What makes Etgar Keret think of his home of Tel Aviv as a short story? He talks about his childhood, why he’s Jewish rather than Israeli, and his love of the beach with Henry Krempels in this edition of “Literary City.”
If, at random, you picked an Etgar Keret short story to read, you would likely come across one of a few things: humor, sex, and, or an urban Israeli setting.The 46-year-old Keret’s work remains a guiding force for contemporary Israeli literature, and his more recent success in film has since introduced him to a whole new generation of admirers. He is also currently a part of Miranda July’s We Think Alone, a project that has allowed us to be privy to his, and others, personal correspondence.
Are we headed for a world of scarce resources and environmental catastrophe, or will market forces and technological innovation yield greater prosperity? Yale historian Paul Sabin, author of the new book ‘The Bet: Paul Ehrlich, Julian Simon, and Our Gamble over Earth’s Future,’ draws on an iconic story to examine the clash between environmentalists and their conservative critics.
What is your big idea?Our current stalemate over climate policy has important roots in earlier battles over population growth and resource scarcity. Many dire predictions made a generation ago about disastrous food shortages and running out of oil have not come true, at least not yet. This poses a challenge for environmentalists, who are gravely concerned about global warming. Earlier failed prophecies help fuel conservative opposition to current concerns about climate change, even though the science is different and the threat is real.
For writer Larry McMurtry, auctioning off part of his vast book collection was bittersweet, but they are off on a new adventure in the hands of new readers. He writes to urge readers to support a film on Kickstarter documenting this remarkable sale.
Art of various kinds is often expensive, and filmmaking especially so. Thousands of gifted filmmakers, young and old, have waited hat in hand at the studio gates, only to be turned away with nothing.That’s why Kickstarter and like organizations—which secure funding through donations from people with an interest in art-to-be—are a healthy and adventurous way to go. Let the studios eat cake, as a famous lady once said.Writing prose, on the other hand, is a solitary endeavor (unless one has a fine writing partner, as do I).
So you love ‘Fifty Shades’ but hate Charlie Hunnam and Dakota Johnson’s casting. You aren’t the first—and you’ll probably end up being happy. Don’t you remember the ‘Twilight,’ ‘Batman,’ and ‘Hunger Games’ backlashes?
Since Charlie Hunnam and Dakota Johnson were announced as the leads for the screen adaption of the bestselling book Fifty Shades of Grey, there’s been—not surprisingly—an outcry from the novel’s diehard fans, who’ve been pitching their own favorites for the past two years.They are so unhappy with Hunnam and Johnson’s casting that there’s even a petition to dump them and get the leads the fans want—Matt Bomer and Alexis Bledel—with 31,000 signatures.
Autumn, once again, does the heavy literary lifting for the year, giving readers treat after treat. From Norman Rush’s new novel, 10 years in the making, to the best releases of early November, here are 21 must-read books to look forward to.
Subtle Bodies by Norman Rush, Sept. 10. “Surely the only considerable American novelist who has never yet written about America,” the critic James Wood said about his friend Norman Rush, and as if responding to a dare, Rush has set his fourth novel not in Botswana but in the Catskills, up the Hudson River into another heart of darkness, where a group of college friends have gathered for the funeral of their ringleader, more than 20 years after graduation.
“Raising My Rainbow” author Lori Duron shares the trials and triumphs of raising a gender-nonconforming child. As told to Adrienne Vogt.
C.J. loves what all six-year-old girls love: Barbies, Disney princesses, glitter, sparkles, Mary Janes, Monster High dolls, dance class, and the color pink. Lots and lots of pink. But C.J. is not a girl; he’s my youngest son. C.J. is a gender-nonconforming child—or “gender creative,” according to psychologist Diane Ehrensaft. I consider him to be one of the youngest members of the LGBTQ community. C.J. is completely and thoroughly himself, which makes him difficult to label.
In a new book, Judith Tebbutt recounts her six-month ordeal as a hostage of Somali pirates and revisits the night of the kidnapping, when her husband of 33 years lost his life trying to protect her.
Judith Tebbutt, a 56-year old British social worker, wouldn’t know at the time that her long walk home began almost as soon as she and her husband, David, touched down on a grassy airstrip on the northern Kenya coast on September 10, 2011.The couple had been vacationing in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve and planned to wind up their vacation with a weeklong stay at Kiwayu Safari Village, a starkly beautiful beach resort 25 miles south of the Somali border that offered "barefoot luxury" to its mostly well-heeled clients.
