Shelf Awareness for Monday, November 3, 2014

Random House: Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout

Sourcebooks Explore: Survivors of the Holocaust: True Stories of Six Extraordinary Children by Kath Shackleton, illustrated by Zane Wittingham

Rick Riordan Presents: Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky (Tristan Strong #1) by Kwame Mbalia

Central Avenue Publishing: Into Captivity They Will Go by Noah Milligan

Carolrhoda Books: A Time Traveler's Theory of Relativity by Nicole Valentine

Magination Press: Fantastic You by Danielle Dufayet, illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin

Zonderkidz:  One Big Heart: A Celebration of Being More Alike Than Different by Linsey Davis, illustrated by Lucy Fleming

Workman Publishing: How to Raise a Reader by Pamela Paul and Maria Russo, illustrated by Dan Yaccarino, Lisk Feng, Vera Brosgol, and Monica Garwood


More Than 40 Stores Join in Florida Bookstore Day

More than 40 independent and used bookstores throughout the state are participating in the first Florida Bookstore Day, which will be held on Saturday, November 15, and will celebrate the stores as well as authors and small presses. The brainchild of Tiffany Razzano, who runs Wordier Than Thou, which supports creative writers through open mic events, a literary magazine and a radio show, the new event was inspired by Record Store Day. In her research, Razzano discovered California Bookstore Day, which was held for the first time last May 3.

Participating bookstores include Books & Books, Miami Beach and Coral Gables; Vero Beach Book Center; Inkwood Books, Tampa; Oxford Exchange, Tampa; Haslam's Book Store, St. Petersburg; Wild Iris Books, Gainesville; and Murder on the Beach, Delray Beach. For a complete list of participating bookstores, click here.

Each store will organize its own programming for the day, which may include readings by local authors, book signings, panels, special sales and more. Regular updates about Florida Bookstore Day can be found on Facebook. As indicated earlier, a limited-edition poster series based on famous Florida novels will be sold at some of the stores.

A "Florida Bookstore Day after party" will be held at the Venture Compound in St. Petersburg from 7 p.m. to midnight on Florida Bookstore Day and will feature an open mic, vendors and authors selling their work, Great Literary Mad Libs, a Lucha Libro exhibition match, music, local craft beer, food trucks and more. Entry is $5 per person.

imon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books: Max & Ruby and Twin Trouble (Max and Ruby Adventure) BY Rosemary Wells

Books Kinokuniya Flagship Singapore Store Reopens

With much fanfare, Books Kinokuniya's elegant main store in Singapore reopened this weekend in new space on the fourth floor of the Ngee Ann City Shopping Mall on Orchard Road. The store, which had to move one flight up because of a reconfiguration by the landlord, had closed for a little more than a week to make the move.

Kenny Chan, Singapore store director and director, merchandising division, called the opening weekend "fantastic," noting that the store set a record for highest gross sales in one day of all Kinokuniya outlets in recent years. "My team made a miracle happen in eight days," he said.

The new Books Kinokuniya almost ready for the grand opening.

Among the crowds visiting the store on its opening weekend was star comic book writer and artist David Hine, who wrote, "I was genuinely gobsmacked. I've never seen a bookstore so well stocked, particularly with an ENORMOUS range of graphic novels, both mainstream and independent. But more than that, to see so many people (literally hundreds of people in three enormous queues) lining up to buy armfuls of books--real PHYSICAL books. Kenny runs the bookstore with such passion for books, that goes for Felicia [Low-Jimenez, division manager, merchandising] and the rest of the staff too." He offered thanks "for your wonderful hospitality and for introducing me to what is possibly the world's finest bookstore."

At 33,000 square feet, the new Books Kinokuniya space is 20% smaller than its former location, but the store has kept its core areas intact, the Straits Times noted. "The staff felt strongly that the range of English books should not be touched, so that will remain the same, right down the wall of literature that greets readers at the main entrance," the paper wrote. "The popular children's and young adults' sections will also maintain their reach."

Japanese- and Chinese-language titles were reduced by about 20%, and French- and German-language titles were cut dramatically. Overall, the inventory of 500,000 books has been reduced to 400,000, and the café did not make the move.

