London’s public benches will soon be getting a little more literary.
Beginning next summer, a public art program designed to promote fun reading and stories taking place in the city will take the form of benches that will look like giant books. The benches will be scattered across the city and will be based on such novels as “Peter Pan,” Michael Rosen’s book “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt,” and others.
The project, titled “Books about Town,” is a fundraiser for the National Literacy Project and the benches will be auctioned at the end of the display time. According to the Guardian, the benches will first make an appearance next July and be on view for 10 weeks.
Some benches, such as “Pan” and “Bear,” have already been commissioned by businesses. The National Literacy Trust is reaching out to businesses to sponsor benches and offering the businesses the choice of choosing the book their bench will depict or leaving it to the NLT. According to the Guardian, the NLT hopes 50 to 70 businesses will sign up for the project.
“We are delighted to be launching Books about Town to spread the love of reading across the capital,” NLT director Jonathan Douglas said in a statement.
What famous London-set work would you want to see on a bench?
According to the publisher, the book will be “part memoir, part inspiration, part prescription.”
In a statement announcing the book, Rhimes struck a humorous tone, saying that “Simon and Schuster is crazy for giving me a book deal, as I am clearly in no position to be handing out wisdom. I have made a lot of mistakes as a single mother, and as a working mother, and as a sleepless mother, and as a dating mother. And I did all of it while running a bunch of TV shows. So I'm going to write about that and hope my kids don't use it against me in therapy later.”
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the book will center on Rhimes’ family life as she also works to succeed in the world of TV.
Rhimes is the creator, executive producer, and writer for the ABC series “Grey’s Anatomy,” which is currently airing its 10th season, a “Grey’s” spin-off “Private Practice,” which aired from 2007 to 2013, and “Scandal,” which is currently airing its third season. She has been nominated for three Emmy Awards for producing and writing, respectively, for “Grey’s Anatomy” and won a Golden Globe for “Grey’s.”
First released on Nov. 23, 1963, Sendak’s tale is the story of Max, a boy who is sent to bed without his dinner after misbehaving. Once the lights go out, Max embarks on a journey to the land of the Wild Things, who crown him their ruler. The book won the 1964 Caldecott Medal.
Sendak is also the author of such books as “In the Night Kitchen” and “My Brother’s Book.”
Since its publication, various polls have captured the love readers feel for the book, including a 2007 online survey created by the National Education Association that named “Where the Wild Things Are” as one of teachers’ 100 best books for children and a 2012 poll by Library Journal that asked readers their favorite picture book of all time. “Where the Wild Things Are” came in at number one.
“Again and again this is the ultimate picture book,” Library Journal staff wrote after the results came in, while a voter named Travis Jonker wrote, “Sendak’s 1963 book was that instrumental in ushering in the modern age of picture books. While tackling themes of anger and loneliness, Sendak created one of the few picture books that still seems fresh after decades in print.”
The book was adapted into a mostly well-received live-action movie in 2009 directed by Spike Jonze, with actor Max Records portraying the protagonist and actors James Gandolfini, Paul Dano, and Catherine O’Hara portraying various Wild Things.
Writer Dave Eggers took on the screenplay for the movie and told USA Today he was taken aback when his mother first read “Where the Wild Things Are" to him.
“I was used to tidier narratives with a clear message of who's good and who's bad,” he said. “But Sendak's monsters weren't simple or cute…. I was always into monsters, but nobody did them better than Sendak.”
Some bookstores will be holding anniversary celebrations to celebrate "Where the Wild Things Are," including Albuquerque store Bookworks, the staff of which scheduled a morning party based around both the anniversary and the coming holiday.
"Let's be thankful for Maurice Sendak and the Where the Wild Things Are 50th Anniversary!" the store wrote on its website, also asking guests to "please wear Wild Things themed attire if you can."
President John Kennedy wanted smart advisers, and he got them – a gang of successful men brimming with confidence and not a small dose of arrogance, too. But there were other men there first, the members of the capital's military and intelligence establishment, and they wanted to manipulate the young and largely inexperienced JFK.
This isn't an exceptional story in American politics. A century earlier, a cadre of military and political advisers tried to run over another inexperienced president named Abraham Lincoln. He'd develop his own circle of trust and his own savvy and stubborn independence. As revealed in historian Robert Dallek's new book, Kennedy did much the same thing.
