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Tag: National Book Awards (1-10 of 15)

On the Books: Prepare for another Alan Moore adaptation

- Alan Moore’s graphic novels have inspired some of the most memorable action flicks in recent years, including Watchmen and V for Vendetta. Now, Moore’s From Hell will get the small-screen treatment. FX has picked up a drama series based on the story, which chronicles Jack the Ripper’s exploits from the killer’s perspective.

Don Murphy will executive produce the series. It’s not the first time Murphy has been attached to From Hell—he produced 2001’s well-received film adaptation, which starred Johnny Depp and Robbie Coltrane. Sources say that Murphy always saw the story’s structure and plot as more conducive to TV, and that the recent explosion of high-quality dramas led him to push the project.

In the meantime, Moore’s graphic novel is worth revisiting. Moore released installments of the 572-page epic from 1989 to 1996, and included 46 pages of footnotes to add depth and historical detail to the plot. [Deadline]

- Moore can only hope that From Hell‘s adaptation receives the same praise as Game of Thrones. In the latest expansion of George R.R. Martin’s Thrones empire, HBO has inked a deal with Running Press to produce multiple books and mini kits inspired by the show. They’ll launch the partnership in April 2015 with In Memoriam, a short book about the characters who have died throughout the show. Running Press has also announced two mini kits (memorabilia collections) for the series: Game of Thrones: Stark Direwolf Kit and Game of Thrones: Hand of the King Wax Seal Kit. [Publishers Weekly]

- A massively influential activist and writer in the gay and transgender communities died Saturday. Trans woman Leslie Feinberg championed trans and lesbian issues, workers’ rights, and intersectionality. She advanced the Marxist concept of “transgender liberation,” and her final words were “Remember me as a revolutionary communist.”

Feinberg wasn’t just responsible for bolstering academic understanding and political organization surrounding these topics. Her 1993 novel Stone Butch Blues told the story of a working-class butch lesbian living in pre-Stonewall America who runs away from home and becomes a part of gay subculture. The book won the 1994 Stonewall Book Award, received multiple translations, and assimilated into mainstream literature at a time when few people were familiar with books about trans and lesbian issues. Feinberg was 65. [The Advocate]

- In September, suburban Dallas’ Highland Park Independent School District drew criticism when it suspended seven books—including Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon and Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha—from its high school curriculum. Now the school district has announced further literary restrictions. Going forward, students will need signed permission slips in order to read six titles, among them Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. [L.A. Times]

- We also have a Shelf Life reminder: Watch the National Book Awards tonight. The event will stream live online. Last year’s winners were James McBride’s The Good Lord Bird and George Packer’s The Unwinding.

On the Books: Authors United warns Amazon, watch your reputation


The 1,100 member group Authors United posted a letter of direct appeal to Amazon’s board of directors—urging them to end their book-pricing standoff with publisher Hachette, which has hurt some authors’ book sales.

The letter warns the board that their reputation may be at stake: “[I]f this is how Amazon continues to treat the literary community, how long will the company’s fine reputation last?” The appeal continues, noting similar disputes “have a long and ugly history,” and asking, “Do you, personally, want to be associated with this?” For months, Amazon has delayed shipments of books by Hachette authors and removed the preorder option for those titles in an attempt to force Hachette to lower its e-book prices. [NPR] READ FULL STORY

On the Books: National Book Awards ceremony tonight; Brooke Shields to write book about mothers and daughters


The winners of the National Book Awards will be announced tonight at a ceremony that will be streamed live here starting at 6 p.m. ET. In other books news, Brooke Shields will be writing a book, while a debut novelist has landed a staggering book deal for her novel about witches. Read on for more of today’s top headlines:

Speaking of the National Book Awards, Thomas Pynchon, whose novel Bleeding Edge is nominated for the fiction prize, is rumored (not surprisingly) to not make an appearance at tonight’s ceremony. [New York Times]

And to refresh your memory about the finalists, revisit some of their pieces for The New Yorker in this slideshow. [The New Yorker]

Actress Brooke Shields will be publishing a book about mother-daughter relationships with Dutton. [LA Times]

More awards news: The Everything Store, the book about retail behemoth Amazon by Brad Stone, has been named the Business Book of the Year. [Publishers Weekly]

Mexican political journalist and novelist Elena Poniatowska has won the Cervantes Prize, the most prestigious Spanish language literary award that’s also worth €125,000. [Washington Post]

Debut novelist Sally Green landed a £1 million book deal for Half Bad, a book about witches. [The Telegraph]

And lastly, children’s book author Charlotte Zolotow died Tuesday at age 98. [New York Times]

On to the must-reads: Hunger Games mastermind Suzanne Collins gave a rare, five-part interview to Time magazine about her series and the second film adaptation. [TIME]

Janet Evanovich answers five burning questions about her latest novel, how she comes up with titles, and what Stephanie Plum would do for Thanksgiving. [USA Today]

At last! Mathematician Ben Blatt has figured out a strategy to find Waldo. [Slate]

Finally, ICYMI: Demi Lovato talked to EW about writing her new book Staying Strong and the struggles she experienced in her career. [EW]

On the Books: Eleanor Catton wins Man Booker Prize; National Book Award finalists announced


Awards dominate today’s book news, with the youngest winner of the Man Booker Prize announced Tuesday night and the National Book Award finalists revealed this morning. Below, more of today’s top headlines and must-reads: READ FULL STORY