The Dickens of the Ozarks talks jazz, how his first book was published, and what he always carries with him. His latest novel, the first since 2006’s ‘Winter’s Bone,’ is ‘The Maid’s Version,’ about a deadly dance-hall fire in 1929 Missouri and the maid who thinks she knows what caused it.
NC: Where did you grow up? DW: Missouri, mostly, with 18 months between ages 15 and 17 spent a mile or three into Kansas. Born in the Ozarks, but dad had to go north to find a good job, so I went to school and all in St. Charles, a great old river town in which to be a rambunctious boy. My family has been resident in the Ozarks since well before the war (guess which war), about 1838 or so, but I am now the last member of my family living in Howell County.
We finally know who will wear the nipple clamps in the much-anticipated ‘50 Shades of Grey’ movie. So why aren’t fans rallying behind 23-year-old Dakota Johnson?
Before E.L. James’s erotic Fifty Shades of Grey became the fastest-selling book series of all time, it had already sparked a studio bidding war that Deadline called the “wildest book-to-movie-auction in recent distant memory”—and with that, an Internet frenzy over potential leads in the BDSM Cinderella story.So when James tweeted Tuesday morning that the books’ main characters, 21-year-old bookish college student Anastasia Steele and 27-year-old millionaire Christian Grey, would be played by Dakota Johnson (daughter of Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith) and Charlie Hunnam from Sons of Anarchy, the news was met with a surprising amount of “meh.
Irish poet Seamus Heaney, whose funeral Monday drew hundreds of mourners, inspired U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey’s own calling—to grapple with the troubled history of the American South.
In my office on campus I keep a small sheaf of papers, 11 facsimile pages of Seamus Heaney’s poem, “North”—the title poem of his 1975 collection of the same name. In that sheaf are handwritten drafts with different variations of the title, typescript drafts with words or lines crossed out and new words and lines written in the margins in the poet’s hand. Like most people, I encountered Heaney through his published books before ever meeting him or seeing these intimate drafts in the archives.
“Books are precious,” she says.
Malala Yousafzai, the teen who was shot in the head by the Taliban in Pakistan and has become a beacon for women’s rights, officially opened a library in Birmingham, England. After being shot, she was treated at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, and she considers the city her second home, she said in her opening speech. This is no ordinary library: its colossal collection has 1 million books, more than 200 public-access computers, theaters, an exhibition gallery, and music rooms. Malala says books and education are key to fighting terrorism and promoting peace.
Asks new book “The Firm.”
The world’s most influential management consulting firm, McKinsey & Co., might just be one big con. So says Duff McDonald in his new book The Firm, which offers a deep dive into the top-secret world of the über-elite organization. While McKinsey is undeniably made up of heavy hitters—it produces more Fortune 500 CEOs than any other company—its track record begs the question, are they worth the hundreds of billions struggling companies pay out annually for their advice? A few of the firm’s most infamous misses: McKinsey advised GM in a failed attempt to compete against Japanese automakers and told AT&T that the cellphone market would include 900,000 subscribers (it was off by 108 million). Oh, and Enron. The New York Times awkwardly notes that the paper itself is not just a critic, it’s also a client.
Chanel mannequin, art-world vixen, Allied spy—Toto Koopman’s remarkable life gets resuscitated in a biography out this week.
Where does one start to tell the story of Toto Koopman? Should we start in Paris, in the ateliers of Coco Chanel and the studios of French Vogue, where a 19-year-old Toto preened for the grand Jazz Age couturiers? Or perhaps in Britain on the brink of another world war, where Toto flitted among three of the country’s most powerful men? Do we start in the prisons of northern Italy, among Mussolini’s anti-Fascist enemies? In the London gallery where avant-garde artists like Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud sold their scandalous works? In the green rice paddies of Java? In the lemon groves of Sicily? In the hell of a camp called Ravensbrück?Now largely forgotten, Toto Koopman was one of those see-and-be-seen It girls of the early part of the 20th century—a woman who, with her striking good looks and insouciant charm, swirled about in the eddies of European high society, befriending (and seducing) some of the most remarkable characters to shape the continent’s wartime culture and its political destiny.
Luke Kelly, the grandson of children’s author Roald Dahl, on his favorite young adult fictions from childhood and now. His new children’s book, with illustrator Yoko Tanaka, is ‘Blanket and Bear, a Remarkable Pair.’