Dallek is best known for 2003's "An Unfinished Life," widely considered one of the best Kennedy biographies. In "Camelot's Court: Inside the Kennedy White House," he chronicles how JFK managed to navigated the roiling waters of those who sought to guide and manipulate him.
"The Kennedy who will emerge from the pages of this book is an astute judge of character and reasoned policy," he writes. "He was an imperfect man whose foibles made him receptive to some bad advice that triggered misjudgments.... [But] his successes eclipsed the failings of his thousand days."
In an interview, Dallek talks about Kennedy's distance from his vice president, the lessons he learned from a foreign policy disaster and the risks of arrogance.
Q: We know that Barack Obama was influenced by how Lincoln created a "Team of Rivals," as Doris Kearns Goodwin put it. What was Kennedy's approach to choosing those who'd work with him?
A: There were at least two things that played on his mind. One was the fact was that he had won the 1960 election by only 118,000 votes. He felt compelled to bring some Republicans into his administration to create a kind of national government.
So he brought in Robert McNamera as secretary of defense and McGeorge Bundy as national security adviser, both Republicans. He kept J. Edgar Hoover, the director of the FBI, and Allan Dulles, who'd been Eisenhower's director of the CIA, and he took C. Douglas Dillon from the Eisenhower administration to be secretary of the treasury.
The other consideration was that he wanted to have what journalist David Halberstam described as the "The Best and the Brightest," what his adviser Ted Sorenson called a "Ministry of Talent." He needed someone he could put his feet up with and talk with candidly.
Q: Did he have any trust in Lyndon Johnson, his vice president?
A: He wanted him on the ticket because he was accurately convinced it would help him win some Southern states and, in particular, win Texas. But he kept Johnson at arm's length.
Johnson wanted Kennedy to expand the powers of the vice president, and Kennedy simply didn't want to do it. He didn't want Johnson as a co-president.
Kennedy was inexperienced and young, the youngest man elected to the White House. Johnson had higher public visibility than Kennedy and a more substantial track record as the majority leader of the Senate.
Q: Was Kennedy interested in hearing opposing points of view?
A: He was very willing to listen to opposing views, especially after the failure of the Bay of Pigs operation. He wondered, "How could I have been so stupid to have signed onto this?"
Q: Were his intentions misunderstood during the Bay of Pigs?
A: He had told these exiles and advisers that he had no intention of putting American soldiers on Cuban soil. They didn't believe him. He said they thought of him as so raw and inexperienced, worried about suffering a setback and so fearful of being seen as too cautious, that he would intervene with American forces to save the invaders.
They didn't read him correctly, and that was really a big learning experience for him.
Q: How did his decision-making style evolve after the Bay of Pigs disaster?
A: He grew a lot, especially during the Cuban Missile Crisis when he resisted advice that he feared would get into us into a nuclear crisis.
He had people around him, especially the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that were giving him advice that wasn't necessarily wise or all that sensible. He didn't throw them out or refuse to hear them. But he chided himself after the Bay of Pigs as having been too inclined to take the advice of the military and the CIA as experts that he couldn't match.
He accepted the proposition that he really had to be more critical of what he was hearing and use his own best judgement as opposed to be in any way intimidated or influenced by the brass, as he put it, with all those decorations on their chests.
Q: Kennedy may have sought "The Best and the Brightest," but many of his advisers had arrogant and superior sides, especially in regard to LBJ. How did arrogance affect the administration?
A: Sam Rayburn, the longest serving speaker of the House, said of some of the people around Kennedy: "I'd be comfortable if just one of them had just run for postmaster or dogcatcher."
McGeorge Bundy was a brilliant man who'd had a meteoric academic career and was the youngest man ever to be dean of the Harvard faculty. But he was also arrogant and looked upon all sorts of people and politicians as not to be taken all that seriously.
McNamara thought he had a formula for assuring some kind of successful outcome in Vietnam. He was miserably mistaken.
Q: Was Kennedy aware of the arrogance in his staff and the danger of over-confidence that it posed?
A: He valued self-confident people, and they came to his administration with that arrogance. It was a product of men who were successful in their careers.
Q: What lessons can we learn from the way Kennedy made decisions when we make choices in our own lives?
A: Don't be intimidated by people who seem to be experts. Hear their points of view and get their judgements. But at the end of day, you've got to make a judgement because it's not their life that's going to be affected so much as your future. You really have to be careful and operate with a kind of caution.
