There’s a lot riding on the role of Christian Grey in the ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ film—a potential blockbuster franchise, and the core of Focus Features’ rebranding effort. So who should play the suave S&M fiend?
It ain’t easy being kinky.The official reason given by Universal Pictures was an “immersive TV schedule” which wouldn’t allow enough time to “adequately prepare for the role,” but reports suggest that the fan frenzy got to Charlie Hunnam.On Saturday, Hunnam, 33, dropped out of the role of Christian Grey in the upcoming film adaptation of E.L. James’s bestselling erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey. And, while shooting on the sixth season of his FX drama Sons of Anarchy was to end Oct.
The French master wrote to fellow painter Camille Pissarro to cheer him up, jeer at Monet, and coin the saying that painting isn’t ‘a playing card.’
To Camille Pissarro L’Estaque, 2 July 1876 Mon cher Pissarro, I’m obliged to reply to the charm of your magic pencil with an iron point (that’s to say a metal pen). If I dared, I should say that your letter is imprinted with sadness. The picture business isn’t going well; I fear that your morale may be colored a little grey, but I’m sure that it’s only a passing phase. I’d much rather not talk about the impossible, yet I’m always making plans that are very unlikely to come to fruition.
A new literary biography of the Lolita author argues that his most enigmatic novel is a sly commentary on the Cold War, writes Michael Weiss.
As Edward Snowden sat weighing his fortunes in the transit zone of Sheremetyevo Airport last July, a man called Anton Bakov created a minor news item in Russia for offering to bestow a singular form of asylum on the fugitive NSA contractor. As URA.ru, a Russian news agency, put it, Bakov is a “Urals genius of political creativity... who has proclaimed himself prime minister of the Russian Empire of the North Pole and Antarctica,” a country that “does not have diplomatic relations with any state or, according to Bakov, need them.
In a new biography, Johnny Carson’s best friend Henry Bushkin argues that no one really knew him, writes Malcolm Jones. Not even Bushkin.
It is a truth not universally acknowledged—but it should be—that an artist’s work is always that artist’s best foot forward. That is, the art that drew you to that person is the best thing about them. If the artist also happens to be kind or generous or brave, clean, and reverent, that’s just gravy. And the genre doesn’t matter—a classical pianist, a sculptor, a graffiti tagger, an ecdysiast, or a stand up comic. But for the sake of this story, let’s stick with the comedian.
One of the most brilliant generals to ever defeat America died last week, but he has never gotten the due he deserves in the West. James Warren on Vietnam’s General Giap—and how he took America down.
Just before the American ground war in Vietnam began in March 1965 with the landing of a brigade of US Marines at Danang, General Vo Nguyen Giap, who had been commander in chief of Communist armed forces in Vietnam since 1944, told a television interviewer that “Things are going badly for the enemy, because the South Vietnamese soldiers do not want to fight for the Americans. But we are in no hurry. The longer we wait, the greater will be the Americans’ defeat.
From the final wedge between George W. Bush and Dick Cheney to private Christian schools’ war on gay teenagers, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the web this week.
A 4Chan Cam-Girl Grows UpAllie Conti, Miami New TimesAt age 13, she began posting suggestive photos of herself on the internet, and her growing fanbase pushed her for more. By the time she was an adult, Loli-chan would be suspended from her Catholic high school, committed to a psych ward, and driven to real sex work.The Final Insult in the Bush-Cheney MarriagePeter Baker, The New York Times MagazineHow Dick Cheney finally lost the president.
Novelist Gish Jen talked to Alice Munro’s two closest editors, Ann Close and Chip McGrath, about the beloved Canadian writer’s rise from struggling mother to Nobel laureate.
We all love the Alice Munro-as-struggling-writer stories. There is the story of how, when Munro made it onto the cover of Time Canada, she couldn’t afford to buy a copy of the magazine and also get milk for her children. (Of course, she bought the milk.) Or what about the story of how she came to write stories instead of novels because while she could put off her housework for three weeks, she just couldn’t for two years? Munro is our Cinderella.
