Wag’s Revue is off to a great start with interviews with Dave Eggers, T.C. Boyle and N+1 magazine founder Mark Greif as well as original poetry and fiction.
The new publication can be found here.
Los Angeles Times cop beat reporter Jack McEvoy becomes another victim of downsizing when the paper gives him his Reduction in Force notice -- aka “pink slip.” But that doesn’t take the charge out of McEvoy’s instincts for a good story, especially if it means he can go out with a bang and leave some egg on his bosses’ faces. And McEvoy has just the article in mind.The full review is here.
The cause of death was bladder cancer, said his son Griffin Dunne.The Vanity Fair piece is here. January Magazine’s 2001 interview with Dunne is here.
Dunne -- who joined Vanity Fair in 1984 as a contributing editor and was named special correspondent in 1993 -- famously covered the trials of O. J. Simpson, the Menendez brothers, Michael Skakel, William Kennedy Smith, and Phil Spector, as well as the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. He wrote memorable profiles on numerous personalities, among them Imelda Marcos, Robert Mapplethorpe, Elizabeth Taylor, Claus von Bülow, Adnan Khashoggi, and Warren Beatty and Annette Bening. His monthly column provided a glimpse inside high society, and captivated readers.
His first article for the magazine appeared in March 1984 -- an account of the trial of the man who murdered his daughter Dominique. Throughout his life, Dunne was a vocal advocate for victims’ rights.
Adam One, the kindly leader of the God’s Gardeners -- a religion devoted to the melding of science, religion, and nature -- has long predicted a disaster. Now it has occurred, obliterating most human life. Two women remain: Ren, a young dancer locked away in a high-end sex club, and Toby, a former God’s Gardener, who barricades herself inside a luxurious spa. Have others survived? Ren’s bio-artist friend Amanda? Zeb, her eco-fighter stepfather? Her onetime lover, Jimmy? Or the murderous Painballers? Not to mention the CorpSeCorps, the shadowy policing force of the ruling powers... As Adam One and his beleaguered followers regroup, Ren and Toby emerge into an altered world, where nothing -- including the animal life -- is predictable.The site Thornley and company created for Atwood includes several interactive elements and represents the publication of the book in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. More countries will be added as time goes on.
Labels: Margaret Atwood
To his critics he is an arrogant misogynist who wouldn’t be where he is without his famous father, Kingsley. To his fans he is a brilliant chronicler of our times whose literary success -- and success with women -- has fuelled resentment and envy.Lionel Shriver (We Need to Talk About Kevin, The Post-Birthday World) captures my own feelings perfectly:
In general, I rue the public pettiness that has dogged Amis -- all that rubbish about his teeth, the ludicrously outsized indignation about his quite modest salary as a university tutor.
He’s intelligent, he takes risks and he is a skillful craftsman. He is a national treasure, and an underappreciated one.
I can think of no other writer who has been this good and this bad. Maybe that tells the story? The Rachel Papers (1973) was as wonderful as Yellow Dog (2003) was truly awful*. Does that not speak of a writer who is risking himself and trying new things? The memoir Experience is, in many ways, an extraordinary love letter to Kingsley Amis, the father with whom Martin had a dangerous relationship. (One does not get to be an enfant terrible without a bit of rebellion. They go together, after all.) And I’ve raved about The War Against Cliché in this space at every opportunity. When young reviewers approach me and say, “How?” the title of Amis’ 2001 collection of essays and reviews is the one I scrawl down.
I couldn’t fail to feature on this page the cover of Russell Atwood’s paperback novel, Losers Live Longer. Not only is Losers the brand-new follow-up to East of A (2000), the “tough little shaggy dog tale” that introduced New York City private eye Payton Sherwood and launched the authorial career of Atwood, a former managing editor of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine; but the book boasts a jacket illustrated by the renowned American artist Robert McGinnis -- and a horizontal jacket, to boot.Pierce and Ardai’s conversation can be found here.
Marilyn French spent the bulk of her writing career beneath the shadow of her magnificent first novel, the semi-autobiographical The Women’s Room. Published in 1977, the book is no less searing today than when it first appeared. And while it afforded French deserved fame, the five works of fiction that followed were uneven, ranging from excellent -- The Bleeding Heart, Her Mother’s Daughter -- to the downright bad: Our Father, My Summer with George. The Love Children, French’s final novel, falls on the weaker end of this mighty woman’s output.