Randy Dotinga is a Monitor contributor.
James McBride won the National Book Award for fiction for his novel, “The Good Lord Bird,” a satirical account of a cross-dressing slave who travels with abolitionist John Brown in pre-Civil War America.
McBride said he figured he wouldn’t need an acceptance speech for Wednesday night’s National Book Awards, so he didn’t write one.
“I didn’t prepare a speech. I really didn’t think I was going to be up here,” McBride said in his remarks.
“They are fine writers,” McBride said of his fellow finalists. “But this sure is nice.”
George Packer picked up the non-fiction award for “The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America,” that describes the breakdown of the US economy over the last 35 years from the perspective of a wide range of Americans.
Mary Szybist won the poetry prize for “Incarnadine,” and Cynthia Kadohata took the young people’s literature award for “The Thing about Luck.”
During remarks delivered at a lavish gala dinner at Cipriani Wall Street in New York, McBride said the protagonist of “The Good Lord Bird,” ‘Little Onion,’ was his friend during a difficult part of his life when he lost his mother, his niece, and his marriage.
McBride, who is also a jazz musician, is best known for his bestselling memoir “The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother,” as well as his first novel, “Miracle at St. Anna,” which was adapted into a 2008 film by Spike Lee.
Two other awards were also presented at the dinner: Toni Morrison presented the Literarian Award for Outstanding Contribution to the American Literary Community to poet Maya Angelou, who said, “For 40 years, I have tried to tell the truth as I know it,” adding, “Easy reading is damn hard writing.”
And The Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters was presented to novelist E.L. Doctorow, who warned that “for every advantage of the Internet, there is a disadvantage.”
The awards honor American writers for works published over the past year in fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and young people’s literature. Winners take home a bronze statue, $10,000, and a small boost in recognition – and perhaps sales.
Hours ahead of the big event, buzz is building over this year’s National Book Awards, the “Oscars of the publishing industry.” Headline grabbers this year include Malala Yousafzai, novelist Thomas Pnychon, fictional character Bridget Jones, and the Church of Scientology.
Notably absent from the event will be one of the top contenders for the fiction award, Thomas Pynchon. Notoriously private and disinclined to attend public events and participate in media appearances, Pynchon, not surprisingly, will not attend the black tie awards, Ann Godoff, president and editor in chief of Penguin Press, Pynchon’s publisher, said Monday, according to The New York Times.
Also unlikely to tune in to the ceremony is the Church of Scientology, which is upset over the nomination of a book by Lawrence Wright entitled “Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief.”
The book has received glowing praise and great reviews for its “devastating critique” of the Church of Scientology. And despite author Wright’s credentials (he’s a New Yorker staff writer and Pulitzer Prize winner), exhaustive research, and allegedly honest intent (“That crunching sound you hear is Lawrence Wright bending over backward to be fair to Scientology,” The New York Times wrote in a piece on the book), the Church, not surprisingly, wasn’t happy about the book or its nomination as a National Book Award finalist.
A Washington Post piece on the controversy quoted a Church official calling out Wright’s “sloppy research and one-sided approach,” adding the author “relies on questionable sources with axes to grind.”
Who will be attending? Jhumpa Lahiri, nominated in the fiction category for her novel on fraternal tensions and Indian politics in “The Lowland,” George Saunders, for “Tenth of December,” George Packer, for “The Unwinding,” and of course, Lawrence Wright, for “Going Clear.”
The Awards, which don’t garner the attention other literary prizes like the Nobel attract, have tried in the past to adopt measures to gain interest and make the awards (and the books) more marketable. In the 1980s the Awards added new categories, televised the event, and created an academy just like the Oscars. They event went so far as to create awards for technical categories, like "best cover," reported NPR.
The blowback was intense. Many in the industry hated the changes, including prominent writers like Norman Mailer and Philip Roth, who withdrew their books and decided to boycott the event in protest of the changes.
The event organizers have since scaled back. This year changes are more modest, such as including non-writers like librarians, booksellers, and critics to the judging panels.
The dinner, at Cipriani Wall Street in New York, a luxurious Manhattan landmark known for its gilded Greek revival architecture, is famous for its opulence. More than 700 attendees will dine on baked tagliolini, loin of lamb, and tiramisu.
