Happy Valentine’s Day! Celebrate by getting yourself kissed today. Or, may we suggest finding a famous writer to smooch? In case you need a little inspiration (or just like to see writers making out), we’ve collected several adorable photos of famous authors in fond embraces, both vintage and quite recent. … Read More
In the abstract, everyone would like to fall in love with a famous writer. It holds out the promise of fabulous love letters and, if one is very lucky, immortalization as the subject of a super-romantic poem. I mean, Keats’ beloved Fanny Brawne really lucked out, I think, with “Bright star, bright star / would I were as steadfast as thou art.” I would be thrilled if someone would write that about me. … Read More
Aspiring authors are taught to write what they know, but just how long a writer keeps doing that is up to their discretion. When you look at the work of one of the preeminent fiction writers of the last half-century, Philip Roth, a pattern emerges: he’s writing about himself (sometimes literally, making a young Philip Roth the protagonist of his brilliant work of historical fiction, The Plot Against America, for instance), or some alternate version of himself or other Jewish men he knows, in nearly every single book. … Read More
Want to find out who your Shakespearean soul mate is? The Free Library of Philadelphia has you covered.
Earlier this week, the Times reported on the latest bit of book-publishing folly, in which book publishers are now going to chase Netflix addicts with the promise that multi-book fantasy epics will now be published in relatively quick succession. The idea, as far as I can tell, is to ignore the angry-George-R.-R.-Martin-fan phenomenon, insofar as it’s not really clear that Martin will ever finish the trilogy it is taking him longer and longer to write new books for. Other than people being sort of angry on the internet about it, I’m not quite sure what skin it is off the publishing industry’s nose if Martin’s fanbase grows more rabid with every month they wait for a new Game of Thrones book, but you know, this entire scheme doesn’t feel like something actual book publishers brought up. It sounds like something a marketing department of a large “entertainment conglomerate” did. … Read More
Hilary Mantel, who is basically the Adele of the literary world since she seems unable to lose a big award,… Read More
Rachel Shukert has always been obsessed with the fascinating lives of Old Hollywood icons — people like Judy Garland, Joan Crawford, Fred Astaire, Loretta Young, and Clark Gable. Her deep knowledge of the goings-on of Hollywood’s golden years is on display in her young-adult novel series, Starstruck, which follows three young starlets — Margo, Amanda, and Gabby — as they try to make it in the pictures. Based heavily on the lives of real Hollywood stars, the books are like Valley of the Dolls for a new generation, set in an era when fierce talent and playing the part were vital to survival on and off camera. Love Me, the second book in the series, comes out today, and to celebrate I asked Shukert to talk with me about some of her favorite tales of classic Hollywood scandal, heartbreak, and desperation. Here are the stories she told. … Read More