Jami Attenberg, author of The Kept Man and The Melting Season, has experienced a breakthrough of sorts with her latest novel The Middlesteins, which has reached No. 25 on the hardcover fiction best-seller list and is one of Amazon’s picks for best books of the year. Set in a Chicago suburb, the novel tracks the effect Edie Middlestein’s food obsession has on the rest of her family. As Edie’s health deteriorates, her husband of almost 40 years leaves her, placing the burden on their seething daughter Robin, their good-natured son Benny, and his tightly wound wife Rachelle. Attenberg took the time to talk to EW about food addiction and family in The Middlesteins, as well as her career reinvention. READ FULL STORY
Tag: Fiction (71-80 of 290)
It’s barely November and top 10 of 2012 lists are already cropping up. We’ll be naming EW’s favorite books of year shortly, but check out Publishers Weekly‘s list now in case you you’re looking for some early holiday gift suggestions. Their picks range from an ambitious experiment in graphic novel form to an award-winning historical novel to a deep dive into America’s colonial era. See the full list below: READ FULL STORY
Though no zombie or Kim Kardashian costume could be more frightening than Hurricane Sandy, a terrifying book can give you a dose of fun-scary before Halloween. I asked some of my esteemed colleagues at EW to name some of the books that gave them nightmares. Of course, some old standbys came up, including some by horror master Stephen King, but others were a little unexpected.
Click through for some bone-chilling recommendations!
FIRST UP: Books editor Tina Jordan chooses a novel by the author of “The Lottery”
Khaled Hosseini, the best-selling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, will publish a new novel on May 21, 2013.
And the Mountains Roared (Riverhead) will be Hosseini’s first new book in six years. He said in a statement, “I am forever drawn to family as a recurring central theme of my writing. My earlier novels were, at heart, tales of fatherhood and motherhood. My new novel is a multigenerational-family story as well, this time revolving around brothers and sisters, and the ways in which they love, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for each other.”
Over 10 million copies of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns have been sold in the United States, and over 38 million copies of both books have been sold worldwide in over seventy countries.
Follow @EWStephanLee on Twitter.
Getting paid to sit around in your pajamas and write mean things about strangers on the Internet — sounds easy, right? But as Jessica Grose proves in her new novel, professional blogging is much more grueling (and even less glamorous) than it seems.
For Sad Desk Salad protagonist Alex Lyons, working for a popular women’s website is one third dream job, two thirds nightmare. She spends 12 hours a day writing posts that hit a nerve — at the cost of rarely seeing daylight, constantly being insulted by anonymous commenters, and never quite knowing how secure her job is. Things get more complicated when Alex receives a salacious video from an unnamed source. Posting it could make her career — or destroy her last shred of integrity.
Though the book is fiction, it contains more than a kernel of truth: Grose has worked as an editor at both Jezebel and Slate’s DoubleX vertical. (I interned at Slate when Grose worked there, though we rarely interacted.) Shortly after Sad Desk Salad hit shelves, I called Grose to chat about working online, the perils of privacy in the Internet age, and the best way for a blogger to keep her sanity. Hint: It involves avoiding Google.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Why did you decide to write a novel?
JESSICA GROSE: Well, I had been seeing the issues that I deal with in the novel — privacy, and how journalists are navigating new media — for at least the past five years. I really wanted to talk about those issues, but I didn’t want to do it in a serious way — if I did it as nonfiction, I’d have to take a stand. And I think it’s such an ambiguous, complicated issue; it would be much more interesting to weave those conflicts into a fictional narrative. Also, I wanted to have a little fun. [laughs] I actually started writing it just to entertain myself, which sounds goofy.
How did you come up with the title?
There’s actually a very new media explanation.
Robin Sloan’s buzzy, inventive debut tells the story of Clay Jannon, a former Silicon Valley tech guy who starts work at a mysterious bookstore and then embarks on an unusual quest to crack a 15-century code. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore ingeniously novelizes the ongoing divide between digital publishing and good old-fashioned cellulose books, and it’s also a funny, twisty page-turner that combines several sub-genres (read EW’s review). Check out a 10-minute excerpt of the audiobook below — as a bonus, Sloan himself makes a cameo as the audiobook narrator within the audiobook. Yep, it’s that kind of book. READ FULL STORY
Before Katniss Everdeen, Tris Prior, and dozens of other teenage characters began raging against dystopian machines, there was a 12-year-old kid named Jonas — protagonist of The Giver, a slim novel first published in 1993 that’s become a modern children’s classic. The Giver was Brave New World for the under-18 set before books about futuristic totalitarian societies became a dime a dozen — and most of today’s popular dystopian stories are in Lowry and The Giver‘s debt.
