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.
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.
From Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Paul Harding’s next book, to the story of mushroom foragers who supply fungal gold to the world’s best restaurants.
Enon by Paul Harding. Returning to the town of Enon and to the Crosby family of the Pulitzer-winning ‘Tinkers.’ If adapted for the stage, this novel would make an artful, off-Broadway monologue. We return to the town of Enon and to the Crosby family, which were the subjects of Paul Harding’s debut novel Tinkers, winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize. In the wake of his daughter’s tragic death, Charlie Crosby is crazy with grief. For one full year, we never leave his side.
He liked young women but didn’t want to sleep with them, he married a Gestapo informer, he wanted to play Holden Caulfield in the film. Here are 15 revelations from the juicy new oral biography of the famed author. By Andrew Romano
On Tuesday, Simon & Schuster will publish Salinger, an oral history about the reclusive author of The Catcher in the Rye, Franny and Zooey, and dozens of other stories and novellas. Three days later, on Sept. 6, a documentary of the same name by screenwriter Shane Salerno (Savages, Armageddon) will debut in theaters.There have been several accounts of J.D. Salinger’s life and work published over the past few decades, including titillating memoirs by his daughter, Margaret, and his former teenage paramour, Joyce Maynard.
Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus’s new novel, ‘The First Affair,’ explores illicit political relationships, why young women keep quiet, and how D.C. culture perpetuates the cycle. As told to Adrienne Vogt.
Jamie McAlister is a fictional character who, unfortunately, has many real-life examples. She is the “other woman” in a secret relationship with a politician—in this case, the most powerful man on earth, the president of the United States.We did extensive research on women and girls who found themselves in Jamie’s situation, going back to the time of Mimi Alford, the 19-year-old intern who had her virginity taken by President John F. Kennedy.
A writer so influential and popular that Hemingway adopted his name finally gets the collection he deserves. Allen Barra on the literary legacy of one of America’s finest sportswriters and short story craftsman.
ESPN has a niche website for fine sports writing named Grantland after the famous sportswriter of the 1920s, Grantland Rice. With all due respect, they named it for the wrong person. The more appropriate name would have been “Ring.”Rice is mostly remembered today for writing perhaps the most famous lead in sports history after the 1924 Notre Dame-Army game, “Outlined against a blue-gray October sky, the Four Horsemen rode again.” Modern sportswriters who quote those lines in tones of ashen awe are missing the joke: the lines weren’t remembered by Rice’s contemporaries because they thought them memorable but because many of thought the prose stilted and funny.
Perhaps the most important battle of World War II was a giant clash of tanks between Germans and Russians, but today it is largely overlooked in the West. Andrew Roberts on a new book that makes a convincing case for how it changed the war.
The statistics relating to the Battle of Kursk—the great showdown between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia in July 1943—still have the power to astonish, even 70 years later. Almost 3 million men, a full eight thousand tanks, and nearly five thousand warplanes broke all records for both the costliest single day of aerial warfare and the largest tank battle in the history of mankind. If the Germans had broken through the Russian lines in the Kursk salient and scored a decisive victory over the Red Army, it is perfectly possible that they might have turned back the tide of war in their direction, despite their defeats at Moscow and Stalingrad in 1941 and 1942, respectively.
From a harrowing story of captivity in Somalia to the decline of New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the web this week.
12 Minutes of Freedom in 460 Days of CaptivityAmanda Linhout, The New York Times MagazineHer kidnapping in Somalia marked the moment when one life ended and another began.The Gangster in the HuddlePaul Solataroff with Ron Borges, Rolling StoneAaron Hernandez might have been one of the NFL’s all-time greats, but he could never escape drugs, guns and a life of violence.Russia’s Lonely LeaderEvgenia Pismennaya and Irina Reznick, BloombergAfter 14 years as president and premier, Vladimir Putin ended his 30-year marriage in June and his judo mentor died this month.
Susan Cooper’s ‘The Dark Is Rising’ series was an important link between ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘Harry Potter.’ John Garth talks to the fantasy writer about her new novel.
If Susan Cooper’s name is new to U.S. readers, it’s only because her previous novels have been set in Britain—notably The Dark Is Rising Sequence, a towering landmark on the road from J.R.R. Tolkien to J.K. Rowling. In fact, she has lived most of her life in New England, where she moved in 1963 to marry an M.I.T. professor.“My imagination is rooted in Britain, and always will be,” says 78-year-old Cooper. “It’s like the fact that I’ve lived in the U.
In 2009, Asia Bibi—a Pakistani Christian and mother of five—drew a cup of water from a Muslim's well and incurred the wrath of villagers who accused her of slandering Islam. Convicted under Pakistan's blasphemy law, which is often used to punish Muslims as well as religious minorities, Asia Bibi has languished in jail as she tries to overturn her death sentence. Now, in a new book, "Blasphemy," French journalist Anne-Isabelle Tollet has helped Asia Bibi bring her story to the world, even as she remains trapped in a squalid jail cell. Here, Asia Bibi recounts the day her life changed forever.
