Bicycle racks designed by David Byrne in New York, photos courtesy of New York City DOT.
Former Talking Head David Byrne is no stranger to the exploration of creative disciplines. He scored The Last Emperor, designed bicycle racks for the city of New York, published five books, dates Cindy Sherman, and is collaborating on play about Imelda Marcos. His latest book, a “behind-the-handlebars viewpoint” of cycling through urban environments, is as much a meditation on city planning as it is a non-fiction narrative. Sample sentence from The Bicycle Diaries: “Riding a bike through all this is like navigating the collective neural pathways of some vast global mind.” We’re hoping he helped design the book cover, too.
To promote her latest novel — The Year of the Flood, a follow-up to the apocalyptic Oryx and Crake — Margaret Atwood is taking her show on the road with a series of performance art pieces disguised as book promotion. Not the average strategy for a grand dame of fiction; in fact, Atwood’s publisher Ellen Seligman calls the project “unprecedented” in the field of publishing. Each performance (sorry, in Canada only) feature 14 hymns which Atwood composed with the help of L.A.-based Orville Stoeber. The lady’s tech-savvy as well: Atwood helped design the book tour website and is posting to a blog and a Twitter feed.