Shelf Life Book news, reviews, trends, and talk

Tag: Fiction (21-30 of 303)

On The Books: join the Beat Generation with Ferlinghetti's travel journals

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, the Beat poet and co-founder of City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco, has sold the rights to his travel journals to Liveright Publishing. They plan to release the collection, titled Writing Across the Landscape: Travel Journals (1950-2013), in September 2015. It sounds like it will be a counterculture travel guide and a historical snapshot of the second half of the 20th century rolled into one. The New York Times reports:

The journal material, most of it being published for the first time, sheds as much light on Mr. Ferlinghetti’s political passions as on his relationships with the Beat writers. His itinerary takes him to Mexico, Haiti and North Africa, to Cuba in the throes of the Castro revolution, to Franco’s Spain, to Soviet Russia for the 1968 Writers’ Congress, and to Nicaragua under the Sandinistas. It also includes his frequent trips to Italy and to France, where he lived for four years while pursuing a doctorate at the Sorbonne in Paris. Along the way, he records his encounters with Pablo Neruda, Ezra Pound, Ernesto Cardenal, Yevgeny Yevtushenko and Andrei Voznesensky.

On April 18th, Haruki Murakami will publish his first collection of short stories in nine years. The title “Onna no Inai Otokotachi” translates to “Men Without Women” and will be a compilation of short novels that have previously appeared in magazines, as well as one new offering. Apparently there was some scandal around the story “Drive My Car — Men Without Women.” The town featured in the story was offended by Murakami’s portrayal. Supposedly he apologized, but then he went and named the whole collection after that story, so that’s confusing. I’ll chalk it up to “lost in translation.” [Yahoo]

Some post-grad student at Cambridge translated Lorem Ipsum, that swatch of dummy text that acts as a placeholder in the publishing biz. I love finding meaning in nonsense. It’s almost a superstition, when I walk down the street and I try to make sentences out of the snippets of words from graffiti, old posters, torn stickers–in case it’s a secret message for me. Like the little boy in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. In this case, it paid off. The translated paragraph reads almost like e.e. cummings. The first sentence: “Rrow itself, let it be sorrow; let him love it; let him pursue it, ishing for its acquisitiendum.” This doesn’t come as a total surprise because the text was originally pasted together by a 16th-century printer who “got there by mangling Cicero’s ‘De finibus bonorum et malorum’, an exposition of Stoicism, Epicureanism and the Platonism of Antiochus of Ascalon.” [London Review of Books]
Over at the Guardian, Adrian McKinty has written a literary jaunt through the historical and futuristic settings of fantasy novels, all in service of the question: When and where is Game of Thrones set? Read it for a full explanation because he has some very interesting examples, but his final conclusion is that Game of Thrones is set “not in some canned version of our medieval past but in the far future when the continents have shifted and some humans have evolved extraordinary physical and mental abilities which, to paraphrase Arthur C. Clarke, are indistinguishable from magic…As the sun expands, Earth’s orbit becomes more eccentric and massive variations in climate are to be expected, resulting in stretched-out summers and long, deadly winters.”

On the Books: David Nicholls takes on 'Us,' his first book after 'One Day'

One-Day-poster.jpg

David Nicholls, the author behind the novel One Day — which sold 5 million copies worldwide and garnered a film adaptation starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess — has finally announced a publication date for his next novel. After five years in the works, Us will hit shelves on September 30, 2014. This story is about a family on the brink of dissolution — a husband and wife of 21 years who are about to call it quits and their college-bound son. But before everything falls apart, the husband takes them on a grand tour of Europe in hopes of knitting their lives back together. So this is basically the flip side of One Day, which was a 20-year search for romance; Us is a 20-year breakdown of love. While ruminating on Us, Nicholls also wrote the screen adaptation of Great Expectations for the version released last year starring Helena Bonham Carter and Ralph Fiennes.  [The Guardian]

Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch will also be getting a screen adaptation, although the scope of that project hasn’t been decided yet. The producers behind The Hunger Games films have optioned the book, but they’re waiting on “the right filmmaker” to determine the book’s cinematic future, which could be a television miniseries or a movie. The Goldfinch has been gaining more and more momentum since its October 2013 release. The New York Times named it one of the best books of 2013 and it has been nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Bailey Prize. [The Wrap]

Serhiy Zhadan — Ukraine’s most famous counterculture writer according to The New Yorker — suffered a violent beating at the hands of a pro-Russian mob on Saturday. Photos of his bloody face made the rounds online, but he posted this note on his Facebook page to reassure his supporters: “Friends, with me everything is okay.” Zhadan is a national icon in Ukraine and his abuse will reverberate through the Ukrainian populace. Unfortunately The New Yorker reports that:

Now, Zhadan is back in the hospital—his jaw has not been healing properly. But, he wrote in an e-mail, the beating has not deterred him. “It’s very simple,” he wrote. “I don’t want to live in a country of corruption and injustice. I, like millions of other Ukrainians, would like to have a normal measure of power. A dictatorship is not normal, and people who don’t protest injustice, they have no future.”

