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Book briefs: Grad speech to be published; 'The Group' gets e-book release

Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
This April 23, 2013 file photo shows writer George Saunders at the TIME 100 Gala celebrating the '100 Most Influential People in the World' in New York.

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Saturday, Aug. 10, 2013, 5:26 p.m.

Author's viral grad speech to be published

Best-selling author George Saunders is turning his graduation speech that went viral into a book.

“Congratulations, by the Way,” an expanded version of his commencement speech to the Syracuse University class of 2013, is scheduled for publication by Random House in spring 2014.

The speech is a meditation on the importance of kindness. He says what he regrets in life are “failures of kindness” and “as a goal in life, you could do worse than: Try to be kinder.”

Text of the speech quickly spread on social networks and blogs.

Saunders' most recent collection of short stories, “Tenth of December,” was published by Random House earlier this year.

— Associated Press

‘The Group' is latest award winner to get e-book release

Mary McCarthy's “The Group,” a racy best-seller and National Book Award finalist from the '60s, is out as an e-book.

The 1963 novel is one of 14 books being released Aug. 6 in an electronic format by the digital publisher Open Road Integrated Media.

Others now on sale include Mary Gordon's “The Company of Women” and Jessica Hagedorn's “The Dogeaters.” All are part of a new Open Road program called “The Essentials,” highlighting past National Book Award finalists.

— Associated Press

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