Gleaning junk from a beach leads to a discussion of the enormous amount of plastic waste in our oceans. Picking up a pair of pants from a gutter leads to a discussion of this country’s cotton industry. Finding a dead animal from the side of the road to eat leads to, well, raised eyebrows and a chuckle of admiration. Here are essays that not only explore the reusing but explore our culture at large.I have no trouble admitting that my own ideas about environmentalism are probably closer to Eco Chic than Pritchett’s gleaning and I can’t imagine the set of circumstances that would have me diving into a Dumpster. Still, Pritchett’s collection manages to be thought-provoking. It’s yet another view of the green movement and the 24 voices here often seem raw and even primal: something remembered from wilder times (The 1970s, maybe?) when the world was less ordered and change wasn’t an option, it was a matter of course.
Correct or incorrect as that might be, we have nonetheless, it seems clear, at least a responsibility to ourselves if not to those who follow us -- if not some perhaps spiritual obligation -- to recycle what little we can, to avoid wasting even the least bit given to us, in wealth or in relative poverty, to be resourceful stewards of the planet.
As the dust settles around the latest Mockingbird controversy -- in which a principal at a Brampton school removed the book from Grade 10 English curriculum in June after a parent objected to language in the novel -- another debate has emerged: Is there a better book to teach diverse, multiracial, multi-ethnic students in the GTA about race relations and anti-discrimination in 2009?And fair enough: if I were looking for a book to inform children about African-Canadian issues, well ... To Kill a Mockingbird would not be the place to look. But is that why high school students are assigned reading? As I said in a comment to that earlier post, choosing books for young people to read based on the lessons we can cram in is like giving them medicine. Or Brussels sprouts. It’s good for them? Oh stop! Reading is magic. That’s the lesson we need to teach.
“It’s a great book, but how many great books, how many classics have been written over the past five decades that might do a better a job in dealing with these issues?” said George Elliott Clarke, a writer and English professor at the University of Toronto who specializes in African-Canadian literature.
Philomena Ash, of Glenwood, Kansas, is a swimming prodigy. She’s tall and strong, with enormous feet and broad shoulders. Her coaches watch and whisper as she steadily breaks Kansas swim records like bundles of dried twigs. By the time she’s sixteen, the word Olympics is being whispered. But other things are going on.The full review is here.
Bernie Madoff has struck a deep chord in the American psyche. This well-coiffed, impeccably groomed, affable, yet sinister man has come to symbolize the entire financial sector for the countless Americans whose net worth has plummeted and whose jobs are either lost or in danger due to the continuing recession and tight credit.“Up close” seems a dangerous euphemism here. I love, for instance, the title CBC News adopted for their piece on the book: “Madoff Screwed Charity Then Slept with CFO, Says Book.” Kinda says it all, doesn’t it? ‘Nuff said.
Sheryl Weinstein, former CFO of Hadassah, controller of Lincoln Center, and graduate of the Wharton School of Business has seen Madoff up close for more than twenty years, as she reveals in Madoff’s Other Secret: Love, Money, Bernie and Me.
The classic literary novel To Kill a Mockingbird is being pulled from the Grade 10 English course at a Brampton high school after a parent complained about the use of a racial epithet in the book.Though I’d seen a couple of stage versions over the years and, of course, the movie, I didn’t get around to reading Harper Lee’s acclaimed novel until this year. It was worth the wait: To Kill a Mockingbird is a subtly stunning work of fiction. If you haven’t read the book, add it to your must read list. And if there’s a teenager in your life, perhaps buy a copy for him or her, if only to protest that idiot St. Edmund Campion Secondary School parent who would ban a contemporary masterwork through their own lack of intellect and understanding.
Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, which challenges racial injustice in America's Deep South, will be removed from curriculum at St. Edmund Campion Secondary School following a lone complaint from a parent whose child will be in Grade 10 this September.
The Diary of Anne Frank records the teenager's experiences over 25 months while hiding out with her family in a secret annexe in a canalside warehouse in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam. It became an international bestseller and made her an icon of the Holocaust when it was published in 1947, two years after she died in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. It has been translated into 60 languages and has sold more than 25m copies worldwide.Because Mamet is not known for his delicacy and because the pairing seems odd on so many levels, spoofs of what Mamet’s script might look like are already beginning to surface. Here’s one from The Independent (scroll down). Another from The Village Voice. We’ll have to wait a while to see how far -- or not -- off the mark these jokesters were, though: the film is expected to be released in 2011.