In his new masterpiece on the evolution of Amsterdam as the world’s most liberal city, Russell Shorto examines the dawning of one of the darkest periods in Dutch history.
The stories of three families may give a sense of this hopeful, newly expansive, but brief moment of the city’s history. Of course, many of the Jews who moved into the new district were diamond workers. A cluster of streets preserves the memory of the time in their names: Topaz Street, Diamond Street, Emerald Square. One couple in particular moved to Sapphire Street. Another moved a few blocks up the river. The boy from the one family, whose name was Joël Brommet, fell in love with Rebecca Ritmeester, the girl from the other.
Legendary editor Starling Lawrence talks about his novel The Thief of Words, his Peace Corps experience, and the works that inspired him with his colleague editor Jilly Bialosky.
Starling Lawrence’s new novel, The Thief of Words, is fiercely intelligent and intimate, written with elegance, urgency, and an incredible command of language. Owen, a writer, is trying to uncover the mystery of his doomed love’s past in Sierra Leone as he grieves for his dying wife. Moving backward in time, we learn about Nora Fenton, an American innocent whose life is shattered by the complexities of race, religion and the hidden politics of the diamond trade.
The Amazon founder and new Washington Post owner sends his employee ominous questions marks, rants about ‘stupid pills’ in office emails, and has a unicyclist father, according to a new book.
For his upcoming book The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon, Bloomberg Businessweek writer Brad Stone was refused an interview with his subject, the Amazon founder and now Washington Post owner—but he still managed to cobble together an exhaustive history of the online marketplace by talking with "hundreds of current and former friends" of the enigmatic leader. From tracking down Bezos's birth father to spilling the businessman’s best insults, here are the most revealing bits from an excerpt released on Thursday.
From Watergate to Princess Diana’s crash to mobsters, investigator Terry Lenzner has been involved in all kinds of conspiracy, but the real message of his new memoir: we’ve lost any interest in the real truth. By Jake Whitney
In the fall of 1998, Terry Lenzner’s investigative firm, IGI, was hired to look into the death of Princess Diana. The client was Mohammad al-Fayed, the father of Dodi Fayed, Diana’s lover who also perished in the car crash in Paris. Fayed was convinced that the crash was no accident, that it was a plot by the British government to prevent Diana from marrying his son. There were legitimate questions about the crash, Lenzner believed, so he agreed to take the case.
When Somali pirates forced Richard Phillips to give up his crew, he had to stall by any means—or face the death of all his men. A tense scene from the memoir of the real ‘Captain Phillips.’
The film Captain Phillips, out in theaters today, dramatizes the story of a real-life pirate attack that gripped the world in April 2009, when Somali gunmen boarded the Maersk Alabama and took its captain, Richard Phillips (played by Tom Hanks), hostage, demanding money. The movie is based on Phillips’s 2010 book A Captain’s Duty, co-written with Stephan Talty. In this excerpt of the first-person account, the pirates have just boarded the Maersk Alabama, and found only Phillips and two crewmembers (Colin and ATM) on deck.
Wole Soyinka, winner of the 1986 Nobel for literature and the 'conscience of Africa,' says he would award this year's Peace Prize to activisits like Malala Yousafzai.
With his white beard and his white hair that rises like a mushroom cloud above his brain, Wole Soyinka is an imposing presence even before he speaks. And the 78-year-old Nigerian activist and novelist, who won the Nobel for literature in 1986, speaks with the authority of a man who’s lived history, and made it.When asked whom he’d like to see get the Nobel Peace Prize tomorrow, he clearly hadn’t given the question much thought. But then he did.
Winner of this year’s Nobel prize for literature, Alice Munro is not merely Canada’s greatest living writer but one of the greatest living writers period. By Malcolm Jones
This morning, before writing about Alice Munro, who has won the Nobel prize for literature, I took down from the shelf a couple of volumes of her short stories, thinking to thumb through them and refresh my memory (or maybe I was just stalling, awed, or merely stymied, by the prospect of summing up a life’s work in a few paragraphs). Two hours later, I looked up, wondering where the time had gone. I suppose that when people talk about a writer casting a spell, this is what they mean.