(Speaking of attracting attention, a separate UK National Book Awards in London later this year dedicated to reflect the public’s best-loved books – in contrast to the US National Book Awards, which some say features obscure works – has such headline-grabbers as Malala Yousafzai’s “I Am Malala” and Helen Fielding’s “Bridget Jones: Mad About a Boy.”)
Pynchon and Lahiri are popular favorites for the fiction award. Five finalists are nominated in each of four categories: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and young people’s literature.
Here is a complete list of this year’s contenders.
Look for updates on 2013 National Book Awards winners Thursday.
Husna Haq is a Monitor correspondent.
Actress Anjelica Huston’s memoir “A Story Lately Told” is garnering plenty of buzz for its Hollywood insider stories.
The first part of what will be a two-volume biography, according to USA Today, was released on Nov. 19, and details Huston's childhood and young adult life working as a model.
Huston is an Oscar-winning actress (for the 1985 film “Prizzi’s Honor”) and appeared in the films “The Postman Always Rings Twice,” “Crimes and Misdemeanors,” and the “Addams Family” movies as well as, more recently, “The Royal Tenenbaums,” “50/50,” and the NBC series “Smash.”
Huston told USA Today she started writing her memoir with a ghostwriter but decided to go on by herself soon after.
“It became evident to me that if I was going to embark on this idea that I should do it myself,” she said. “Because really I don't think anyone can replicate your way of thinking.”
Huston’s memoir describes what it was like to work with her director father John Huston on the movie “A Walk With Love And Death.” Huston told NPR interviewer Terry Gross that the experience was not a good one.
“It seemed to me that he didn't want me to be who I was," she said. “And that was very difficult.... I felt at that time that he didn't like me, he didn't like who I was, he didn't like the way I dressed, the way I looked. He was very critical of all of that.”
However, she later worked with him on “Prizzi's Honor,” and gained a new perspective, she said. “I thought it was all about me, [that] he had it in for me” while working on “Walk,” she said. But later, working on "Prizzi's Honor," she said that she saw her father "get tough on other people too and although that doesn't really diminish the effect that it has on one when one's talent or one's behavior is called into question, at the same time there was something vaguely comforting about knowing that I wasn't the only one to suffer criticism.”
As for the second volume, Huston told USA Today there will be “ample Jack,” referring to her relationship with actor Jack Nicholson.
The memoir received a negative notice from Kirkus Reviews. The reviewer for Kirkus says the book "sags" as it goes on and that "a phone book of names assails readers, challenging both memory and interest.... Banality clutches the book tightly."
But most other reviewers disagreed. Publishers Weekly says Huston “achieves some moments of ringing clarity” and called her memoir a “brave account,” while Entertainment Weekly writer Melissa Maerz awarded the book an A- and calling it “fascinating.”
“Her lovely, novelistic writing carries the book,” Maerz writes.
A slight man who craved attention – and occasionally got it – Lee Harvey Oswald cast a small shadow before that late November day a half-century ago. Then a barrage of three rifle shots brought him a kind of eternal infamy as a man who brought darkness to a nation.
Family members, co-workers, and friends have given historians insight into the assassin's troubled life. (Yes, some people tolerated Oswald, and a few were even fond of him despite his difficult personality.) But Oswald's brief trip to Russia, where he lived as a defector before returning to the US, isn't fully understood.
Journalist Peter Savodnik aims to uncover fresh ground in his new book "The Interloper: Lee Harvey Oswald Inside the Soviet Union." He digs into Oswald's obsession with Marxism, his revealing diaries, and his never-ending disappointments and humiliations.
In an interview, Savodnik talked about Oswald's sense of entitlement, his detachment from those around him, and the elusive motives behind his actions on that long-ago Nov. 22.
Q: One of the common words used to describe Oswald in documentaries is "nut." Is that a fair or accurate description of the man?
A: It doesn't do much do much to elucidate or enrich the conversation. The whole point of "The Interloper" is to try to do more than attach some colloquialism or label to Oswald and look at him as a three-dimensional character, not a cog in someone else's detective story.
It's also to peer through the mystery. Once you look at him as a full-fledged character in a Shakespearean tragedy, you start to see the assassination for what it was – a tragedy.
Q: Did anyone wonder why you chose to focus on a universally reviled murderer like Lee Harvey Oswald?
A: No one questioned my decision to write about Oswald until I'd been enveloped by a lot of very shadowy characters and very dark stuff – history, archival materials, interviews. It's all very compelling and riveting, but can weigh on you.
