The 2014 PEN Pinter prize is being awarded to Salman Rushdie. Named in memory of playwright Harold Pinter, the award is given annually to a
British writer who has an “unflinching, unswerving” and “fierce intellectual determination…to define the real truth of our lives and our societies.” Head judge Maureen Freely said: This prize is English PEN”s way of thanking Salman Rushdie not just for his books and his many years of speaking out for freedom of expression, but also for his countless private acts of kindness. When he sees writers unjustly vilified, prosecuted or forced into exile, he takes a personal interest.” Read more in today’s Guardian and NPR articles. And check the EPL catalog for works by this author.
A new opera based on Annie Proulx’s story Brokeback Mountain, originally commissioned for New York City Opera, will have its world premiere at the Teatro Real in Madrid on January 28. Ms. Proulx, whose cowboy romance was made into an award-winning film in 2005, has written the libretto, saying that “one of her goals in writing it was to preserve the dry and laconic western tone of the story.” She and composer Charles Wuorinen began developing the opera at an artist’s retreat in Wyoming five years ago. A Pulitzer Prize and MacArthur grant winner, Mr. Wuorinen’s previous opera was based on Salman Rushdie’s novel Haroun and the Sea of Stories. This new opera will star Canadian bass-baritone Daniel Okulitch and American tenor Tom Randle as Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist, respectively (played in the film version by Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal). So will this opera version include the famous line: “I wish I knew how to quit you?” Guess we’ll just have to wait. Read more here.
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.
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.
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.