Opening day at the new Books Kinokuniya

Kay Ngee Tan Architects, which designed the original third-floor store, worked on this remodeling, which aimed to "rebuild memories" of the old store, which opened in 1999. The Books Kinokuniya Singapore store has been a template for many of the Kinokuniya stores outside Japan and North America.

The store has "light accents in darker corners and windows that frame the green foliage outdoors and bring natural light into the store," the Straits Times noted, adding, "The Japanese influence on the store's interior design is subtle but present--the interlocking layout of the store reflects the arrangement of Japanese tatami mats, and the layered bookshelves are influenced by the machiya, Japanese traditional wooden townhouses, which feature latticework and layers of sliding doors. The walkway that guides customers around the store, previously a duller black slate, is now a brighter granite that has the feel of ink splashes on paper. Overall, the feel is cosy rather than cramped."

Charlesbridge Publishing: Sumokitty by David Biedrzycki

Amazon Proposes First Fulfillment Center in Mass.

Amazon has signed a letter of intent to build a one-million-square-foot fulfillment center at the SouthCoast Life Sciences and Technology Park, which is located on the border between Fall River and Freetown, Mass. The Boston Globe reported the online retailer "is still negotiating over local tax breaks and plans to seek other development incentives from the state." The negotiations have been going on for nearly two years, since Amazon reached an agreement with the state regarding sales tax collection.

Kenneth Fiola Jr., executive v-p of the Fall River Office of Economic Development, said he was optimistic Amazon would begin construction early next year: "No deal is done until it's done, but I don't see anything that stands in the way."

Atheneum Books: Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks by Jason Reynolds, illustrated by Alexander Nabaum

Red Hen Press Gobbles Up Pighog

red hen press logoRed Hen Press, Pasadena, Calif., has acquired the rights and catalogue of Pighog, the U.K. publisher founded in 2002 by John Davies that has published more than 50 books and anthologies of poetry, fiction and nonfiction from the U.K. and abroad.

With this recent acquisition, Red Hen will adopt titles from Pighog as its latest imprint, which will focus on writings from U.K. authors.

Founded in 1994 by Kate Gale and Mark E. Cull, Red Hen publishes some 20 titles a year of fiction, poetry and literary nonfiction. The Press also has a range of public programs, including Writing in the Schools, which conducts writing workshops for more than 250 low-income K-12 students; reading series in New York City and greater Los Angeles; three annual literary awards conferring $5,000 to emerging writers; and the semi-annual publication of the Los Angeles Review, a literary journal.

2019 SIBA Holiday Catalog - Space is limited, reserve your listing now!

Bonnier Publishing Acquires Igloo Books

Bonnier Publishing has acquired Igloo Books, adding £30 million (US$48 million) in annual sales in a deal that Bonnier said will "make it one of the five largest children's publishers in the U.K., as well as the 'dominant force' in children's mass market publishing," the Bookseller reported.

"Earlier this summer I set out the goal of doubling our annual turnover," said Bonnier CEO Richard Johnson. "My aim was to do this by means of both organic growth and acquisition. Igloo Books stood out immediately as a company we could do business with. It shares many of the same cultural and commercial values as Bonnier and is as ambitious and focused on achieving fast growth as we are."
Igloo CEO John Styring--who will retain his role--said he did not have plans to sell the business until he was approached by Johnson, "who proposed a mix of companies that would be of mutual benefit and would enable us to become an even bigger player in the industry, while allowing us to keep hold of our unique business culture and brand identity."

Sharjah International Book Fair Oct 30th-November 9th 2019 - Learn More

G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!
The Midnight Lie
by Marie Rutkoski

Marie Rutkoski's The Midnight Lie is an enchanting, dynamic return to her world of The Winner's Curse. Nirrim forges passports that allow her fellow Half Castes to enter the city where the High Castes live, wearing bold colors and eating foods of which the lower castes can only dream. When a traveler arrives, Nirrim's eyes are opened to the wider world beyond the walls. FSG editorial director Joy Peskin and associate editor Trisha de Guzman "are not often drawn to fantasy" but were "swept away by Nirrim's world." The Midnight Lie, they say, "has a lush, magical world filled with intrigue and a spine-tingling, intense romance with complex characters and themes that take into account current conversations about sexuality, consent and power." --Siân Gaetano, children's and YA editor, Shelf Awareness

(Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $18.99 hardcover, 9780374306380, 352p., ages 14-up, March 3, 2020)


Shelf vetted, publisher supported



Images of the Day: Halloween

Everyone loves Halloween, and no one more than booksellers, who last week showed off their costumes and their #Halloreads. A satisfyingly spooky time was had by all--especially many terrified, entertained customers.

