The best spokesman for an Ernest Hemingway novel? Papa himself.
The world’s first edible cookbook is printed on sheets of fresh pasta, blueprints for its own destruction that, when baked, turn into a lasagna.
Perhaps not shockingly, members of Russia’s Public Chamber have criticized a school notebook, part of the Great Russians series, the cover of which features an image of Stalin in military regalia. The publishers, defiant, point out that in a recent TV contest, Stalin placed third in a vote on the country’s “greatest historical figures.”
The big news in Salt Lake City was not that yours truly was there (although I was): luminaries of the horror genre converged on the Beehive State for the 2012 Bram Stoker Awards, where writers Joe McKinney and Allyson Byrd won big.
In which Ian McEwan helps his son with an essay on one of his own novels … and gets “a very low mark.”
Sylvia Plath slept here (and take a peek into fourteen other writers’ bedrooms).
Robert Lowell wrote here—on Manhattan’s West Sixty-seventh Street—and it can be yours for $685,000.
The Little House books are canonical—literally. Laura Ingalls Wilder’s autobiographical series join the Library of America.
John Updike predicted New York’s newly announced 6 1/2 Avenue in a 1956 New Yorker article: “As a service to readers who are too frail or shy for good-natured hurly-burly, we decided to plot a course from the Empire State Building to Rockefeller Center that would involve no contact with either Fifth or Sixth Avenue.”
Muggles get the Harry Potter treatment in Florida. “At Ollivanders, the wand shop, character actors put on a show. With a few dozen people crowded into a room, a bearded wizard proceeds to help a child select a wand. ‘Descendo!’ he cries. Boxes tumble down and the shelves fall apart on cue. It was the wrong wand. ‘Repairo!’ he cries. The shelves put themselves back together. The long-bearded gent eventually gives the girl an Ash wand, ‘an excellent wand for a charismatic, successful wizard.’”
At forty-two, historical novelist Rabee Jaber is the youngest winner of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction.
On the plus side, James Thurber wrote back to his fans. “One of the things that discourage us writers is the fact that 90 per cent of you children write wholly, or partly, illiterate letters, carelessly typed. You yourself write ‘clarr’ for ‘class’ and that’s a honey, Robert, since s is next to a, and r is on the line above.”
“The centrepiece of our brand new displays in Solo Gallery is Roald Dahl’s Writing Hut, complete with all its original contents and furnishings. Visitors can see the ‘little nest’ as Roald Dahl called it, exactly as he had it set up, with all the extraordinary and fascinating objects he kept at hand for contemplation and inspiration.”
“The man was sitting on the porch with some people he had just met, talking about books and authors. The 34-year-old man was then approached by another party guest, who started speaking to him in a condescending manner. An argument ensued and the man was suddenly struck in the side of the head, suffering a cut to his left ear, Bush said. The man’s glasses went flying off of his head and fell to the ground, with one of the lenses popping out of the frames, Bush said.”
“Once again, it’s that time of year when otherwise mature adults paint their faces in the palettes of their favorite book jacket designers, and all across Facebook college kids post pictures of themselves Nabokoving. Yes, we’re talking about book awards season.”
Jonathan Franzen: “Twitter is unspeakably irritating. Twitter stands for everything I oppose … it’s hard to cite facts or create an argument in 140 characters … it’s like if Kafka had decided to make a video semaphoring The Metamorphosis. Or it’s like writing a novel without the letter ‘P’… It’s the ultimate irresponsible medium … People I care about are readers … particularly serious readers and writers, these are my people. And we do not like to yak about ourselves.”