyone I have forgotten to mention, it is because I secretly hate them."
  • Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, on the Senate floor Wednesday as he supported Sen. Rand Paul's filibuster: "Let me just begin by quoting a modern day poet. His name is Wiz Khalifa."
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    Annalisa Quinn is a contributing writer, reporter, and literary critic for NPR. She created NPR's Book News column and covers literature and culture for NPR.