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Tag: Misc. (1-10 of 59)

'Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne': An interview with writer Grant Morrison

Grant Morrison is currently writing a six-issue miniseries, Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne (DC Comics), that some consider one of the comic-book events of the year. Being touted as an event-creator is something this 50 year-old, Scottish-born writer must be used to by now. Morrison’s knack for rich conversational dialogue and intricately knotted plotting has garnered raves since the 1980s for everything from his big hits (the current, superb Batman and Robin series) to cult favorites (the your-head-will-explode The Invisibles).

I spoke to Morrison about Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne, the second issue of which has just arrived in comic-book stores. There’s also news about a BBC sci-fi TV project Morrison is working on. READ FULL STORY

First volume of Mark Twain's memoirs to be published

This November, in what is sure to be a landmark literary event, the University of California Press will publish volume 1 of Mark Twain’s autobiography (volumes 2 and 3 are to come at later dates).Twain himself gave the university some 5,000 pages but stipulated that the work had to remain unpublished until the 100th anniversary of his death, so the manuscript has been languishing in the vault all this time — available to scholars (who have been able to use the work for their own Twain biographies) but no one else.  On its website, UCP says that “the strict instruction that these texts remain unpublished for 100 years meant that when they came out, he would be ‘dead, and unaware, and indifferent’ and therefore free to speak his ‘whole frank mind.’”

As an unabashed Twain enthusiast — I reread The Innocent Abroad every few years — I can’t wait for this. Thoughts?

Fifth 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' book due out Nov. 9

diary-of-wimpy-kid-book-5It’s hard out there for a wimp. But that hasn’t stopped Jeff Kinney’s illustrated series Diary of a Wimpy Kid from being a massive best-selling hit, with a successful movie adaptation under its belt and a film sequel due next year. Now, Amulet has announced the release date for the upcoming fifth book about middle-schooler Greg Heffley. The fifth book, whose title Amulet plans to release in July, will land in bookstores Nov. 9 with a purple cover to follow the previous books chromatic succession.

In the press release, Kinney says that the new entry is an important one in Greg’s personal saga. “I feel everything in the series has been leading up to the fifth book,” he says. “To me, this book is the linchpin in the series.” So, what do you think, Wimpy fans? Excited for No. 5?

Sebastian Junger talks about going to 'War'

Sebastian-Junger_240.jpg Image Credit: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton/LandovThere are two kinds of people in the world: those who hear the sound of gunfire and bolt in the opposite direction, and those who run toward it. For the past 15 years, Sebastian Junger has made his reputation as the latter. He’s donned a flak jacket to cover wars in lawless lands like Liberia and Sierra Leone. He’s been held prisoner by armed militants in Nigeria. And for his latest book, the harrowing and hard-to-put-down War, he spent 15 months embedded with the U.S. Army’s Battle Company in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley — a remote and vicious mountain region in the eastern part of the country that he describes as “too remote to conquer, too poor to intimidate, too autonomous to buy off.”

We spoke with Junger for a profile in this week’s issue of EW. Here are some of the outtakes from that interview.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: When you embedded with Battle Company, you were more than just a reporter with a notebook, you and veteran British war photographer Tim Hetherington also brought video cameras to film the missions (the footage of which was edited into the Sundance-winning documentary Restrepo). How did having a camera help you with the book?
SEBASTIAN JUNGER:
It certainly helped me as a journalist. It’s very immediate and very exact. So I would use the video tape as a reference for myself when I was writing. I mean, we’re visual creatures. Most of our information comes through our eyes. Reading ultimately is a cerebral activity, it takes place in your mind. And it’s a way of making reading visual.

Did being preoccupied with filming, help make you less scared?
The camera gave me a reason for being there. I think if your house is burning down and you had your child in your harms you wouldn’t be thinking of yourself. And if you were by yourself and your house was burning down, you’d be terrified what was going to happen to you. The camera was like my baby. It was the thing I was supposed to take care of. My job was to get video. Once I was caught without my video camera in a fire fight, all I could think about was my safety. I had no role. So it really did make a difference. And I’m pretty sure that it works the same way with weapons.

How did you get your start as a war correspondent?
I was 31. I went to Bosnia and I started filing freelance radio reports for 40 dollars a pop. It was the bottom of the journalistic food chain, but I was part of this world of foreign reporting. I was nothing on the food chain, but I was completely intoxicated by it. It was exciting and world events were happening right around me…It was like a drug. READ FULL STORY

Demi Moore is shopping a book proposal - what should she write?

Demi-MooreImage Credit: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic.comDemi Moore has been meeting with book publishers about the possibility of writing something, People reports. But the actress’ rep insists that any Moore-penned title will not be a memoir, disappointing news to those of us hoping to get the inside dish on her private life, including her marriages to Bruce Willis and Ashton Kutcher.

