Gore Vidal

When Celebrities Sue Celebrities: A History

The news that Donald Trump is dropping — for now, anyway! — his monumentally stupid (even for him) lawsuit against Bill Maher may be good for the humorless blowhard and reality TV star, but it’s disappointing for late-night comedy writers and celeb jurisprudence fans. C’mon, admit it: that would’ve been a fun trial, if for nothing else than Maher’s testimony. At any rate, while we’re waiting to see if Trump holds true on his threat to return to the matter at a later date, here’s a look back at other instances of celebrities — real and C-list — who’ve taken each other to court. … Read More

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Tournament of Books Organizers Pick the Winners of 12 Classic Literary Beefs

Today is the first day of The Morning News‘s epic annual Tournament of Books, an excellent and wordy alternative (or supplement) to March Madness for all us literary types. To celebrate, we asked the ToB’s organizers — the venerable Rosecrans Baldwin, Kevin Guilfoile, John Warner, and Andrew Womack — to act as judges for a few imaginary literary match-ups. Because who doesn’t want to imagine the results of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky throwing down? After the jump, find out who would win in a fight — Mailer or Vidal, Hemingway or Faulkner, Dorothy Parker or anybody, and more. Don’t agree? Argue your literary hearts out in the comments, and then be sure to get in on the real-life highbrow smackdown here. … Read More

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The 10 Grumpiest Authors in Literary History

The new issue of The Believer features an interview with the late Maurice Sendak. Inspired by his “legendary crossness,” we’ve rounded up a list of the grumpiest authors of all… Read More

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10 Literary Authors Who Have Written for TV

This week, were excited (and somewhat skeptical) about the news that Bret Easton Ellis, author of teenage-ennui classic Less Than Zero and bourgeois-ennui classic American Psycho, is working on writing a new drama series for the CW about monstrous high schoolers entitled Copeland High. Though television is often considered the junk food to the nourishing meal of literature, Ellis’s project reminded us very fondly of the authors who have turned their literary chops to writing for television — whether for good or for ill. Click through to read our brief survey of novelists who have written for TV (and usually improved it in the process), and let us know if we’ve missed your favorite multi-faceted writer in the comments. … Read More

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10 of the Funniest American Essayists of Our Time

Like many of you, this week we were saddened to hear of the death of phenomenal and darkly comic essayist David Rakoff, who had been battling cancer for many years. To celebrate his life and the great literature he left us with, we’ve put together a list of some of the funniest modern essayists, who like Rakoff, are following in the giant footsteps of Mark Twain, Dorothy Parker and James Thurber as America’s great humorists. We’ve tried to limit ourselves to purely contemporary writers, but since we’ve lost several hilarious and essential voices all too recently, we’ve cheated just a bit. Read through our list after the jump, and since these are only our personal preferences plucked from a very long list, be sure to add your own favorites in the comments. … Read More

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20 Famous Bow Tie Lovers

We didn’t think it was possible to like Bill Nye the Science Guy more than we already did. After watching a video featuring the educator and Nerdist’s Chris Hardwick getting a lesson in the art of the bow tie, however, we can wholeheartedly profess our eternal love for all things Nye and necktie. The Disney/PBS children’s show host — a frequent wearer of bow ties — advises Hardwick to “dress the knot, snuggify, pull it tightical, and pay attentiontivity to the bow tieical” in order to properly sport the iconic accessory.

The bow tie has a long history of living around the necks of individuals who weren’t afraid to buck trends and make a statement. Donning a bow tie is a polite defiance by a dapper rebel. We’ve rounded up a list of famous, enthusiastic wearers below who deserve a round of applause. Chime in with your favorites below. … Read More

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The Quotable Gore Vidal: 20 of His Best Zingers

Gore Vidal was one of the 20th century’s most prolific writers. He was also a household name, thanks to very public feuds with the likes of Norman Mailer (who he compared to Charles Manson), Truman Capote (who he famously said “made lying an artform — a minor artform”), and William Buckley (who he referred to as a “crypto-Nazi”), as well as priceless appearances on TV shows like Da Ali G Show, The Simpsons and Family Guy. Vidal was a passionate man of letters armed with strong opinions (opinions, to be clear, that we didn’t always agree with), as well as the ability to clearly put forth his ideas in countless essays that were both funny and illuminating. After the jump, we’ve rounded up some of the literary lion’s wittiest quotes on topics ranging from sex and wealth to Andy Warhol’s IQ and the Founding Fathers. Feel free to keep our list going in the comments! … Read More

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The Morning’s Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

1. Famed writer Gore Vidal — whose prolific output included some 25 novels, two memoirs, and several books of essays, as well as plays and TV screenplays — has died at the age of 86. “Mr. Vidal was, at the end of his life, an Augustan figure who believed himself to be the last of… Read More

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15 Famous Authors’ Beautiful Estates

“Decidedly, I’m a better landscape gardener than a novelist,” Edith Wharton once declared. Indeed, Wharton, whose birthday we celebrate today, was as much a designer and tastemaker during her life as she was a writer. In fact, her first published book, The Decoration of Houses, was a design manual, and so many of her novels glow with beautiful descriptions of design, atmosphere, and costume that could only have come from a knowledgeable hand.

Wharton built her estate, The Mount, in 1902, and if you ask us, its rolling green gardens certainly do her claim justice. So, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of her birth, we’ve collected fifteen gorgeous authors’ homes and estates — though none, perhaps, are as gorgeous as hers. Click through to check out our list, and let us know if we’ve missed any of your own favorite writers’ homes in the comments. … Read More

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Readers' Choice: 20 More Author-On-Author Insults

We hoped that when we listed our picks for the harshest author-on-author insults in history, you readers would have some of your own favorite barbs and witticisms to suggest. And goodness, you didn’t disappoint! Accordingly, and so as to continue the guilty pleasure of literary insult-mania, we’ve compiled a follow-up list of some of the best suggestions from the group. Note: many of you yearned for Harlan Ellison, but though he certainly has many deliciously to-the-point quotes to his name, we couldn’t seem to think of a choice example where he was directly insulting another author, so any Ellison fans out there with a direct quote, be sure to let us know. Click through for twenty more choice author-on-author insults, as beloved and nominated by our readers! … Read More

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