A sampling:

At Changing Hands, in Tempe, Ariz., booksellers Em, Alli and Megan went for a Harry Potter theme: Luna Lovegood, Rita Skeeter and Hermione Granger, while Changing Hands' Phoenix store/First Draft Book Bar chose The Night Circus.

Literati, Ann Arbor, Mich., hosted a book-themed Halloween costume contest; you can see the customers and staff on the store's Facebook page, here and here (and especially this one).

At Politics & Prose, Washington, D.C.: The Dread Pirate of Receiving and the scary staff.

At Scuppernong Books, Greensboro, N.C.: Simone de Beauvoir, David Foster Wallace, Robert Creeley and a Rough Draft.

Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore, Delray Beach, Fla., hosted a day of Halloween festivities.

And a few more photos from Booktowne, in Manasquan, N.J.; Eagle Harbor Book Company, Bainbridge Island, Wash.; and the Book Bin in Corvallis, Ore.

Arcadia Books, Spring Green, Wis., held a Day of the Dead dinner on Saturday for Mexico: The Cookbook by Margarita Carrillo Arronte (Phaidon Press), which was published just a week ago. In addition to receiving copies of the book, attendees were served a three-course meal in the store's restaurant area (the Kitchen at Arcadia Books), with all dishes (including sangria!) prepared from the book.

Happy 85th Birthday, Penguin Bookshop!

Congratulations to the Penguin Bookshop, Sewickley, Pa., near Pittsburgh, which celebrated its 85th birthday last Wednesday with balloons, cupcakes, penguins wearing birthday hats and a champagne toast in the early evening.

The store, which predates Penguin the publisher and is not part of Penguin Random House, has had six owners and been located in four storefronts in Sewickley. Current owner Susan O'Connor re-opened the shop in February after moving it to a new, renovated space just across the street from the former location.

The store wrote: "The Penguin has been kept alive through the loyalty of its customers and the passion of its booksellers. It remains one of the community's greatest treasures. Here's to another 85 years of local, independent bookselling!"

'The World of Publishing: 1991 vs. 2014'

Karen Karbo, whose 1991 novel The Diamond Lane has been reissued by Hawthorne Books, considered the myriad changes in publishing over that time in a post on the blog at Powell's Books, Portland, Ore. Her observations include this succinct analysis of changing expectations over 23 years:

In 1991, this is what could prevent you from having a successful writing career:

You fail to finish your novel.
Your novels don't sell.

In 2014, this is what could prevent you from having a successful writing career:

You think platforms are shoes.
You think branding is best left to cattle.
You look like a basset hound on Skype and thus shun the all-important Skype book club appearances.
You have less than 3,000 Twitter followers.
Your Facebook author page has less than 1,000 followers.
Your LinkedIn... f*&k, you don't even know what that is.
You are too moody, and thus lack the ability to express the amount of gratitude and enthusiasm required by social media.
You are slightly homely, and not in a geek chic sort of way, and thus avoid having your picture taken.
The food you eat is not photogenic.
You never go on vacation.
You lack the proper amount of guile to promote yourself at all hours of the day and night without seeming to promote yourself.
Your website is always three years out of date.
You fail to finish your novel.
Your novels don't sell.

Personnel Changes at Penguin

Megan Sullivan has become the new Penguin sales rep for New England and will work alongside Karl Krueger. She has been publicity manager at David R. Godine, Publisher and worked at America's Test Kitchen. Before that, she worked at Harvard Book Store for 14 years.

Media and Movies

Movies: The Imitation Game; Still Alice

A new clip and pics have been released from The Imitation Game, based on based on the book Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges, Indiewire reported. The film is directed by Morten Tyldum, and stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley. It opens November 21.


