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'Twin Peaks' co-creator Mark Frost is penning a sequel novel

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The illusory mystery of Twin Peaks lives on… again. Following last week’s announcement of Showtime’s reboot of the cult-favorite series comes the news that co-creator Mark Frost is penning a novel that picks up where the show left off in 1991. According to a press release from publisher Flatiron Books, The Secret Lives of Twin Peaks “reveals what has happened to the people of that iconic fictional town since we last saw them 25 years ago and offers a deeper glimpse into the central mystery that was only touched on by the original series.”

The bestselling author’s book is set to hit shelves in late 2015—before Frost’s TV revival airs in 2016. Frost is reuniting with his original Twin Peaks co-creator and co-executive producer David Lynch to make a Showtime limited series sequel of the critically acclaimed show. It is not yet clear whether the plot of the novel and the sequel series will be the same, but Frost is unequivocally thrilled at the chance to novelize his creation. “This has long been a dream project of mine that will bring a whole other aspect of the world of Twin Peaks to life, for old fans and new,” Frost said. “I couldn’t be more thrilled.”

On the Books: University claims Elmore Leonard's archives

- Even if you don’t know the late author Elmore Leonard’s name, you probably know some of his work. Leonard, who passed away in 2013 at age 87, wrote more than 45 novels, including the Get Shorty and Rum Punch (which Quentin Tarantino later adapted for the screen with the title Jackie Brown). Leonard also wrote the television drama Justified.

Many expected the University of Texas, Austin, to acquire Leonard’s archives, but on Wednesday the University of South Carolina surprised insiders, announcing the Leonard estate chose it instead.

Elmore’s son, Peter, explained that his father admired the university and appreciated that it housed some papers from one of his idols, Ernest Hemingway. [L.A. Times]

- This has been a big week for book awards news. Add another one to the list: Author and activist Naomi Klein has won the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize—Canada’s richest non-fiction award—for her book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate. Klein said she hopes the award will help This Changes Everything expand beyond its “lefty audience.” [Publishers Weekly]

- Executives plan to transform independent publishing house McSweeney’s into a nonprofit. Dave Eggers, who founded the company in 1998, explained the move to SFGate: “We’ve always been a hand-to-mouth operation, and every year it gets just a little harder to be an independent publisher. An independent literary title that might have sold 10,000 copies 10 years ago might sell 6,000 now, for example. Now there’s the opportunity to raise money around a certain project or to write a grant for it, or even crowd-fund for it.” [SFGate]

- Andre Dubus III, best known for writing House of Sand and Fog, has made his native New England a big part of both his fictional and autobiographical works (Dirty Love and Townie, respectively). In an interview with Reuters, Dubus shared some thoughts about writing, constructing a landscape, and his most important characters. “A place has rhythms, a flow like a river,” said Dubus of writing about where he grew up. “There is a depth of authority a writer has when writing about a place they know well.”

But don’t count on the author getting one of those nifty new iPhones anytime soon. “I find it really depressing how many of us stare at screens in our hands,” Dubus said. “It’s like you walk into a room and everybody’s stoned. I’m never going to have [a smartphone]. I think we need to reclaim our solitude and the voices in our heads.” [Reuters]

- Did you ever wonder how books get their different smells? Now there’s an infographic explaining the chemistry behind the scents. Check it out here, via Mediabistro.

Graphic novels look at illness and death with honesty and fantasy

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There’s a panel in John Porcellino’s new graphic novel, The Hospital Suite, where the author draws himself during a day at work in an Illinois grocery store. He’s just dealt with months of prolonged illness and hospitalization for an acute intestinal disorder as well as an agonizing inner-ear ailment. His treatments have encompassed everything from surgery to holistic medicine. At one point, he loses so much weight that he can barely walk.

On that day in the grocery store, he sees his own eyelashes fall out. At that point, he says, “in the midst of all this, I felt a strange peace. In a weird way, I looked forward with curiosity to what would come next. If it was my time today, then I was okay with it.” READ FULL STORY

John Grisham apologizes for controversial child-pornography comments

Author John Grisham has apologized after making controversial comments about child pornography to The Telegraph.

In an interview published Wednesday, Grisham claimed the U.S. judicial system had “gone crazy” over the last 30 years, citing what he saw as the unfair imprisonment of white-collar criminals, minor drug offenders, and viewers of child pornography. It was that last part that caused problems—especially after Grisham explained his logic.

“We have prisons now filled with guys my age,” Grisham said. “Sixty-year-old white men in prison who’ve never harmed anybody, would never touch a child. But they got online one night and started surfing around, probably had too much to drink or whatever, and pushed the wrong buttons, went too far and got into child porn.”

Grisham attributed his stance on child porn charges to something that happened to an old law school friend of his; Grisham said his friend struggled with alcoholism, foolishly poked around on a site advertising 16-year-old prostitutes, and served three years in prison as a consequence.

“He shouldn’t ‘a done it,” Grisham said. “It was stupid, but it wasn’t 10-year-old boys.”

