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On the Books: Bidding for 'Psycho' typewriter starts at $25K

Junky old typewriters aren’t typically worth a fortune—unless the screenplay for a Hollywood classic like Alfred Hitchock’s Psycho was written on it. The 1959 faded green Olympia that Joseph Stefano used to adapt Robert Bloch’s novel into the screenplay for Psycho is going up for auction on Nov. 20—and the bidding starts at an exorbitant $25,000. At least it’s still fully functional, according to the lot description.

Psycho went on to win four Oscars and carve out a place in movie history with its iconic shower murder scene. Stefano’s most notable change from the novel was his decision to begin the movie with Janet Leigh’s Marion Crane, instead of killer Norman Bates. In doing so, “Stefano changed the drift of the audience’s affections, and changed film history in the process: it was the first time a leading lady had been murdered within the first 20 minutes of a movie,” writes The Telegraph.

British comedian Eddie Izzard is writing a memoir to be published by Blue Rider Press (a Penguin Group imprint) in Winter 2015-2016. The book will document his journey from performing on the streets of London to selling out standup tours and appearing in films like Ocean’s 12, Ocean’s 13 and Across the Universe. “Eddie Izzard’s brilliant, and brilliantly funny, narrative style lends itself perfectly to the printed page,” said Executive Editor Sarah Hochman. [GalleyCat]

Barnes & Noble has created B&N Sync Up, a program that will allow customers to buy the digital editions of select titles for $4.99 each after purchasing the print editions. The company has also expanded the services it provides to self-published authors. Nook Press Print Service will allow authors to “create their own print books and have them shipped to an author’s home about one week after placing an order,” reports Publishers Weekly.


On the Books: Jonathan Franzen releasing new novel in September

Jonathan Franzen’s body of work—particularly 2001’s The Corrections—is so strong that it’s hard to believe he’s only released four novels and three non-fiction collections since his first novel, 1988’s The Twenty-Seventh City. The author has now announced the follow-up to 2010’s massively successful Freedom. Set for publication by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in September, Purity is “a multigenerational American epic that spans decades and continents.” Sound familiar?

But Jonathan Galassi, Farrar’s president and publisher, promises Franzen won’t just retread old ground in Purity. “There’s a kind of fabulist quality to it,” he said. “It’s not strict realism. There’s a kind of mythic undertone to the story.”

The five-year layoff since Freedom might seem long, but Franzen hasn’t had less than eight years between novels since he released his second one in 1992. [The New York Times]

Next time zombie hordes are on your tail, pull up Buzzfeed‘s new interview with Margaret Atwood. The esteemed author gave tips for surviving a zombie apocalypse, and they’re pretty great. Because “zombies can’t climb,” Atwood advised victims head for the top of the Empire State Building. She thinks Twitter would be the most useful social network (“People are going to want news, not photos of your baby.”) and said her weapons of choice would be “long-handled garden tools.” [Buzzfeed]

If he’d been in New York City this weekend, Herman Melville wouldn’t have believed his eyes. While Moby-Dick sold only 3,715 copies during Melville’s life, now the novel some hail as the greatest in American history has its own marathon. The second Moby-Dick Marathon NYC saw 150 readers of different stripes gathereing to honor Melville and his magnum opus. When [spoiler alert] Ishmael finally sights the whale, the crowd cheered. Maybe classic literature has a future as a spectator sport. [The Guardian]

Earlier this year, Mo’ne Davis made history as the first female pitcher to win a Little League World Series game. At just 13, Davis blanked her opponents—and has since thrown out the first pitch at a professional World Series game, starred in a Spike Lee-directed car commercial, and donated her jersey to baseball’s Hall of Fame. She’ll soon add “author” to her resume when she releases Mo’ne Davis: Remember My Name via HarperCollins in March. [AP]

First look: Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham's human-hating horror comic 'Nameless'

Announced at the beginning of this year, Nameless is a forthcoming six-issue miniseries by Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham. Described by Morrison as his first full-on horror comic, both he and Burnham have been working very hard to find some of the most terrifying, depraved ideas ever dreamed up for the hero, Nameless, to face. Below, courtesy of Image Comics, EW has an exclusive first look at preview pages from Nameless #1.


Frank Quitely and Grant Morrison talk about reuniting for 'Multiversity: Pax Americana'

There are a number of reasons why The Multiversity: Pax Americana #1 is one of the most interesting comics coming out this week. First and most obvious—it’s more Multiversity (the fourth installment, for those keeping score.) But it also marks the latest collaboration between writer Grant Morrison and artist Frank Quitely, a pairing that consistently puts out career-defining work. Also of interest is Pax Americana‘s setting—Earth-4, home to the characters DC acquired from Charlton Comics, which were the inspiration for the cast of characters used by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons in Watchmen.

Interested? Below, see some stunning exclusive preview pages and read a Q&A with Morrison and Quitely.


See the movie tie-in cover for 'Fifty Shades of Grey'


You knew it was coming. Check out the steamy movie tie-in edition of Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James in time for the film in early 2015. Very few book lovers admit to preferring a movie tie-in edition over the original, but this one might be an exception for die-hard Fifty Shades fans given the Jamie Dornan eye candy. Against-the-wall makeout sessions are SO much hotter than closeups of monochrome silk ties.


'Superior Iron Man' plays up Silicon Valley's dark side

Tony Stark is a character who’s supposed to be all about progress and looking toward the future, but there’s one aspect of his character that’s always seemed a little incongruous: He’s a weapons manufacturer. Part of this is necessary for the redemptive arc that makes him a hero—he’s a war profiteer who comes to grips with the effect he has on the world, and decides to take responsibility for it. But he’s also a futurist, celebrated for being one of the most brilliant minds in the Marvel Universe. Stark’s superpower is his genius, and his history in arms manufacturing informs the way he develops technological solutions. But it’s big. It’s corporate. It’s very out of touch.