Awards season buzz is gathering around Julianne Moore's performance in Still Alice, the film adaptation of Lisa Genova's novel, Indiewire reported. The movie, which also stars Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin and Kate Bosworth, "will have an Oscar qualifying run in December, and opens on January 16."

Media Heat: Aasif Mandvi on Fresh Air

This morning on NPR's Morning Edition: Anna Todd, author of After (Gallery Books, $16, 9781476792484).


This morning on CBS This Morning: Michael Connelly, author of The Burning Room (Little, Brown, $28, 9780316225939).


Today on Fresh Air: Aasif Mandvi, author of No Land's Man (Chronicle, $22.95, 9781452107912).


Today on the Meredith Vieira Show: Jennifer Lopez, author of True Love (Celebra, $29.95, 9780451468680).


Today on Tavis Smiley: Jon Secada, author of A New Day (Celebra, $24.95, 9780451469366).


Tonight on the Late Show with David Letterman: Martin Short, author of I Must Say: My Life As a Humble Comedy Legend (Harper, $26.99, 9780062309525). He will also appear tomorrow on the View and Late Night with Seth Meyers.


Tonight on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson: Laila Lalami, author of The Moor's Account: A Novel (Pantheon, $26.95, 9780307911667).


Tonight on Late Night with Seth Meyers: Joe Hill, author of Horns (Harper, $7.99, 9780062360021).


Tonight on Last Call with Carson Daly: Gillian Anderson, co-author of A Vision of Fire: A Novel (Simon & Schuster, $25, 9781476776521).


Tonight on the Colbert Report: Chuck Todd, author of The Stranger: Barack Obama in the White House (Little, Brown, $29, 9780316079570).


Tomorrow on the Talk: Kris Jenner, author of In the Kitchen with Kris: A Kollection of Kardashian-Jenner Family Favorites (Karen Hunter/Gallery Books, $25.99, 9781476728889).


Tomorrow on Tavis Smiley: Matt Bai, author of All the Truth Is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid (Knopf, $26.95, 9780307273383).


Tomorrow night on Late Night with Seth Meyers: Simon Rich, author of Spoiled Brats: Stories (Little, Brown, $25, 9780316368629).


Tomorrow night on Last Call with Carson Daly: Megan Amram, author of Science... For Her! (Scribner, $25.99, 9781476757889).

Books & Authors

Awards: Irish Book; Banff Mountain

Finalists have been named in 12 categories for the 2014 Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards, which "recognize and celebrate the very best of Irish literary talent," the Bookseller reported. Winners will be named November 26.

Shortlisted for the Eason Novel of the Year are Nora Webster by Colm Tóibín, The Thrill of It All by Joseph O'Connor, The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell, A History of Loneliness by John Boyne, From Out of the City by John Kelly and Academy Street by Mary Costello. Check out the complete Irish Book Awards shortlists here.


The Banff Centre announced winners for the Banff Mountain Book Competition which is part of the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival. Category winners, who receive $2,000 (US$1,772), except for the $1,000 ($886) James Monroe Thorington Award, are eligible for the competition's $4,000 ($3,545) grand prize, the Phyllis and Don Munday Award. The overall winner will be named November 6.

World Literature: Booksellers Recommend

Some of the most respected booksellers in my region recommend their favorite forthcoming or recently released works in translation. --George Carroll

Rambling On by Bohumil Hrabal, translated from the Czech by David Short (Karolinum, distributed by University of Chicago Press). "Hrabal's great fun, in fact, comic and crude and character-rich, and this collection of linked stories might just be the best proof of that in print. This edition is stunning, printed on thick paper that's a pleasure to touch and practically spilling over with art. Even if you don't ever read the words, you'll love it." --James Crossley, Island Books, Mercer Island, Wash.

Tristana by Benito Perez Galdos, translated from the Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa (New York Review Books). "My newest discovery is Galdos, the Spanish writer who some folks say is second only to Cervantes. New York Review Books published his short classic from 1892, Tristana, in October--Luis Bunuel made a film of it--and the book blew my mind." --Nick DiMartino, University Bookstore, Seattle, Wash.