Grisham issued an apology and clarification through his publisher, Doubleday, on Thursday:

Anyone who harms a child for profit or pleasure, or who in any way participates in child pornography—online or otherwise—should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. My comments made two days ago during an interview with the British newspaper The Telegraph were in no way intended to show sympathy for those convicted of sex crimes, especially the sexual molestation of children. I can think of nothing more despicable. I regret having made these comments, and apologize to all.

Take a first look at Nick Hornby's new novel 'Funny Girl'

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The author of About a Boy is bringing you a new novel about a funny girl. In Funny Girl, Nick Hornby takes us to the London of the swinging sixties. Sophie Straw, a former beauty queen who cares more about humor than looks, mesmerizes the nation as the star of a sitcom. It dives deep into the world of TV comedy writing and female comics. Take a look at the mod U.S. cover of Funny Girl, exclusively revealed here, and read on for a quick Q&A about the novel, available on Feb. 3. READ FULL STORY

New York Comic-Con: The biggest comic news from this year's show

While it isn’t quite the pop culture juggernaut that San Diego Comic-Con has become, New York Comic-Con is still a very big, very crowded show with lots to see and do. However, not having the media circus that is Hall H comes with its perks: NYCC feels much more focused on comics—even if there aren’t as many new titles announced.

This year was a bit light on comics news when compared to San Diego, but the industry has a large number of conventions held throughout the year, and big news can come out of any of them. Here’s the most exciting stuff to come out of New York last weekend:

READ FULL STORY

On the Books: John Green celebrates 10 years since debut 'Looking for Alaska'

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- Bestselling young adult author John Green unveiled the cover of a special 10th-anniversary edition of his debut novel Looking for Alaska via Twitter yesterday. Green said on his Tumblr that the new cover was designed by Rodrigo Corral, the man behind the now ubiquitous cover of his young adult sensation and The Fault in Our Stars. He also shared that the new edition of the award-winning book—which became a bestseller in 2012, seven years after its release—will include a new introduction, an in-depth Q&A, editor notes and a few scenes that were cut from early drafts of the work.

“It’s hard to believe that ten years have passed,” Green wrote. “I feel so lucky that Alaska is still in print and still finding readers (some of whom were in preschool when it was first published). Thanks to everyone who has read it and shared it this past decade, and I hope you enjoy the anniversary edition,” currently available for preorder. Alaska is the coming-of-age story of new boarding school student Miles Halter who falls in love with a girl named Alaska. Green announced this spring that Alaska was being developed for the big screen by Sarah Polley, several weeks after the release of Josh Boone’s smash-hit adaptation of The Fault in Our Stars.  READ FULL STORY

Cassandra Clare and co. to launch Shadowhunter e-series

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The Mortal Instruments series may have come to an epic conclusion earlier this year, but author Cassandra Clare is far from done telling Shadowhunter tales. Case in point: EW has learned that Clare will partner with bestselling authors Sarah Rees Brennan, Robin Wasserman, and Maureen Johnson for a new series of e-novellas titled Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy.

The series will launch with one story a month beginning in February, in the same vein as Clare’s Bane Chronicles. (The Bane Chronicles, co-written by Brennan and Johnson, will publish a special print edition next month.) READ FULL STORY

2014 National Book Award finalists announced

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This morning on NPR’s Morning Edition, the National Book Foundation announced the 20 finalists for the National Book Awards in four categories.

The Fiction shortlist includes Anthony Doerr’s best-seller All the Light We Cannot See, Phil Klay’s debut collection of wartime short stories, and Emily St. John Mandel’s breakout post-apocalyptic novel Station Eleven. The Nonfiction list is most notable for its inclusion of Roz Chast for her graphic memoir Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?—Chast is the first cartoonist nominated in an adult category.

See below for a full list of finalists in all categories. READ FULL STORY

Australian author Richard Flanagan wins the Man Booker Prize

Australian author Richard Flanagan has won the Man Booker Prize for The Narrow Road to the Deep North—plus the £50,000 (about $80,000) prize and the great prestige that come with it.

Flanagan, born in Tasmania and living in Australia, is the third Aussie to win the award, which he received at a ceremony on Tuesday in London. The judges described his sixth book, published by Chatto & Windus, as “a harrowing account of the cost of war to all who are caught up in it.” Set in World War II, The Narrow Road tells the story of a surgeon in a Japanese POW camp along the Thailand-Burma Death Railway. The novel was partly inspired by Flanagan’s father’s experiences as a Japanese POW—he died at age 98 on the day his son finished the book.

“The two great themes from the origin of literature are love and war: this is a magnificent novel of love and war,” said chair of the judges A.C. Grayling. “Written in prose of extraordinary elegance and force, it bridges East and West, past and present, with a story of guilt and heroism.”

Flanagan’s win carries a special historical significance because this year marked the first time ever that the competition was open to writers from any country, as long as their work was published in English in the U.K. (Previously, only citizens of the U.K. Commonwealth, Ireland or Zimbabwe were eligible.) Brits still nabbed half of the spots on September’s shortlist, and British author Neel Mukherjee was the favorite to win for The Lives Of Others, set in 1960s India.

Flanagan is as surprised as anyone else by his win. “In Australia, the Man Booker is sometimes seen as something of a chicken raffle,” Flanagan said. “I just didn’t expect to end up the chicken.”

 

 

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