So now the real question is what kind of book would it be? I guess it could be one of those New Age-y, less-deep-than-Deepak, self-help titles that the rich and famous seem to like to write. Or maybe a fitness guide for those who want to maintain a Striptease-level body in their late 40s. But I’m really rooting for an epic, thousand-page fantasy saga, set in a magical land called Moore-itania ruled by a mythological hierarchy of deities called “Demi-Gods.” I know it’s a stretch, but it could happen. What do you think, Shelf-Lifers? Any type of book you’d like to see from the star of Ghost and A Few Good Men?

Bill Murray reads poetry to construction workers: 'What's the name of this gal? Oh yeah, Emily Dickinson... '

Sometimes it’s best just to let the words (and images) wash over you, as Bill Murray seems to know.

And who knew he was a Lorine Niedecker fan?

'Catcher in the Rye' sequel gets another chance

The-Catcher-in-the-RyeThere appears to be a small ray of hope peeking through the rye fields for Swedish author Fredrik Colting, whose unauthorized sequel to J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye has been given a legal reprieve. The book, 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye, was banned in July by a Manhattan court, but on Friday an appeals court voided the current injunction and sent the case back down to re-evaluate the earlier decision.

While there’s now a possibility that Colting’s novel may see the light of day, the appeals court also noted that it believed Salinger’s estate would ultimately win based on the merits of the case. Adding extra heft to the dispute is the fact that Salinger died only three months ago. Colting’s sequel follows a 76-year-old man named Mr. C who is evidently intended to be a continuation of the iconic character Holden Caulfield. Colting argues that his work falls under the category of literary commentary and thus is not an infringement of Salinger’s copyright.

'Admission' and 'It's Not You, It's Me: The Poetry of Break-Up': Two terrific books from Jerry Williams

As we arrive at the final week of National Poetry Month, I recommend that you immediately grab a copy of Jerry Williams’ Admission, as funny and tough and thrilling a collection of poems as I’ve read in some time. In this volume, Williams specializes in poems that dare you to believe they’re autobiographical or confessional, and which can quickly become both intricate and artfully exaggerated. The opening poem, “Unadorned,” is a vehement list of the things he’s done “for you,” whoever “you” is. Here’s a chunk of it:

I let a dog in the park lick my face for you.

I pretended not to know the murder rate in Denmark for you.

I’ve tried to stay ugly for you […]

I worked in a cardboard box factory for you.

I gave up skin for you.

Whenever love metastasized, I ran over it with my lawnmower for you.

I wrote “Stairway to Heaven” for you.

I did the whole Reverend Dimmesdale thing for you…

Williams writes poems about HBO and The Tonight Show; he has a poem called “Imaginary Family Vacation” that made me wince and wonder whether Williams had rooted around in the back of my skull for memories.

Williams is also the editor of a fine new anthology, It’s Not You, It’s Me: The Poetry of Break-Up. It’s a collection featuring terrific poets such as Mark Halliday, Tony Hoagland, and Ai (a fine poet who died just last month). It’s Not You, It’s Me is divided into three themed sections “One Foot Out The Door,” “In The Middle Of The Storm,” and “The Aftermath.” This may be an anthology for anyone who’s been broken-hearted, but it’s not an anthology for anyone who’s faint-hearted: Treacly, romantic, winsome little poems are entirely absent Williams’ from conception of the messiness of breaking up with someone.

In his superb introduction, Williams says bluntly, “I have endured four major break-ups in my life. Each one nearly killed me.”

You think he’s kidding… and then he goes on to describe each one. Williams is as good a prose writer as he is a poet. Get hold of this guy’s stuff and read it.

Move over, Random House! Novel from Bellevue Literary Press wins Pulitzer

The 2010 Pulitzer Prizes were announced today, and the winners included a few surprises (although sadly, still no recognition for critic extraordinaire Jay Sherman). The prize for fiction went to Paul Harding’s Tinkers, a debut novel about a clock repairman recalling his childhood on his deathbed. The book comes from Bellevue Literary Press, a nonprofit publisher operating out of a tiny office at New York University’s School of Medicine since 2005.

The Pulitzers for history and biography went to, respectively, Liaquat Ahamed’s Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World, about the Great Depression and T.J. Stiles’ robber-baron bio The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt. Here’s the full list of those who won for books:

Fiction: Tinkers by Paul Harding

Poetry: Versed by Rae Armantrout

History: Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World by Liaquat Ahamed

General Nonfiction: The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy by David E. Hoffman

Biography: The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt by T.J. Stiles

Elizabeth Berkley to write a self-esteem book for girls

Elizabeth-BerkleyImage Credit: Jordan Strauss/Getty ImagesPenguin Young Readers Group has just announced that it will publish a self-esteem book for young girls penned by actress Elizabeth Berkley. I presume that it’ll be more Saved By the Bell than Showgirls, or at least I sincerely hope that it will.

Ask Elizabeth is set hit bookstores next spring, and is based on workshops Berkley has organized over the last four years in which she discusses teen issues with groups of girls, with topics ranging from body image to dating to how not to get so addicted to caffeine pills that you freak out and start cry-singing Pointer Sisters songs. What do you think? Would you want helpful advice on how to navigate high school from Jessie Spano?

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