Monastery by Eduardo Halfon, translated from the Spanish by Lisa Dillman and Daniel Hahn (Bellevue Literary Press). "Much like his wispy smoke-filled covers, Eduardo Halfon's writing has an ephemeral quality that is both wondrous and intriguing. In Monastery, the same mysterious narrator as in his previous work, The Polish Boxer, returns to lead us once again on nomadic travels through time and place." --Shawn Donley, Powell's Books, Portland, Ore.

I Called Him Necktie by Milena Michiko Flasar, translated from the German by Sheila Dickie (New Vessel Press). "I Called Him Necktie may be simple story, but it packs a serious emotional punch. This exquisite novel is a subtle reminder of what it means to be alive and to be human." --Shawn Donley

Talking to Ourselves by Andrés Neuman, translated from the Spanish by Nick Caistor and Lorenza Garcia (Farrar, Straus & Giroux). "In Andrés Neuman's stunning new novel, Talking to Ourselves, a small family is forced to confront a precarious reality teetering upon the cusp of sorrow and uncertainty. There's a vibrancy and liveliness to Neuman's writing (as well-evidenced, too, in Traveler of the Century--his first book to be translated into English) that is both compelling and irresistible." --Jeremy Garber, Powell's Books, Portland, Ore.

Klaus Klump: A Man by Gonçalo M. Tavares, translated from the Portuguese by Rhett McNeil (Dalkey Archive Press). "The first volume of Gonçalo Tavares's remarkable Kingdom series, Klaus Klump: A Man is the last of the four to be translated into English. Like the others, however, this one explores themes of alienation, brutality, impotency and power. With juxtaposing imagery, stark metaphors and tight, yet evocative language, Tavares entwines the disorienting horrors of senseless ultraviolence with the psychological detachment of conflict-survival." --Jeremy Garber

Butterflies in November by Audur Ava Olafsdóttir, translated from the Icelandic by Brian FitzGibbon (Grove/Atlantic). "A very accessible novel. An ideal cure for the approaching winter, with the right mix of humor and reflection. Besides, everyone needs to make the journey to Iceland and follow its ring road." --Alex Gholz, Ravenna Third Place Books, Seattle, Wash.

August by Christa Wolf, translated from the German by Katy Derbyshire (Seagull Books). "Seagull Books' first English translation of Christa Wolf's novella is beautiful. Wolf's words are alive and seamless as she floats between past and present, memory and remembrance, as August reflects on childhood's lessons from post-war Germany." --Alex Gholz

Tombe by Helene Cixous, translated from the French by Laurent Milesi (Seagull Books). "Tombe succeeds on so many levels. Cixous' command of both language as it relates to her ideas and the innate playfulness of the shifts she creates in her theories by developing a layered vernacular thick with allusion, as well as her ability to argue self-contained ideas that hold broad implications is unparalleled. The translator of this work takes such great pains to recreate the experience of reading the work in the original language. An exceptional feminist work dealing with the ideas of confinement, decline, death, and transcendence." --Justus Joseph, Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, Wash.

Diary of the Fall by Michel Laub, translated from the Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa (Other Press). "Alcoholism, Alzheimer's and Auschwitz, and what can be said about them when everything has been said. I hope we'll see more of Laub." --Greg Kimball, Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, Wash.

La Grande by Juan José Saer, translated from the Spanish by Steve Dolph (Open Letter). "I loved the other Open Letter Saer titles and La Grande was even better than I hoped for. I feel like I need to go back and read the others--they're all of a piece." --Greg Kimball

Kamal Jann by Dominique Edde, translated from the French by Ros Schwartz (Seagull Books). "The second of acclaimed Lebanese writer Dominique Edde's novels to be translated and published in recent years, this story about a family's virtual disintegration, played out largely in Syria, but elsewhere, works on metaphoric and literal levels with great empathy and insight. And it's a beautiful book." --Rick Simonson, Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, Wash.