At some point I had a conversation with my wife or parents, and the question came up why I had to write about someone who murdered the president.
When it comes to history, it's much more interesting to write about the villains and about the questions that are still unanswered.
Why did this happen? How is it possible that this happened? It remains at the core of our political identity. Wanting those answers courses through the American psyche from the moment of the assassination to the present. I found something about that unavoidably fascinating.
Q: How did your picture of Oswald change as you worked on the book?
A: I had approached this thinking about it the way that many people do: Oswald is someone who's singularly determined to murder the president and seems to wield control over his life. In fact, he had very little insight into himself and into the ways he thought and acted. He seemed to fail to understand why he behaved the way he did.
Q: What else makes him stand apart?
A: For a guy with his level of education – which is to say, none – and his background and lack of resources, he managed to get to places to see people and to involve himself in matters way beyond what one might expect. He went to the Soviet Union, traveling across Europe to get there and getting to Minsk. He managed to see a lot thanks to his single-mindedness and perseverance born of his fury to escape his mother and his life.
He felt he'd been confined to an existence that was beneath him, below what he was supposed to be doing. There's a sense of entitlement, almost.
Q: Did he have delusions of grandeur?
A: There's a little bit of that. There's a narcissistic element: He always comes back to his plight, whatever that might be.
He spent his childhood detached from other people as a loner. Mostly he is a guy who does not know how to relate to other people well, which happens if you don't spend time with other people, and you don't grow up knowing how to be in a society. That's very much what one senses in Oswald.
Q: How does he reveal his isolation to you?
A: One of the things that is so striking about his diary entries, even his letters home, is that he rarely gets into the personal details of people. He never talks about people in any kind of flesh-and-blood way. Instead, he always insists on talking about them abstractly.
There's this sense that people are out of focus.
Q: But he wasn't a loner in a sense of being friendless. He found a wife in the Soviet Union, kept in touch with his family, and had friends who were at least somewhat fond of him. What was going on there?
A: Oswald did have certain likeable traits. When he arrived in Minsk, he was something of a celebrity, and he enjoyed a certain degree of cool, for want of a better word.
The problem is that he didn't know how to negotiate conflict or how to build a life for himself. Every time he was given a good opportunity it worked out great until there was a crisis or some sort of rupture. Then his inclination was to try to run away or try to extricate himself from the situation.
Q: What about his background helps to explain his desire to run?
A: The reason is pretty straightforward. His father died two months before he was born, and he had this crazy, needy mother who was the most destructive force in his life.
His brother is probably the only person who loved him unquestionably. His wife was devoted in a way but mostly an opportunist. And of course, in the Soviet Union, it was very difficult to distinguish between friend and informant.
It would have taken a really remarkable set of circumstances for Oswald to have found a place, a community, that would have made it possible for him to transcend himself and build a life. He was tragically mistaken if he thought it was going to happen in the Soviet Union.
Q: What is the big lesson of Lee Harvey Oswald?
A: For him, everything that comes is colored by bitterness and a sense of personal failure. He's a representative of a certain subset of Americans, the alienated American who doesn't know how to incorporate himself into the body politic. There are many alienated Americans.
Q: Did you gain any insight into Oswald's motive?
A: It's the one that's hardest to pin down. The better way to approach that is to look at the pattern that courses through his life. He bounced around from one address to another 20 times before he enlisted in the Marines. I think his motive was to escape the life he'd been assigned to, to elevate himself to a worldwide historical status.
We have this tendency to want to impose order or reason, some kind of explanation, on everything. This is part of our arrogance, or conceit.
Once we stop trying to make sense of the Kennedy assassination in some kind of hyper-rational way and look at it is simply one of those things that is awful and inherent to the human condition, we can move on.
Randy Dotinga is a Monitor contributor.
In an interview with Time Magazine, “Hunger Games” author Suzanne Collins discussed the upcoming film adaptation of the second book in her series, her favorite characters, and her children’s book “Year of the Jungle.”
“Catching Fire,” the second book of the “Hunger Games” series, focuses on protagonist Katniss and her friend and fellow Games victor Peeta as they deal with the aftermath of their win and are forced to go back into the arena as unrest in the country grows.
“They’re sort of onion characters,” Collins said of the two. “And as you peel back the layers you find more and more about what they’ve experienced.”
She also commented on the seeming difference between her writing “Hunger Games” and penning scripts for the comforting children’s TV series “Little Bear.”