I’ve almost filled my bowl when I hear what sounds like a rioting crowd. I step back from my bush, wondering what’s going on, and in the distance I see dozens of men and women striding along towards our field, waving their arms in the air. I shrug my shoulders at Josephine. She doesn’t seem to know what it’s all about either. Then I catch the cruel eyes of Musarat. Her expression is self-righteous and full of scorn. I shiver as I suddenly realize that she hasn’t let it go at all.
Paul Muldoon on the moral—and literary—authority of Seamus Heaney, who died Friday at the age of 74.
I met Seamus Heaney in 1968. I was 16 years old and he was 28, already a famous poet on the strength of Death of a Naturalist, his first groundbreaking collection. I say “groundbreaking” because, though we may trace its DNA back though Patrick Kavanagh to William Wordsworth, there was something quite new about the best of those poems. The engagement with the things of the world was so unadorned as to invite comparison with John Clare—yes, except a clearer John Clare.
One great Irish writer bids another goodbye: novelist Colum McCann says poet Seamus Heaney, who died Friday at the age of 74, was more important to the idea of Ireland than anyone else.
There are very few people in the world that can only be known by one name: Seamus brought us together in so many ways. It is difficult to know what to think, except to try to imagine what he might want us to think: that even in its passing, there is great meaning in the world. He brought a genuine joy to every small corner. His poetry, and indeed his life, has been a expedition into the deep and proper value of our own lives.He caught his country in flight, and he was able to bring it back down to earth in the most necessary way.
The Irish poet and Nobel laureate, who died Friday at the age of 74, was often called accessible, as if it were a handicap. But the fact that he sold millions of books and was quoted by Bill Clinton means he was a great poet who reached our hearts.
The Irish writer Seamus Heaney, who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1995, was perhaps the most celebrated poet of his generation, in an era when a general reader might have a hard time naming a living poet at all. So well known was he that he was nicknamed Famous Seamus, with his easily recognizable mane of unruly white hair and jolly cheeks that seem to overwhelm his pencil-thin eyes and lips.Heaney died in a hospital in Dublin on Friday after a short illness.
Nobel laureate was 74.
Irish poet and Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney died at a hospital in Dublin after a short illness. He was 74. The eldest of nine children, Heaney was born on a farm in Northern Ireland and went on to become the most celebrated poet since W. B. Yeats, penning 13 poetry collections and two plays, as well as books on the writing process. He won the Nobel Prize in 1995 and later the prestigious Forward poetry prize, among other awards. Tributes quickly began pouring in through news and social-media sites, many quoting a line from "Digging," the much-loved first poem of his first collection, Death of a Naturalist: “Between my finger and my thumb, The squat pen rests; snug as a gun.”
A new novel about a famous 19th-century historical abortionist sets the record straight, with a twist.
An orphan, an apprentice, a mother, and an abortionist: In Kate Manning’s new work of historical fiction, My Notorious Life, these characters are one and the same Ann “Axie” Jones, née Muldoon, alias Madame de Beausacq. There’s kidnapping, adultery, train-roof romance—and even a kernel of truth: the character’s inspiration comes from Ann Trow Lohman, alias Madame Restell, a 19th-century abortionist. While the fictional Ann’s biography departs greatly from that of her real-life counterpart, here’s what they do have in common: a rags-to-riches, a massive fortune built on contraceptive sales, and a very unsavory reputation.
Writer Jason Berry marks the eighth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina by looking at the triumphs and failures of New Orleans today, as chronicled in a handful of recent books on the Big Easy.
Eight years after the Katrina floodwaters soaked 80 percent of New Orleans, the holy city where jazz began has risen from the muck, a blue-town floorshow in the deep-red South.New Orleans has 100,000 fewer people and 500 more restaurants than on August 29, 2005. The city that sank on global television has a booming film industry, thriving music economy, Mardi Gras, Bowl games, and festivals that have spawned a grassroots entertainment mecca.But the living city carries the dead city, places where nearly 1,000 people perished, and many thousands more were too broke or broken to make it back.
In the wake of 9/11, the NYPD launched a huge spying program. In the new book ‘Enemies Within,’ Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman detail the radical counterterrorism plan that destroyed the city’s privacy.
While peering out onto the burning rubble at Ground Zero in the days after September 11, Ray Kelly (then an executive at Bear Stearns) had an epiphany: “The NYPD needs its own intelligence unit.” If the federal government continued to hold a monopoly on nationwide intelligence information, he theorized, the NYPD would simply be “waiting to respond to the next [terrorist] attack” and “helpless to prevent it.” Sworn in as New York City police commissioner just four months later in January 2002, the former Wall Streeter made it his mission to ensure that the NYPD would have the power—and intelligence—to stop something like this from happening on NYC soil again.
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
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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