Labels: books to film
Film merchandising usually comes in the form of unnecessary plastic objects or high-calorie fast food special offers, from Transformer toys to McDonald's tie-ins. It's an unusual movie that triggers sales of cordon bleu recipe books and Le Creuset cookware. But the latest Meryl Streep film, Julie & Julia, is having just that effect.The 40th anniversary edition of Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cookery, was published by Knopf in 2001. At the time of this writing, the book was riding the #1 spot at Amazon.
Thanks in part to a spot in W H Smith's "£2.99 if you buy the Times" promotion, Linwood Barclay's Too Close To Home (Orion) has soared to the top of the bestseller lists, in another strong week for the trade.Barclay's follow-up to the 2008 smash hit, No Time for Goodbye (Orion), sold 45,622 copies during the seven days to 1st August, in a week when book sales jumped 2.5% on the previous week to 4.6m copies sold—a 2009 high. £30.9m was spent at UK book retailers last week, according to Nielsen BookScan Total Consumer Market data, up 5.1% year on year.And in exactly the same scenario as last year, Jeffery Deaver's latest thriller has to settle for second position behind Barclay. The Broken Window (Hodder), his second Kathryn Dance thriller, sold 32,795 copies through the market last week. In the same week last year, the continuing popularity of Barclay's "Richard and Judy" Summer Read, No Time for Goodbye, ensured Deaver's Lincoln Rhyme thriller, The Sleeping Doll (Hodder), was kept off top spot.The full piece is here.
Join Linwood Barclay as he travels the blogosphere in August 2009 with Pump Up Your Book Promotion Public Relations on his first virtual book tour to discuss his new suspense novel, “Fear the Worst” (Bantam Books).
One evening your child doesn’t come home for dinner. And just like that the world you thought you knew becomes a strange and terrifying place.
Tim Blake thought he knew his teenage daughter as well as he could know anyone. But when Sydney vanishes into thin air, all she leaves behind are questions. At the hotel where she was supposedly working, no one has ever heard of her. Even her closest friends can’t tell Tim what Sydney was really doing in the weeks before her disappearance. Now, as the days pass without a word, Tim uncovers secrets about a daughter he didn’t know and a dark world of corruption, exploitation, and murder right around the corner from his once seemingly safe life.
The letter claims that the latest volume in Meyer’s Twilight series, Breaking Dawn, which was published last year, “shows a striking and substantial similarity” to Scott’s book The Nocturne, and asks the publisher how it intends “to cease and desist from any further copyright infringement and to compensate my client for her damages.”Unsurprisingly, this is a huge story, which makes it all the more odd that it’s been impossible to find anything solid about Jordan’s writing in general or Nocturne in particular. Jordan’s Web site lists the book as “sold out” and it is unavailable from Amazon. Google Books lists another title by the same author, Texas Aggies. This afternoon, The New York Times’ Art Beat added more about Meyer’s challenger:
Hachette called the claim “completely without merit” and said that any lawsuit would be “defended vigorously.”
Jordan Scott, who describes herself as a singer, screenwriter and college student on her Web site jordanscott.com, wrote a little-known novel called “The Nocturne” as a teenager, releasing parts of it online before publishing it as a book in 2006.
Samuel Carver is an angry man. The protagonist of The Accident Man, The Survivor, and Assassin, whose specialty is creating deniable assassination by means of unattributable “accidents,” has just discovered that one of his former brother officers in the SBS (Special Boat Service) has been killed in Afghanistan. The man died very horribly and painfully in the hands of the Taliban, lost for want of the helicopter that should have airlifted him to safety.Click here to read the opening installment of “Bloodsport,” along with Cain’s disclaimer. And click here to enjoy Ali Karim’s interview with the author, which includes some background on “Bloodsport.”
Suddenly, a situation that has long been a matter of principled outrage to Carver has become very personal. So he reacts in the way that he knows best. He decides to make a bad thing happen to what he believes is a bad person; the person he holds responsible for the death of his friend and many other fine soldiers, the prime minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
In the tradition of Rogue Male and The Day of the Jackal, Carver stalks his prey. In this case he does not choose the boulevards of Paris as his hunting ground, nor the hills and forests of Germany. Instead he goes to the hills of northern England, where the prime minister is taking his summer holiday.
Labels: The Rap Sheet