Superior Iron Man, however, paints a Tony Stark who’s decidedly different—and relevant.


What We're Reading Now: 'The Book of Strange New Things' by Michel Faber


If I have a literary weakness, it’s for stories about the improbable. Not the impossible — because really, how exasperating — but for things cast far out into weirdness with just enough realism and humanity winking at the edges that I start believing it could, maybe, just maybe, be real. Michel Faber in The Book of Strange New Things (which EW reviewed here) has done just this. It twisted and bent my mind around an alternate universe, the apocalyptic demise of a near-future Earth, and the small, robed aliens waiting for humans on the other side. It also happens to be full of meditations on relationships, religion, and the power of love.

Our protagonist Peter Leigh is a reformed addict who has found God. He is chosen for a special, highly mysterious mission by a special, highly mysterious organization called USIC. At first, I honestly thought he was leaving England, his wife Beatrice, and his cat for a destitute region elsewhere on earth that needed the Gospel. I couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t be able to talk to his wife (because, Skype?) or how real his fear of death was. Then they were pumping his veins full of a pudding-like substance to subdue him for the month-long trip across the stars towards the barren planet Oasis where he would be greeted by a community of aliens with faces akin to brains.

Safe to say, I underestimated Faber there. READ FULL STORY

'Community' creator Dan Harmon's first book of original essays coming in 2016

Here’s something worth saying “Cool… Cool-cool-cool” about. Community creator and exec producer Dan Harmon is writing a book of funny essays to be released in 2016, EW has learned exclusively. According to publisher Doubleday, the as-yet untitled collection will “present a mix of the author’s recollections, musings, and riffs.” There’s a lot of material for Harmon’s musings and riffs, in addition to the highs and lows of Community’s fraught five-season run on NBC. (It’s since been picked up by Yahoo Screen). He’s the co-creator and exec producer of the Adult Swim series Rick & Morty, as well as the Host of weekly podcast Harmontown, and the star of the recently released documentary, also called Harmontown.

Harmon is already a published author—his first book, You’ll Be Perfect When You’re Dead, was a limited-edition compilation of greatest hits from his brilliant, rambling blog Dan Harmon Poops. But this will be his first book of essays that were always meant to be in a book.

New literary journal asks, 'What if we were all James Franco?'

We should’ve seen this coming. America’s highest-profile English student and most prolific Faulkner adapter is now the namesake of a literary journal. Prepare for The James Franco ReviewBut despite bearing the actor’s name and silhouetted image on its cover, the journal won’t feature articles curated or written by him. Instead, it’s a publication founded on this question: “What if we were all James Franco?” At least, that’s what it’s founder Corinne Manning claims on the Review‘s about page.

The project is essentially devoted to giving everyday writers the visibility they’d have if they were Franco. Manning and her colleagues came upon the idea after seeing Franco’s byline in multiple publications, and realizing they might stand a better chance of getting published if they submitted as the movie star, instead of themselves. A couple degrees of abstraction and poof: The James Franco Review.

“We seek to publish works of prose and poetry as if we were all James Franco, as if our work was already worthy of an editor’s attention,” Manning writes. “All submissions received are submitted as James Franco and are read by a roving cast of guest editors who choose based on their tastes as readers.”

This falls short of parody and definitely isn’t an homage. It’s almost an indictment. [L.A. Times]

Save the date: On April 28, 2015, you’ll be able to read the true story of America’s first Ebola casualty. Thomas Eric Duncan died on Oct. 8 in Dallas after contracting Ebola while in his native Liberia. Now his fiancée, Louise Troh, has signed on with the Weinstein Company and the Perseus Books Group to tell her story. “Louise Troh’s account of Eric’s life and the aftermath of his death will put a human face on an issue that has gripped the entire nation,” David Steinberger, Perseus’ President and CEO, said in a press release. [AP]

Remember when everyone was toting around copies of Barack Obama’s The Audacity of Hope and Dreams From My Father? Books are one of the best ways for political hopefuls to get across their message with style, coherency, and depth—and now possible presidential candidate Marco Rubio has signed on to release one. Due out Jan. 13, the book will actually be Rubio’s second, after his 2012 memoir. Based off the title, American Dreams: Restoring Economic Opportunity for Everyone promises to provide readers with a bit more partisanship, and maybe some reasons to vote for or against the Florida senator. [L.A. Times]

Learn how to be a privileged rich kid with 'The Social Climber's Bible'


The Social Climber’s Bible: A Book of Manners, Practical Tips, and Spiritual Advice for the Upwardly Mobile came out on Oct. 28. The must-have guide for any aspiring socialite teaches readers the commandments of the art of social “Mountaineering” at any and every event, from a cocktail party to a funeral.

And be assured that the authors, Jazz Johnson and Dirk Wittenborn, know what they’re talking about. Ms. Johnson is an heiress of the wealthy and prominent Johnson & Johnson family; Mr. Wittenborn is a novelist and filmmaker who produced an HBO documentary called Born Rich, about, well, being born rich.

In fact, Jazz Johnson’s famous fam joined forces to make a hilarious satirical (we think) video, The Social Climber’s Bible Presents JET ETIQUETTE—an excellent expert resource if you ever happen to find yourself onboard a private plane, and aren’t quite sure how to navigate the skies savvily. Check out the short video below.

Here’s a billing of the Johnson family members who appeared:

Jim Johnson (Jazz’s father ) as The Butler
Pearl Johnson (Jazz’s sister) as Lady on the balcony
Gretchen Johnson as Lady at the party #1
Dirk’s wife Kirsten as Lady at the party #2
Loring Biedron (Jim Johnson’s grandson) as Boy at the party

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