“All the writing elements are the same,” Collins said of writing the two. “You need to tell a good story…. You’ve got good characters…. People think there’s some a dramatic difference between writing Little Bear and the Hunger Games, and as a writer, for me, there isn’t.”
The author said she recently "sort of completed" a personal goal by writing her children’s book “Year of the Jungle,” which was released this fall and focuses on a young girl whose father is fighting in Vietnam. Collins says she was looking to write a story about war for every child age group. Her 2003 book “The Underland Chronicles: Gregor the Overlander” is her war story for middle-grade children, she said. Collins’ father was in the military and “he, I think, felt it was his responsibility to make sure that all his children had an understanding about war, about its cost, its consequences,” she said.
“If I took the 40 years of my dad talking to me about war and battles and taking me to battlefields and distilled it down into one question, it would probably be the idea of the necessary or unnecessary war. That’s very much at the heart of it,” Collins said. “The picture book is really just an introduction to the idea of war…. The Underland Chronicles, sort of moving along in sophistication, is about the unnecessary war. The Underland Chronicles is an unnecessary war for a very long time until it becomes a necessary war…. In The Hunger Games, in most people’s idea, in terms of rebellion or a civil-war situation, that would meet the criteria for a necessary war…. And then what happens is that it turns back around on itself. If you look at the arenas as individual wars or battles, you start out in the first one and you have a very classic gladiator game. By the second one it has evolved into what is the stage for the rebellion, because the arena is the one place that all the districts that cannot communicate with each other, it’s the one place they can all watch together. So it’s where the rebellion blows up. And then the third arena is the Capitol, which has now become an actual war. But in the process of becoming an actual war, in the process of becoming a rebellion, they have now replicated the original arena. So it’s cyclical, and it’s that cycle of violence that seems impossible for us to break out of.”
Nearly four months after a federal judge ruled that Apple broke anti-trust laws by conspiring with publishers to increase e-book retail prices, Apple is seeking to stop a pending class action lawsuit that could result in the company's having to pay millions in damages.
According to Publishers Weekly, Apple filed a motion last week arguing that a class action lawsuit pressed by plaintiff states and a consumer class was invalid. As it stands, Apple may have to pay up to $307 million in damages, based on a Stanford economist’s estimates.
In a July 10 decision, US District Judge Denise Cote ruled that Apple orchestrated a conspiracy with five major publishers to raise e-book prices in competition with Amazon. Apple had led an agreement with major publishers to set e-book pricing via the agency model, whereby publishers set the price on e-books (as opposed to the traditional wholesale model, where the distributor or retailer sets prices). Under its plan, Apple raised e-book prices, Cote said.
Now, a class-action lawsuit is being brought against Apple that could result in the company's having to pay more than $300 million in damages to consumers.
Apple is trying to quash the class action suit. Here’s how:
For starters, Apple says its entry into the e-books market was beneficial to consumers.
“Each of the millions of e-books has its own unique history,” Apple’s brief states. “Indeed, many e-book purchasers affirmatively benefitted from the Publisher Defendants’ shift to the agency model because, for example, they paid less than they otherwise would have if the retailer had set the price or they had access to e-books that otherwise would have been unavailable.”
Apple is also targeting the very class action certification itself, asserting that class action status should not be bestowed on the plaintiffs in this case.
Citing a landmark Supreme Court ruling in Wal-Mart Stores Inc. v Dukes et al., Apple is alleging that plaintiffs need to prove injury to each individual plaintiff, not to competition in the market as a whole.
“...[C]lass certification in this case turn on, among other things, whether Plaintiffs can establish through common proof, not only injury to competition in the market generally, but also injury to each individual plaintiff and his or her damages,” Apple wrote in its filing last week.
It also said that a class of 24 million consumer accounts that registered e-book purchases between April 2010 and May 2012 was too broad a group to be certified as a class.
If it is successful in arguing against class action certification, Apple may be off the hook for hundreds of millions in damages – and consumers out of compensation.
Briefings on Apple’s motions have been scheduled.
But according to reports, it is unlikely Cote will accept Apple’s arguments and kill the class action suit. As Publishers Weekly noted, “In her July 10 ruling and in approving the publishers’ settlements, she decisively found that consumers were harmed.”
As it currently stands, a damages trial to discuss how much Apple must pay in compensation is currently set for May 2014.
Husna Haq is a Monitor correspondent.