The world of young adult fiction is a bridge to adult fiction and a world entirely unto itself. My taste in YA works was highly influenced by growing up with seven sisters—six of them dominatingly older than me—mixed with a dash of the swashbuckling masculinity that comes from being sent off to English boarding schools from the age of 7. Here are five of my favorites from childhood and now. Refugee Boy by Benjamin Zephaniah. This beautifully composed book by the British poet Benjamin Zephaniah follows the half Ethiopian and half Eritrean Alem through the horrors of events in a war between those two countries.
Writer Adam Gopnik learned Internet chat from his son Luke, and quickly caught on to such lingo as ‘brb’ and ‘gtg.’ But he didn’t get the hang of ‘LOL’—to disastrous effects. Read Adam’s funny and heartwarming story, originally a broadcast on the radio show ‘The Moth,’ excerpted from the new book ‘The Moth: 50 True Stories,’ out Tuesday.
The story I want to tell you is a simple story about myself and my son Luke. Some of you may have read about him over the years. I write about him often enough. And the truth is we’ve always been pretty good friends. Father and son, of course, but we’ve always shared a lot in common. We lived through Paris together, and we love football. I’ve taught him to love hockey; we even love the same hockey team, the Montreal Canadiens.But then he turned 12, and in New York City, because everything is a little accelerated, 12 is really 13.
Born to the second wealthiest man in the United States, Huguette Clark disappeared for decades into her vast estates, strange obsessions, and, finally, years in the hospital. Michael Gross on a new book that details her family history—and the story of her 7,364 hospital days before she died.
Huguette Clark was 103 years old in February 2010, when a photo essay published on MSNBC.com by a Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter, Bill Dedman, made her famous for the second time in an otherwise mostly unremarkable life. Searching to buy a home for his family, Dedman stumbled upon a mystery: Clark, who’d been much publicized in the 1920s as the debutante daughter of America’s second-richest man, owned sprawling estates in California and Connecticut and several huge Fifth Avenue apartments, spent small fortunes to maintain them, but didn’t occupy any of them.
Dakota Johnson will play Anastasia Steele.
It's official. Actor Charlie Hunnam will play Christian Grey in the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey. The news was tweeted by author E.L. James on Monday. Hunnam, a 33-year-old British actor, is best known for his role as Jackson "Jax" Teller on FX's Sons of Anarchy series. Dakota Johnson will play his college-student love interest Anastasia Steele. Universal expects to release the movie on August 1, 2014.
In the documentary ‘Salinger,’ which had its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival, filmmaker Shane Salerno spent a decade interviewing friends, lovers, and admirers of the reclusive author of ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ to create a full-bodied portrait of a troubled soul—while revealing the titles of his upcoming works. Salerno, joined by former Salinger flame Jean Miller and others, discussed the film in a post-screening Q&A.
Salinger, the decade-in-the-making documentary on reclusive author J.D. Salinger—he of The Catcher in the Rye fame—has been buzzed about for quite some time. Just last week, news leaked that the film reveals five posthumous works by Salinger that are scheduled to be published between 2015 and 2020. And then, if things weren’t mysterious enough, the plane carrying the Salinger team crash-landed at Telluride airport (thankfully, everyone was fine).
After World War II, most European countries began to confront past atrocities and horrors—except for Spain under the rule of Franco. James McAuley on a new book that explores how the Spanish fight for how to remember or forget that period.
“The essence of a nation is that all individuals have many things in common, and also that they have forgotten many things.”For the beleaguered European states emerging from the rubble of the Second World War, there could scarcely be a more prescient description of what the nation’s “essence” would become than this, proffered by the inimitable Ernest Renan in 1882.Some 60 years later, in the “zero hour” of 1945, the nations that had gone to war in the most epic conflagration the world has yet seen had little in common save for the urgency with which they sought to forget the unspeakable horrors they had witnessed and wrought.
CHILL YOUR BONES
CBS Buys ‘Scary Stories’ Film
1980s children’s horror books.More
Oldest U.S. Book Sells for $14.1M
Printed in 1640.More
National Book Award Winners Announced
The Good Lord Bird takes fiction prize. More
STRIKE A POSE
Selfie Is Word of the Year
Beat out twerk, bitcoin.More
Author Barbara Park Dies
Wrote the “Junie B. Jones” series.More
Writer Doris Lessing Dies
Nobel Laureate was 94.More