Hilary Mantel

‘Wolf Hall’ Brings Machiavellian Flair and Masterclass Acting to PBS

Nearly everyone agrees that the BBC’s adaptation of Wolf Hall, which will debut this Sunday on PBS Masterpiece, is, well, a masterpiece — or nearly so. The consensus is that the sets are decorous and true to the Tudor period; the costuming expertly done; the actors solid all the way around, with the exception of Mark Rylance, who plays a Cromwell for the ages; and the dialogue both witty and utilitarian. The only hitch, critics will complain, is that TV version of Wolf Hall — which brings together Hilary Mantel’s historical novels Wolf Hall and Bringing Up the Bodies — is dark and ploddingly slow. … Read More

  • 0

10 Fictional Assassinations of Real People

Honestly, I have no idea why two fictional assassinations of real people are causing controversy at the same time. First it was author Hilary Mantel’s short story “The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher” (see below). Next, as you probably know, The Interview — about the fictional assassination of Kim Jong-un — drew the ire of some hackers somewhere, and the result has been a maelstrom of insanity and AutoCorrect the likes of which Hollywood has never seen. … Read More

  • 0

25 Must-Read Books For the Fall

Fall! It’s a time for picking apples, wearing plaid, watching the leaves change color, and catching up on the season’s most beguiling new book releases. Fall is when the big houses bring out the big names, from Lena Dunham’s hotly anticipated book of essays, Not That Kind of Girl, to new work from future predictors Stephen Johnson and Nicholas Carr, to stories from reliable geniuses like Marilynne Robinson and Denis Johnson. We pared down a list of a million fascinating looking books (Good luck, Christian Rudder’s Dataclysm. Better list next time, Christos Tsiolkas’s well received Barracuda. I see you, Charles Burns’ Sugar Skull) to a workable group of 25 of the fall season’s must-reads. Add them to your list, and dominate cocktail parties all season long. … Read More

  • 0

Why I Only Read Books by Women in 2013

In December 2012, I read Joanna Russ’ How to Suppress Women’s Writing. In the book, Russ identifies the arguments that many people make to discredit female writers — “she only wrote one book,” “this isn’t a serious/important enough topic,” “she wrote it under a pseudonym because she wanted people to think she was a man,” and so on — and coolly dismantles them, one by one.

I’m already what I’d call a card-carrying feminist. Even before reading Russ’ book, I made an effort to seek out and support up-and-coming female writers, who generally get less publicity and support than their male counterparts. But after reading Russ’ book I realized that there was still much more I could do to advocate for female writers. I flashed to the famous Tallulah Bankhead quote about how best to support the theater: “Don’t be an actress, darling, be an audience.” … Read More

  • 0

50 Books That Define the Past Five Years in Literature

Five years ago this month saw the publication of Roberto Bolaño’s 2666 in English. The book topped almost every year-end list and signaled a shift in literary tastes, creating larger audiences for works in translation, historical storylines, and narrative complexity. Between the uncertain future of the publishing industry, the rise of indie presses, new literary magazines, and the Internet and ereaders, the years that followed were bittersweet for the book industry but also a unique and fruitful time for readers. The following 50 books provide several clues as to why that is, and also give a glimpse into the future of… Read More

  • 0

50 of the Best Books You Haven’t Read by Authors You Already Love

Looking for something to read but don’t want to stray too far from the authors you know and love? Seeking undiscovered literary gems to talk about at dinner parties? Want to delve into the backlist of a certain Great American Author? Well, Flavorwire has got you covered. After all, sometimes, amazing books just get lost in the shuffle, whether it’s because they’re before their time, fall out of fashion, or their author has one blockbuster that blots out all the rest. Click through to check out 50 great under-appreciated, under-read, and overshadowed novels by 50 of your favorite… Read More

  • 1

From ‘1984’ to ‘Atlas Shrugged': When the News Boosts Book Sales

It’s notoriously difficult to predict whether a book will succeed. The ingredients that go into a bestseller are hazy at best, and everything from celebrity endorsements to a great cover design to sheer luck can have grand (or disappointingly little) influence. And of course, whenever a film adaptation of a book hits theaters, sales of the original text tend to get a little bump. But what about current events? Sales of George Orwell’s 1984 have skyrocketed following the NSA data collection scandal — despite Obama’s protests that this is not a Big Brother situation (or perhaps in part because he made that reference). Intrigued, Flavorwire hunted down a few more instances when news affected sales of a book. … Read More

  • 0

10 Best-Selling Novels and the Directors Who Should Adapt Them

Yesterday, we heard that David Fincher, director of Fight Club and The Social Network (among numerous other things), is considering signing on to direct the adaptation of Gone Girl, the thriller that took this year’s book world by storm. Fincher is great and all (and, as Deadline so awkwardly points out, “has handled female-themed Panic Room with Jodie Foster”), but we don’t think he’s the best man for the job. After the jump, we’ve taken a look at ten contemporary bestsellers, including Gone Girl, and picked the directors that we think would be the best at adapting them (even if, er, film versions have already been made). Click through to see our choices, and feel free to argue us down in the comments. … Read More

  • 3

Last-Minute Literary Gifts For Every Member of the Family

Was it just us, or did the holidays totally sneak up on everyone this year? If you’re headed to a family gathering this weekend and scrambling for last-minute gifts for your relatives, don’t forget that you pretty much can’t go wrong with a good book. It’s all a matter of picking the right book for the right relative. Sound hard? Well not to worry, dearest procrastinators, we’ve got you covered. After the jump, read through our suggestions (and our second choices) for books for every member of your family. Let us know what you ended up choosing in the comments! … Read More

  • 0

The Books That Made the Most ‘Best Of 2012′ Book Lists

December means a lot of things. Our normally latent shopping gene starts itching like crazy, mint-flavored coffee starts sounding like a good idea, and every single media outlet (ourselves included) puts up their “best of” everything lists. Well, ’tis the season. In an effort to distill all those year’s end book round-ups — and let’s face it, be a little meta — we looked at 16 lists from 14 media organizations and counted up the books that tickled the most critics this year. Turns out, they had quite a few differing opinions — on those 16 lists alone, we noted more than 150 unique titles — but also agreed across the board on a few knock-outs. After the jump, feast your eyes on the most popular books of the 2012 best book list season — and let us know if you agree with consensus or think the world’s gone mad in the comments. … Read More

  • 2