From the editors of Penguin Books and Penguin Classics

Ma Joad for President

Ma Joad, the family bulwark, keeps the Joads rolling along Route 66 and beyond. Ma is a feminist — feisty, strong, loving, resilient — and the kind of leader, then and now, who might guide the nation’s jalopy through difficult times.

Not only has Susan Shillinglaw (On Reading the Grapes of Wrath) been a tireless champion of Steinbeck throughout this 75th anniversary, but it’s a testament of her skill as  a scholar and writer that she keeps finding fresh ways to look at the novel. This is the kind of piece Steinbeck would have admired: a bit silly in the face of words all the more somber.

classicpenguin:

classicpenguin:

The Great Black Spine Giveaway is here! Spread the word!
We’re giving away 150 of our black spine Classics, randomly selected for your enjoyment. Think of this as spring cleaning/huge thanks to all our social media followers for being so wonderful. Click here or click through the image to enter! (US/CAN only, contest ends 4/21.)

Still plenty of time to enter! Our apologies to everyone outside of US/CAN, we still love you!

Last day to enter! Giveaway closes at midnight tonight.

classicpenguin:

classicpenguin:

The Great Black Spine Giveaway is here! Spread the word!

We’re giving away 150 of our black spine Classics, randomly selected for your enjoyment. Think of this as spring cleaning/huge thanks to all our social media followers for being so wonderful. Click here or click through the image to enter! (US/CAN only, contest ends 4/21.)

Still plenty of time to enter! Our apologies to everyone outside of US/CAN, we still love you!

Last day to enter! Giveaway closes at midnight tonight.

“The tree where man was born, according to the Nuer, still stood within man’s memory in the west part of the south Sudan, and I imagine a great baobab thrust up like an old root of life in those wild grasses that blow forever to the horizons, and wild man in naked silhouette against the first blue sky.”

Peter Matthiessen, The Tree Where Man Was Born


Monday First Sentences | Every Monday, we offer the opening sentences of a Penguin Classic to start the week

“She looked up and across the barn, and her lips came together and smiled mysteriously.”

John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath


Friday Final Lines | Every Friday, we offer the closing lines of a Penguin Classic to finish up the workweek. 

classicpenguin:

The Great Black Spine Giveaway is here! Spread the word!
We’re giving away 150 of our black spine Classics, randomly selected for your enjoyment. Think of this as spring cleaning/huge thanks to all our social media followers for being so wonderful. Click here or click through the image to enter! (US/CAN only, contest ends 4/21.)

Still plenty of time to enter! Our apologies to everyone outside of US/CAN, we still love you!

classicpenguin:

The Great Black Spine Giveaway is here! Spread the word!

We’re giving away 150 of our black spine Classics, randomly selected for your enjoyment. Think of this as spring cleaning/huge thanks to all our social media followers for being so wonderful. Click here or click through the image to enter! (US/CAN only, contest ends 4/21.)

Still plenty of time to enter! Our apologies to everyone outside of US/CAN, we still love you!

How do we Know our eBooks are not being Altered?

yeahwriters:

ebookporn:

 “I recently uploaded The Queen of Hearts (a collection of novels written in the 1850s) by Wilkie Collins to the MR library. As well as changing ‘gayety’ to ‘gaiety’ and ‘gayly’ to ‘gaily’ I also changed ‘gay’ to ‘light-hearted’. I did this because the English language has changed in the last 150 odd years. In our day ‘a gay man’ would almost certainly be read as ‘a homosexual man,’ and this is simply not what Collins meant – he would have used a different term if he had dared to mention a character’s sexual orientation at all. I did add a note to the posting that I had updated spelling and hyphenation – I also changed ‘to-day’ to ‘today’ for example.”

I am still unsure how I feel about this. ~ eP

Wtf? Why would someone change the original text?? Anyone with half a brain/education knows that until less than 100 years ago, “gay” meant “happy”. Are we supposed to cut up every other classic work and replace their “outdated” words with modern ones? Language evolves, and people who read books written a long time ago are perfectly aware of this. If it’s a 160+ year old book that people are still reading, I’d imagine that the author was very intentional with his/her word choice, and for someone to alter them later on when converting the text to a format that may be widely disseminated is a travesty.

This made me really angry.

Not to be overly promotional or self-aggrandizing, but here’s something worthy of a comment. The article says, There are no gatekeepers, no one to make the judgement call if this is best practice.” In truth, we like to think of ourselves a bit as gatekeepers here. Project Gutenberg and other free services for getting public domain books serve a fantastic role and vital role, but at the end of the day when you pay for a Penguin Classic (or Oxford, Norton, Modern Library, etc., etc…), you pay for the services of an editor at Penguin and an academic editor who has taken the time to ensure that you’re getting an authentic text, whether it’s in print or eBook. That why you’ll almost always find a “Note on the Text” in our books explaining all the sources and editorial decisions. Turn back to our “Joan Eyre” situation a few months back if there are any doubts about how seriously both we and our scholars take this—we live and breathe this stuff here!

“I think The Grapes of Wrath was the first novel I ever believed in entirely, whole-heartedly.”

Garrison Keillor

Throughout the week over at The Penguin Blog, we’ll have more thoughts on Steinbeck’s masterpiece from some of his most loyal readers (including Keillor, and a post today from the director of the National Steinbeck Center, Colleen Bailey).