Wondering who the masked man on the Google home page is? It’s Denny Colt, better known as The Spirit. His mask forms the two “o”s in Google to celebrate the Mar. 6, 1917, birth date of Spirit creator Will Eisner, who died in 2005. READ FULL STORY »
Tag: In Memoriam (21-30 of 40)
write a book that will divulge intimate details about his marriage to Sandra Bullock and his engagement to Kat von D. The only book by James that I’d maybe read is a tattoo book. And I’d only flip through it at the bookstore, not pay good money for it.Another unbelievably tasteless tell-all memoir in the works: Jesse James has reportedly signed on with Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, to
Perry Moore, gay author and executive producer of the Narnia series, died last week of unknown causes. He was the author of the novel Hero, a delightful, empowering story about a gay teenage superhero.
Sure, the Kindle now lets you highlight and take notes, but there’s nothing like a well-worn, scribbled-over book. The Times examines the fading of marginalia and the importance of preserving the side-notes of Twain, Austen, and Whitman. I have to admit, I love highlighting and taking notes on books with my iPad, but I’d never be able to create an amazing stick figure swordfight flipbook in an e-Margin like I did with my seventh grade copy of The Hobbit.
Brian Jacques, the beloved British author of the Redwall series, died of a heart attack over the weekend at age 71.
Hailed as one of “the best children’s authors in the world,” Jacques’ 21 Redwall books were translated into 29 languages and sold 20 million copies worldwide. His novels — despite centering on anthropomorphic woodland critters, such as mice, otters, moles, and squirrels — told epic tales of good triumphing over evil and never spoke down to their young audiences. When I was nine years old I finished Martin the Warrior, the third installment of the series, and remained in a daze for an entire afternoon. The characters had grown dear to me, and when a few of the most lovable ones died in the final battle scene, I felt genuine loss but also a sense that I was better for having known them. It was the book that cemented me as a reader for the rest of my life — I’d discovered what it was like to have such connection to a story, and I wanted to have it again and again.
With the news of Jacques’ death, I want to go through my closet and dig up those dusty childhood books I haven’t read in more than a decade. I know I’ll find them — Jacques’ novels aren’t ones you ever throw out.
Wilfrid Sheed, one of the finest contemporary critics and novelists, has died. He was 80, and died of urosepsis, an infection.
Born in England and raised in America, Sheed possessed a style that was elegant and conversational; erudite and frequently funny. His work can be almost evenly divided between his life as a novelist and as a critic; one job informed the other. In his introduction to READ FULL STORY »
Brittany Murphy (Clueless, 8 Mile) is ready to set the record straight with a biography of her daughter, according to E! News. Sharon Murphy (far left) announced her plan for the book on Nov. 10 — the day that would have been Brittany’s 33rd birthday if the actress hadn’t passed away last December from a combination of pneumonia and prescription drugs. The tragedy prompted a swirl of speculation about Brittany’s lifestyle, rumors that Sharon Murphy hopes to stamp out once and for all. “This book will be my way of celebrating and honoring her extraordinary life and career,” said Murphy, who promised to give part of the book’s proceeds to charity. “I am looking forward to everyone reading the accurate account about my daughter, her life, loves and career.”The mother of the late actress
Sharon Murphy’s goal is nothing if not noble; certainly someone ought to step up to the defense of her daughter after her reputation was savaged in the media frenzy surrounding her death. But a book like this will also invite a new wave of scrutiny. Would Brittany’s memory be better served by letting her legacy live on through her work rather than in a biography? Let us know what you think in the comments.
Harry Mulisch, the Dutch postwar novelist, passed away on Saturday at his home in Amsterdam. A survivor of WWII who narrowly avoided the concentration camps — his mother was Jewish, but his father secured their safety by collaborating with the Nazis — the war played a major thematic role in his work, including his two best known novels, The Assault and The Discovery of Heaven. Both were adapted into films, the former winning the 1986 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Mulisch was 83.
Harvey Pekar was one of the most important, idiosyncratic, and eccentric writers that the comics medium has ever produced. He ushered in a new age of autobiographical realism to comic books and graphic novels, writing scripts that were illustrated by artists such as R. Crumb, Gary Dumm, Dean Haspiel, Drew Friedman, and Rick Geary. He enjoyed a brief period of TV stardom as an occasional guest on David Letterman’s NBC talk show, and his READ FULL STORY »
his publisher reported Friday. He was 87. Saramago was perhaps best known for the 1998 novel Blindness, a fable about a city so in the throes of a blindness epidemic that its citizens become increasingly barbaric and uncivilized. The book ranked No. 12 on EW’s 2008 list of the best books of the previous 25 years, and was adapted in 2008 into a middling English-language feature film starring Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo by Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles.Portugese novelist José Saramago, a man raised by illiterate peasant grandparents who went on to win the 1998 Nobel Prize in Literature, died at his home in the Canary Islands,
Saramago’s works, which also include the novels The Cave (2002), The Double (2004), and Seeing (2006), reflected some pretty deep contradictions. His writing featured accessible, colloquial language written in a potentially off-putting, postmodernist style, without quotation marks or paragraph breaks. He was a also long-standing Communist and atheist who nonetheless seemed preoccupied with the subject of God and religion (his 1992 novel The Gospel According to Jesus Christ was deemed blasphemous by many European Catholics, which led to his self-imposed exile to the Canary Islands).
Allan Sillitoe, the British writer who rose to postwar fame with the novels Saturday Night and Sunday Morning and The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (made into a movie in 1962 by Tony Richardson) died today. He was 82. The fame of Runner often overshadowed his other novels, as well as his plays, short stories, and poetry. All of his work, regardless of genre, was essentially the story of British working poor, a story he felt uniquely qualified to write, having left school at 14 to work in a bicycle factory. “I’ve really only got one story,” he told the Guardian many years later, “and that’s mine…. About 20 years ago an American university asked me to fill out a 50-page questionnaire on the creative process. I didn’t know what to say and was tempted to write any old crap and sign it Virginia Woolf.”
I wasn’t a huge Salinger fan, but I’m sorry to hear of his passing — the way you’d feel if you heard an eccentric, short-tempered, but often fascinating uncle had passed away. Not as great a loss as Beverly Jensen (her marvelous The Sisters from Hardscrabble Bay will be published this summer), who wrote only one book before dying of cancer at the age of 49, or of Raymond Carver, who was barely into his 50s; Salinger was, after all, in his 90s.
But it is a milestone of sorts, because Salinger was the last of the great post-WWII American writers, and in Holden Caulfield — maybe the greatest American-boy narrator since Huck Finn — he created an authentic Voice of the Age: funny, anxious, at odds with himself, and badly lost.
Salinger’s death may answer one question that has intrigued readers, writers, and critics for nearly half a century — what literary trove of unpublished work may he have left behind? Much? Some? Or none? Salinger is gone, but if we’re lucky, he may have more to say, even so.
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