Jhumpa Lahiri, Thomas Pynchon named National Book Awards finalists

There are quite a few famous names among the National Book Award finalists, which were announced this morning. Among the fiction contenders are Pulitzer Prize-winner Jhumpa Lahiri for her novel The Lowland and the famously press-shy Thomas Pynchon for Bleeding Edge. Even the least known novelist, Rachel Kushner, has been a finalist before. See below for the entire shortlist in all four categories: READ FULL STORY

On the Books: Michael Hastings' novel to be published posthumously; 'Morning Joe' to announce National Book Awards finalists

Michael Hastings, the 33-year-old journalist who died in a car crash in June, will have his novel published. Meanwhile, Amazon is facing labor disputes overseas in Germany. Read on for more of the top books news from this weekend: READ FULL STORY

National Book Awards to add more nominees, maybe go 'a little more mainstream'

In order to infuse some excitement into the proceedings, the National Book Awards are going the way of the Oscars and Britain’s splashier Man Booker Prize by announcing a “long list” of ten nominees in the four competitive categories before whittling them down to the usual five finalists in each, according to the AP. More nominees will mean more books getting a boost from the attention, lesser potential for snubs, and perhaps more genre nominees in the fiction category. Another change: The judging panel will include critics, booksellers, and librarians in addition to writers.

National Book Foundation vice president and Grove/Atlantic CEO Morgan Entrekin told the AP that expanding the judging pool beyond writers will perhaps make the picks “a little more mainstream” and less likely to include “a collection of stories by a university press.”

Do you think “more mainstream” finalists make book awards more exciting, or will that defeat the purpose? A similar debate swirled around the Man Booker Prize when Julian Barnes won for A Sense of An Ending in 2011.

Read more:
National Book Critics Circle Award finalists are …
National Book Award winner Katherine Boo on ‘Behind the Beautiful Forevers’, ‘unsexy’ topics, and ‘American Idol’ recaps
And the 2012 National Book Award winners are …

National Book Award winner Katherine Boo on 'Behind the Beautiful Forevers', 'unsexy' topics, and 'American Idol' recaps

Last night, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Katherine Boo won the National Book Award in the nonfiction category for her first book, Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity. We weren’t surprised at all by the win — Forevers is a stunning, must-read account of life in Annawadi, a Mumbai slum where unbelievable atrocities are an everyday occurence. Upon the book’s publication in February of this year, EW’s Jeff Giles predicted Boo’s book would be “a conversation starter, an award winner.” After a night of celebrating, Boo took the time to talk to EW about what it means for a difficult book like hers to win a major award — but before we could get into any of that, she had to get this out of the way: “I really like Annie Barrett’s American Idol recaps. They were like my therapy. I’d be tense over writing my book, and I was like, ‘I need to read Annie Barrett.'”

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You were up against some legendary authors in your category. Were you shocked to win?
KATHERINE BOO: I was surprised. I thought it would be Robert Caro [for Passage of Power]. And I think that Anne Applebaum’s Iron Curtain is a great book and Anthony Shadid, for anybody who is writing overseas, is a legend. So I was quite surprised. It’s a whole thing where you’re supposed to write a speech in case you win, and I thought that was kind of lame. [Laughs] I couldn’t do that. I was sitting there realizing, “Oh gosh, I should have written a speech.” READ FULL STORY

And the 2012 National Book Award winners are ...


The 2012 National Book Award winners were announced tonight during a blacktie gala at Cipriani’s in Lower Manhattan. Winning the big fiction prize was Louise Erdrich for her gut-wrenching novel The Round House, which centers on a grave injustice that rocks a Native American community. In a turn that didn’t surprise us whatsoever, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Katherine Boo won for her stunning work of nonfiction, Behind the Beautiful Forevers. David Ferry and William Alexander also won big in Poetry and Young People’s Literature, respectively. See below for a full list of finalists with winners in bold, and click on links for the EW reviews. READ FULL STORY

National Book Award finalist Patricia McCormick on her heartbreaking novel 'Never Fall Down'


Patricia McCormick’s Never Fall Down is the haunting story of the Cambodian Genocide as told from the perspective of Arn, an 11-year-old boy who’s taken from his home and forced to work in the rice fields for the Khmer Rouge. There, Arn volunteers for a band and discovers his affinity for music. The decision saves his life, but it also thrusts him into the middle of Killing Fields, where he’s forced to commit atrocities.

Based on the true story of Arn Chorn-Pond, Never Fall Down was recently named a National Book Award finalist. The winners won’t be announced until November, but McCormick took the time to talk to EW about the nomination, her interviews with the real Arn, and the power of a simple song.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Congrats! You’re a National Book Award finalist. You’ve been one before for Sold, but how does it feel this time around?
PATRICIA McCORMICK: It’s meaningful for this book because it needs that seal of approval for some more cautious readers, people who wouldn’t necessarily be interested in reading a book like this. It validates storytelling as a way of healing. This is all about how Arn healed by revealing the worst things about his past. We all have these stories to tell and by telling them we will free ourselves.

Was it difficult to get Arn to share his story?
Yes and no. He would become that 11-year-old all over again. He would jump away sometimes from the more difficult aspects of it. My job was to lead him back without re-traumatizing him. There were days when the two of us would cry and have to call it quits. There were other times where I would have to stand firm as the witness and show that I could listen to what he was telling me.


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