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Tag: Salman Rushdie (1-2 of 2)

On the Books: PEN announces some of its 2014 award winners

The winners of some of the 2014 PEN literary awards have been announced. The award for poetry went to Frank Bidart for Metaphysical Dog and the award for essay writing went to James Wolcott for Critical Mass. Linda Leavell won the biography award for Holding on Upside Down, about the poet Marianne Moore. The big prize for debut fiction writing will be announced in September. [The Washington Post]

A Jury awarded former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura $1.8 million in a defamation suit against deceased Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. In his 2012 book American Sniper, Kyle wrote that Ventura hated Navy SEALs and that he said they “deserved to lose a few.” Kyle didn’t identify Ventura by name in the book, but identified him later in a press conference. Ventura denied making the remarks. (He also served in the Navy during the Vietnam War.) Kyle died in 2013; Ventura sued his estate for damages and won.

The estate hasn’t announced if they plan to appeal the case. Outside of politics, Ventura has also worked as an actor (PredatorDemolition Man) and WWE commentator. [NPR]

Emory University acquired Salman Rushdie’s archive, and in addition to his papers, they have all of his old hard drives. The digital nature of his archives—and that of so many other authors—poses problems when it comes to making everything compatible to newer computer formats. It’s also a fascinating experience: “Rushdie’s digital archive, in its old Mac setting, contains the usual ephemera of his life: bank statements, newspaper articles, drafts of stories, at least one screenplay, and even folders called ‘NAMES FOR NEW CHILD’ and ‘Puppet Motel Folder.’ These digital things come with their own form of marginalia, some of which have presumably been collected in the ‘STICKIES1999′ folder. There is even a ‘Games’ folder, so you can see what Rushdie was playing while working under a fatwa.” [The New Yorker]

In the past year, the amount of books given as gifts fell by 9 million in the UK. [BBC]

Two of The Fault in Our Stars author John Green’s other books have stirred up some controversy recently: Pasco County, Florida, removed Paper Towns from its eighth grade reading list, and in Waukesha, Wisconsin, there’s a movement to ban Green’s Looking for Alaska as well. [L.A. Times]

On The Books: Original text of Hunter Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas -- for FREE!

You can still read the original text of Hunter S. Thompson’s gonzo-epic “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” as it appeared in Rolling Stone in November 1971. I wish that I could say they had the layout intact, so you could see the original Ralph Steadman drawings and dated adverts, but alas that’s not the case. The whole rambling, drug-addled, calculated chaos of a manuscript clocks in at 23,000 words. Thompson would famously keep Jann Wenner waiting for articles until the absolute last second. HST described his version of the manic push to the finish line in the intro to Rolling Stone‘s “Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72” (another classic):

“One afternoon about three days ago the Editorial Enforcement Detail from the Rolling Stone office showed up at my door, with no warning, and loaded about 40 pounds of supplies into the room: two cases of Mexican beer, four quarts of gin, a dozen grapefruits, and enough speed to alter the outcome of six Super Bowls. There was also a big Selectric typewriter, two reams of paper, a face-cord of oak firewood and three tape recorders – in case the situation got so desperate that I might finally have to resort to verbal composition.”

[Rolling Stone via Open Culture]

Vijay Seshadri won the Pulitzer Prize for his poetry collection 3 Sections yesterday and he answered a few questions about the meaning of his poems and his motivations for writing them. His short poems manage to be both tongue-in-cheek and poignant, so bear that in mind when he says poetry is “psychologically naked.” [NPR]

On the 25th anniversary of the Ayatollah Khomeini’s fatwa against Salman Rushdie, Vanity Fair interviewed the author, his British and American publishers and a number of his peers including Stephen King, Ian McEwan, Gay Talese and Martin Amis about their memories of the time and the deadly edict’s effect on the literary community. Amis recounts a time that he supposedly got into an argument with Prince Charles at a dinner party (where else?). The Prince refused to publicly defend Rushdie who was a U.K. resident at the time. [Vanity Fair via The Guardian]

Don’t you love a good Shakespeare conspiracy theory? Well this morning, it’s whether Prospero, the exiled wizard in The Tempest, might actually be Shakespeare writing himself into the character. WHAT?? If you’re confused, this article will clear very little up for you. But it certainly is interesting to hear all the things we actually “know” about Shakespeare — “all the things” being only six things. One of the six is that in his will he left his wife Anne his second best bed. So he was a generous man. [Guardian]

For those celebrating Passover this week, The New Yorker has a thought little personal essay by Bernard Avishai on the Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai and keeping a open heart during the holiday. [The New Yorker]

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