Love 'Reign'? Three British princess books to dive into

Just admit it: you’re head over heels for Reign. Ratings for the racy CW drama have been steadily rising – look no further than Thursday’s lavish wedding episode, which earned its highest viewership of the season – which seem to indicate the market for edgy princess drama is holding its own.

And with good reason. The 16th century, with its corseted dresses, complicated transnational politics, torrid affairs, absurd wigs and class struggles, has long inspired period television drama and film. Hundreds of authors have been similarly inspired, penning a host of deliciously scandalous offerings meant to satisfy your craving for all things bejeweled, lusty and forbidden. So if you’re longing for more after Reign’s last episode, there are plenty of books to choose from. Here’s a look at three of our very favorite princess books, complete with epic romance, sprawling castles, the Queen’s English, and a gripping storyline revolving around a throne at stake. READ FULL STORY

On The Books: Grasshopper Jungle might be a movie

grasshopper-jungle.jpg

Hollywood hasn’t finished with the story trend of teens struggling to find their identity in a post-apocalyptic dystopia yet.  The most recent YA novel to get snatched up by movie executives is Grasshopper Jungle, which was just optioned by Sony. Scott Rosenberg (Con Air, Beautiful Girls, High Fidelity) plans to adapt the script. The novel is about a 16-year-old boy who inadvertently unleashes a plague of insects that turn the populace into mindless super-soldiers looking to eat, have sex and kill things — basically a bizarre take on the Pandora’s Box myth. Apparently author Andrew Smith carries it off with some verve though because we gave it an A- in our review. Movie-wise, I’d say this would come in around Planet of the Apes mixed with 28 Days Later and multiplied by that Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode, “Teachers Pet.” Can’t wait.

A new campaign called Let Books Be Books aims to end gender bias in the presentation of children’s books. They’re calling for publishers to remove “for boys” and “for girls” labels from kids books, as well as make the covers more gender neutral. This idea has been swirling for a long time, but it seems to be gaining more momentum recently…or maybe I’m just thinking of that amazing GoldieBox commercial for girl’s toys. [Guardian]

On that note, there’s a great essay by Anna Holmes in The New Yorker called “How to be a Good Bad American Girl.” Holmes looks at the legacy of troublesome little girls in American literature, specifically Harriet the Spy and To Kill A Mockingbird. “Harper Lee and Louise Fitzhugh taught their readers that difference, nonconformity, and even subversion should be celebrated in young girls,” she writes. “These qualities are the prerequisites for, and not the enemies of, creativity, curiosity, and insight.” [New Yorker]

The longlist of 20 nominees for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction was just announced today. Lots of great women made the cut. I don’t envy the judges’ job of narrowing this down to a winner for June, 4th. Check out the nominees below.

  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah
  • Margaret Atwood, MaddAddam
  • Suzanne Berne, The Dogs of Littlefield
  • Fatima Bhutto, The Shadow of the Crescent Moon
  • Claire Cameron, The Bear
  • Lea Carpenter, Eleven Days
  • M.J. Carter, The Strangler Vine
  • Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries
  • Deborah Kay Davies, Reasons She Goes to the Woods
  • Elizabeth Gilbert, The Signature of All Things
  • Hannah Kent, Burial Rites
  • Rachel Kushner, The Flamethrowers
  • Jhumpa Lahiri, The Lowland
  • Audrey Magee, The Undertaking
  • Eimear McBride, A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing
  • Charlotte Mendelson, Almost English
  • Anna Quindlen, Still Life with Bread Crumbs
  • Elizabeth Strout, The Burgess Boys
  • Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch
  • Evie Wyld, All The Birds, Singing

J.K. Rowling has seven books planned for Cormoran Strike series

Using a similar approach as she took with Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling has plans to write up to seven novels in her Cormoran Strike series, according to The Sunday Times. Rowling, writing under the name Robert Galbraith, has already had solid success with the detective genre. Her first book, The Cuckoo’s Calling, was published last April and has sold 600,000 hardback copies and 1 million ebooks. As we announced last week, the sequel The Silkworm is coming out in June 2014.

