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August 27, 2011

Portrait of the Artist

Shelf Awareness talks to The Magician King author Lev Grossman about his many creative influences including his obsession with C.S. Lewis’s Narnia Chronicles, his mother’s British heritage, the traditions of fantasy writing, and the midlife crisis that inspired his debut The Magicians.

Literary T.V.

Word & Film offers this tantalizing teaser for book-based T.V. shows currently being developed.  Included are Salman Rushdie’s sci-fi series “Next People,” an adaptation of Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad, and HBO’s “Hobgoblin” from Michael Chabon and Aylet Waldman.

The Continuators

Writers who keep the popular series of deceased authors alive are the controversial subjects of this Salon article.  Included are interviews with Jeffery Deaver on his update of Ian Fleming’s James Bond series and Eric Van Lustbader on continuing Robert Ludlum’s Jason Bourne books.

Butch Cassidy & the Mystery Memoir

The Huffington Post explores new evidence that the notorious outlaw’s 1934 biography was actually an autobiography.  Thought to have been killed in a 1908 shootout, some rare books collectors now insist he survived the next 30 years to pen his life story as William T. Phillips.


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January 10, 2011

A Maecenas for the Internet Age

The Wall Street Journal celebrates the legacy of the late Denis Dutton, a writer, philosopher, and the creator of the popular website Arts & Letters Daily.  Offering readers fresh daily links to the very best writing on books and culture, Dutton built ALD as an “elite meritocracy” that gave equal voice to quality journals of all sizes and perspectives.

‘Daddy, Read for Me’

Rikers Island inmates participating in the “Daddy and Me” literacy program are profiled in this NY Times feature.  Organized by the NY Public Library, the program helps fathers connect with their children by reading and recording books like “Fox in Socks” and “The Little Engine That Could.” 

How to Salvage a ‘Wrecked’ Novel

Author Michael Chabon discusses his abandoned novel Fountain City with The Atlantic.  After 5 years and 1500 pages, Chabon “wrecked” the novel before going on to write Wonder Boys.  Here he talks about his recent decision to publish four annotated chapters of Fountain City in McSweeney’s.

More Than A Mouthful

This NY Times essay explores the art of the extremely long sentence in novels such as James Joyce’s Ulysses and a host of more contemporary works.  With an appreciative eye, the article celebrates the beauty in 36, 117, and 158-page long sentences in the era of 140-character Twitter posts.  

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