The Walls of Delhi by Uday Prakash, translated from the Hindi by Jason Grunebaum (Seven Stories Press). "Each of the novellas in this collection, set in Delhi, is a universe, like several books, unto itself. Shortlisted for the 2013 DSC South Asian Prize--and almost the winner--it's a brilliant combination of the mocking and outraged, and the tender and loving, all of people trying to survive in a place that doesn't make it easy." --Rick Simonson

Passions by Giacomo Leopardi, translated from the Italian by Tim Parks (Margellos World Literature/Yale University Press). "If the 3.5-lb, $75 FSG edition of Leopardi's Zibaldone was too much for your wallet or your arms, this fresh translation (by author and NYRB contributor Tim Parks) of selections from Leopardi's masterpiece is a perfect introduction to the poet's work. 'Revenge is so sweet one often wishes to be insulted so as to be able to take revenge,' goes on of Leopardi's more honest aphorisms." --Stephen Sparks, Green Apple Books, San Francisco, Calif.

Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrara, translated from the Spanish by Lisa Dillman (And Other Stories). "A slim book that casts a long shadow, Herrara's first novel to be translated into English is a story of border crossing that echoes the eeriness of Juan Rulfo's influential classic Pedro Paramo." --Stephen Sparks

Our Lady of the Nile by Scholastique Mukasonga, translated from the French by Melanie Mauthner (Archipelago Books). "For her most recent work and first novel, Mukasonga immerses us in a school for young girls, called 'Notre-Dame du Nil.' The girls are sent to this high school perched on the ridge of the Nile in order to become the feminine elite of the country and to escape." --Paul Yamazaki, City Lights Bookstore, San Francisco, Calif.

Book Review

Review: BOMB: The Author Interviews

Bomb: The Author Interviews by Bomb Magazine, edited by Betsy Sussler (Soho Press, $40 hardcover, 9781616953799, November 4, 2014)

Who better to ask a writer about the writing process than another writer? For more than 30 years, BOMB, a magazine of essays, literature and visual portfolios, has been publishing in-depth interviews with artists conducted by artists of all disciplines. In BOMB: The Author Interviews, publisher and editor Betsy Sussler collects 35 of the best conversations between influential and intellectual authors of world literature.

The q&as delve into aspects of the writer's craft, including the importance of sentences, rhythm and pacing, creating characters, narrative shaping, literary influences, editing and revision, the publishing industry and the demands of the writer's life amid more mundane concerns.

Brief author bios and references to what the writers were working on at the time of each conversation preface every q&a. Jonathan Franzen spoke with Donald Antrim shortly after the release of his family saga novel, The Corrections, and their discussion probes Franzen's own family life. Jennifer Egan expounds upon her breakthrough novel, A Visit from the Goon Squad, with Heidi Julavits.

The interviews are intimate and give rare insight into the creative processes, feelings and work habits of contemporary prose writers and poets. Sam Lipsyte and Christopher Sorrentino examine satire and first-person points of view. Steven Millhauser and Jim Shepard talk novellas. Oscar Hijuelos and Guillermo Cabrera Infante (both now deceased) delve into their Cuban heritages. Ben Marcus and Courtney Eldridge discuss the nuances of short stories and how teaching affects the writing life. Amy Hempel and Sharon Olds grapple with poetry and what it means to be "brave" on the page. A.M. Holmes and Tobias Wolff debate fiction versus nonfiction and how ideas often bubble up from the subconscious. Mary Gaitskill and Matthew Sharpe talk the nourishment of stories. And Jeffrey Eugenides and Jonathan Safran Foer commiserate on the long haul of writing a novel, especially as a writer's personal life undergoes changes.

Each conversation differs in topic and tone. Clipped, clever banter infuses the exchange between Kathy Acker and Mark Magill, while a host of the q&as convey mutual admiration, as evidenced when Junot Díaz and Edwidge Danticat discuss their ancestry and what it's like to be "book obsessed."

Articulating the complexity of the craft, the challenges of the writing life and the impetus behind certain works sometimes proves difficult, but each dialogue sheds light onto the act of writing itself and the profound satisfaction in having created something lasting on the page. Such revelations are bound to be helpful and insightful to readers and other writers intrigued and mystified by the process. --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines

Shelf Talker: These fascinating, in-depth and intimate conversations between notable writers delve into writing as a craft and as a calling.

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