READ FULL STORY

See the cover of 'Brutal Youth,' the debut novel by EW's Anthony Breznican -- EXCLUSIVE

brutal-youth.jpg

You probably know Anthony Breznican as EW’s expert Oscar prognosticator and breaker of movie news, but now he’s writing about an entirely different world in his debut novel (see the exclusive cover above). Not your average coming-of-age story, Brutal Youth centers on Peter Davidek, an incoming freshman at Saint Michael’s, a shambolic Catholic school that attracts both delinquents and the dogmatically religious. Immediately faced with a violent episode at the school, Peter takes up allies against the bullies and corrupt faculty and learns that instead of growing older and wiser, going bad might be the only way to survive.

Keep reading for more from Breznican about Brutal Youth (coming June 10).

READ FULL STORY

On The Books: Harper Lee settles lawsuit against Alabama museum

Harper Lee settled her federal lawsuit against the Monroe County Heritage Museum in Monroeville, Alabama. As we reported in October, the reclusive author sued her hometown museum for selling souvenirs of To Kill A Mockingbird without compensating her. She was also embroiled in a lawsuit against her former literary agent last year over the copyright to her book. Those charges were dismissed after the parties reached an out of court settlement. [AP] [ABC News] READ FULL STORY

On The Books: Murakami's new novel; plus, audiobooks with Neil Gaiman, Roald Dahl, Bill Bryson

Haruki Murakami’s new novel, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, will be published in the U.S. on August 12th. The book has been out in Japan since last April and sold more than a million copies in its first week. The Guardian writes that the story “hinges around Tsukuru Tazaki, an isolated 36-year-old man struggling to overcome the trauma of rejection by his high-school friends years earlier. Like its title, the novel’s opening line might not sound like obvious best-seller material: ‘From July of his sophomore year at college to January next year, Tsukuru Tazaki was living while mostly thinking about dying.'”

READ FULL STORY

BREAKING -- New Stephen King novel 'Revival' announced!

The brilliant mind of Stephen King is still churning out nightmares and twisted fantasies. The author just announced on his official website that he will be releasing Revival on November 11, 2014. He posted this description:

A dark and electrifying novel about addiction, fanaticism, and what might exist on the other side of life.

In a small New England town, over half a century ago, a shadow falls over a small boy playing with his toy soldiers. Jamie Morton looks up to see a striking man, the new minister. Charles Jacobs, along with his beautiful wife, will transform the local church. The men and boys are all a bit in love with Mrs. Jacobs; the women and girls feel the same about Reverend Jacobs—including Jamie’s mother and beloved sister, Claire. With Jamie, the Reverend shares a deeper bond based on a secret obsession. When tragedy strikes the Jacobs family, this charismatic preacher curses God, mocks all religious belief, and is banished from the shocked town.

Jamie has demons of his own. Wed to his guitar from the age of 13, he plays in bands across the country, living the nomadic lifestyle of bar-band rock and roll while fleeing from his family’s horrific loss. In his mid-thirties—addicted to heroin, stranded, desperate—Jamie meets Charles Jacobs again, with profound consequences for both men. Their bond becomes a pact beyond even the Devil’s devising, and Jamie discovers that ‘revival’ has many meanings.

This rich and disturbing novel spans five decades on its way to the most terrifying conclusion Stephen King has ever written. It’s a masterpiece from King, in the great American tradition of Frank Norris, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Edgar Allan Poe.

This will be King’s second novel for 2014. In June, he will be releasing a hard-boiled detective novel called  Mr. Mercedes, which will be a new frontier for the 66-year-old author. What are your thoughts on the new book?

On The Books: Tolkien almost cut love story from 'Lord of the Rings'

First it was Ron and Hermione, now Aragorn and Arwen?? A previously unpublished letter reveals the tricksy W.H. Auden tried to convince J.R.R. Tolkien to axe the romance between Aragorn and Arwen in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The illuminating letter is from 1955 and penned by Tolkien, who is complaining to his publisher about the struggle to complete The Return of the King. Tolkien laments that Auden views the star-crossed subplot between the mortal king and his immortal lover as “unnecessary and perfunctory.” Wow. Shoot me straight, Auden. How do you really feel? Apparently the poet was on Team Éowyn-Faramir. Considering the level of minutia that Tolkien weaves into the historical fabric of Middle Earth, you would think LOTR could support a number of love stories. If I know the second cousin, twice-removed of every dwarf in the Shire, I think I can follow two romantic subplots. I guess Auden was a purist though. One story of true love per series. It’s good to have standards. Thank God Tolkien didn’t take his advice. [The Guardian] READ FULL STORY

Latest Videos in Books

Advertisement

From Our Partners

TV Recaps

Powered by WordPress.com VIP