Middle schoolers and former middle schoolers across the world know that Lowry’s Newbery winner ends on an ambiguous note; it’s unclear whether Jonas and Gabriel, the baby he’s rescued from their colorless community, find the safe haven they’ve been seeking or freeze to death on a hillside. In 2000, Lowry decided to partially answer that question by inserting an oblique reference to Jonas into another futuristic novel, Gathering Blue. Jonas reappeared for the first time as a full-fledged character — albeit under a different name — in 2004′s Messenger, a sequel to Gathering Blue. And today, his saga (and Gabe’s) finally comes to an end with the release of Son, the first direct sequel to The Giver. The novel travels back to the community Jonas fled to tell the story of Claire — a 14-year-old girl drafted to be a Birthmother who finds that she, too, cannot live in a society devoid of love.
Before Son‘s release, I spent half an hour chatting with Lowry about everything from her childhood favorite reads — The Yearling and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, for the record — to the unfinished Anastasia Krupnik book sitting on her hard drive. Most of our conversation, though, focused on her now-finished Giver quartet. Read on to learn why she elected to continue Jonas’s story, what she thinks about the dystopian trend, and why she believes The Giver has been one of history’s most frequently challenged children’s books. (Want even more? Check our Inside Movies blog for Lowry’s comments about the long-gestating Giver movie.)
Scholastic’s reading guide for The Giver includes an interview in which you’re quoted saying that you would never want to write a sequel–
Uh huh. Oh, how I wish I had never said that publicly! [laughs] It comes back to haunt me. I didn’t have any intention of writing a sequel. I liked the ambiguity of the ending. Over the years, though, it became clear that younger readers in particular did not. The amount of mail I got passionately asking what had happened to Jonas — I suppose after a period of time, it made me wonder as well. So I guess it was in response to the kids who didn’t quit asking and wondering.
My Little Pony meets Sin City: Comic book stars Grant Morrison, Darick Robertson talk up the surreal pulp of 'Happy!'
Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson have created some of the most acclaimed – and controversial – comics of the past two decades. Scottish scribe Morrison has spent the past several years writing best-selling Superman and Batman titles for DC Comics (and penning a great history lesson/memoir Supergods: Our World In The Age of The Superhero), but before that made his name with audacious original work like The Invisibles, The Filth and Flex Mentallo, filled with challenging ideas, formal experimentation and high strange surrealism. California-based artist Robertson, known for his strong, visceral style, has worked in many genres, from pulp to sci-fi, and is best known for long runs on two hard-edged satires, The Boys and Transmetropolitan.
Now, the two talents have teamed up – for the first time – to produce the ironically titled Happy!, a four-issue mini-series that tracks the twisted downward spiral of an utterly reprehensible thug named Nick Sax… and his imaginary friend Happy!, an aggressively sweet winged horse. The first issue, now in stores, includes foul language, brutal violence and a sexual encounter involving a man dressed as seafood.
Naturally, it’s a Christmas story.
It’s also a gleefully gonzo-sick crime comic, and the beginning of a return to trippy-edgy creator-owned stuff for Morrison after years of marvelous mainstream toil. In separate interviews, EW.com spoke with Morrison and Robertson about their collaboration.
Nobody, it seems, says no to J.K. Rowling. After selling some 450 million copies of her justly beloved Harry Potter books, publishing’s biggest superstar could write a Proust-size ode to her toenails and eager editors would line up to publish it. She wrote a 500-page novel for grown-ups? Great! It’s got teen sex and explicit descriptions of shooting heroin and characters who say things to each other like “you useless f—in’ smackhead cow”? Uh, okay. It’s about a bunch of disagreeable buffoons bickering over a minor local-government job in Nowhere, England? Huh. If you say so…
The Casual Vacancy, Rowling’s overlong but often entertaining debut adult novel, is a big book that follows small people jockeying for a little position in the tiny town of Pagford. When one of the community’s 16 parish councilors unexpectedly dies of an aneurysm, a bunch of town notables try to use the ensuing “casual vacancy” to pursue various conflicting agendas. Rowling does a nice job laying out her 20-plus characters’ endless pretensions and weaknesses, which she punctures with gleeful flicks of a surprisingly sharp comic blade. READ FULL STORY
A writer to watch: 'Cranes Dance' author Meg Howrey talks 'Black Swan' comparisons and writing as performance
Classically trained dancer to novelist isn’t a standard career trajectory, but Meg Howrey isn’t your typical author. Her absorbing second novel The Cranes Dance draws from her years as a New York-based professional ballerina, but her first novel — Blind Sight, now available in paperback — was a sensitive coming-of-age story told from the perspective of a 17-year-old boy. Like a performer, Howrey likes to reinvent herself with each project, which bodes well for a fascinating, unpredictable body of work. (Case in point: Her third novel, coming out in November, is a euro thriller called City of Dark Magic under the pseudonym Magnus Flyte). Howrey took a moment to talk about writing, dance, and the hit-or-miss quality of ballet movies. READ FULL STORY
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