This week, we were surprised by the news that George Orwell’s Indian birthplace will be developed into a memorial. Why should that be so surprising, you ask? Well, because it’s not being turned into a memorial for George Orwell, but for the entirely deserving but somewhat more random Mahatma Gandhi. Though many authors’ birthplaces have been turned into museums or monuments to their lives, several have met with rather more questionable (and sometimes downright upsetting) fates. We investigate after the jump. … Read More
Game of Thrones is back this week, and we’re celebrating its return by raising our pitchers of mead and embarking on a week-long feast of all things fantastic (which we mean, of course, in the traditional/geeky sense of “related to the fantasy genre”). Of course, it wouldn’t be a proper party without some music for the bards to play, so we’re commencing the week with a bumper selection of songs and albums inspired by classic fantasy stories. Join us as we put on our robe and wizard hat and set out on an epic quest to create the ultimate sword-and-sorcery playlist!
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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
Yesterday, we spotted the cover for Scribner’s upcoming republication of The Great Gatsby, in concert with the film adaptation’s May release. The Great Gatsby is one of those books with a cover so iconic that any change to it offends our delicate sensibilities, but even with that self-awareness, the image got us thinking about other movie (and TV) tie-in editions of books, and how truly awful — not to mention unfaithful to the original text — they can be. That said, there’s no denying that movie tie-in editions sell books, so we guess there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. We just wish there were another way. … Read More
You’ve heard it before, but we’ll say it again: it’s a shame people don’t write letters anymore. Especially writers, whose missives are often so beautifully composed and simply inspiring that we hoard them in volume upon volume. We’ve already put together a collection of authors’ letters to their young fans, but this week, we spotted this wonderful letter from Sherwood Anderson to his son over at Brain Pickings, and we were inspired to dig a little further into the letters writers send their own children. After the jump, read loving, advice-filled, gentle parental love letters from some of our favorite authors to some of their favorite people — their kids. … Read More