And reported it to the feds.
We're not ready to put those years of lies and deception to bed just yet. A new book about Lance Armstrong, called Wheelman, alleges that the cycling star's former girlfriend, country singer Sheryl Crow, was privy to Armstrong's doping habits and told federal investigators after witnessing a banned blood transfusion. "He trusted that Crow would have no desire to tell the press or anyone else about the team's doping program," Wall Street Journal reporters Reed Albergotti and Vanessa O'Connell write in the book, which comes out Tuesday. Crow and Armstrong broke up in 2006 after three years together.
The winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature is Canadian short story writer Alice Munro. Here is our 60-second guide to her work and life.
Alice Munro, the 82-year-old Canadian author, is one of the greatest short-story writers of our time. The Swedish Academy, which on Thursday morning awarded Munro the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature, simply said that she is a “master of the contemporary short story.” Her short tales are always finely tuned, filled with psychological realism, swerving on a moment of epiphany that makes her the heir to Chekhov—indeed she is often considered the Canadian Chekhov—and James Joyce’s The Dubliners.
The acclaimed Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood talks with Noah Charney about her writing routine, how she invented an electronic pen, and her stint as a hockey goalie.
NC: Describe your morning routine. MA: I’d be lucky to have a morning routine! But let’s pretend… I’d get up in the morning, have breakfast, have coffee, then go upstairs to the room where I write. I’d sit down and probably start transcribing from what I’d [hand]written the day before. NC: Is there anything distinctive or unusual about the room in which you write? MA: I’m not often in a set writing space. I don’t think there’s anything too unusual about it, except that it’s full of books and has two desks.
Tells Canadian press the news is "quite wonderful."
The Swedish Academy announced Thursday that Alice Munro, the Canadian author known for her short stories about life in southwestern Ontario, is the 2013 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. The 82-year-old author told Canadian press that she was delighted at the news, but also "terribly suprised." "I never thought I would win. At this moment, I can't believe it," she said. "But it's quite wonderful." Munro has published 13 short-story collections, including her debut, Dance of the Happy Shades (1968), which won her first Governor award, and The Progress of Love, which won the award exactly three decades later. Her final story collection, she said, was 2012's Dear Life, and she announced in June that she had retired from writing.
Why do intellectuals hate democracy? Was Borges a fascist? The contentious 2010 Nobel Laureate Mario Vargas Llosa talks to Michael Moynihan about the big questions in literature and politics.
Mario Vargas Llosa, the Peruvian novelist and winner of the 2010 Nobel Prize for Literature, is considered a political novelist because his politics aren’t the politics of most novelists. In the pantheon of modern Spanish-language fiction you’ll find a surplus of writers informed by radical thought—think Jose Saramago, Roberto Bolaño, Eduardo Galeano, Carlos Fuentes, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But Vargas Llosa is an outlier, an apostate from radicalism turned habitué of the classical liberal world, a former supporter of the Cuban Revolution transformed into an evangelist for free markets and free trade.
Eleven years after she was kidnapped and held for nine months, Elizabeth Smart is out with a new memoir. From the words her abductor spoke as he seized her to his wife’s sanction of rape, speed-read ‘My Story.’
In 2002, Elizabeth Smart, a 14-year-old girl from a Mormon family in Salt Lake City, was abducted, raped, and chained for nine months by religious zealot Brian David Mitchell and his wife Wand Barzee. In a new memoir, My Story, Smart has told her own account of her ordeal, writing that she tried several times to flee and was once almost rescued by a homicide detective. We speed-read the book for the nine biggest revelations.1. The Moment Mitchell Decided Smart ‘Was the One’The first time Brian David Mitchell saw Elizabeth Smart was in November 2001.
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