Malcolm X

13 Famous Authors’ Mugshots

We tend to think of writers as shy, retiring types, who don’t get into any trouble and definitely don’t get arrested for disorderly conduct or treason. But of course, the literary world has had its fair share of wild and dangerous persons, some of whom are as notorious as criminals (whether rightly or falsely accused) as they are as writers. After the jump, check out 13 mugshots from famous authors’ adventures in police custody — not for use on the backs of book covers. … Read More

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An Essential Nonfiction Reading List for High School and Beyond

Recently, we took in a fascinating article entitled “What Should Children Read?” over at the Times‘ Opinionator. In it, Sara Mosle briefly outlines elements of the new Common Core State Standards, contentious national curriculum guidelines which will begin to be implemented in public schools in 2014, and takes a look at some of the arguments over the new standards, suggesting that part of the problem is that high school English curriculums are often lacking in good narrative nonfiction that appeals to teenagers. Inspired by this question of what high school kids should be reading, we’ve put together an essential reading list of narrative nonfiction and memoir, from the canonic to the contemporary, that we think would benefit anyone under (and let’s face it, over) the age of 18. Click through to see our picks, and since every high schooler, past or present, should read way more than ten nonfiction books in their lives, be sure to add your own favorites to our list in the comments. … Read More

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12 of the Most Memorable On-Screen Impersonations

Last week, we took a look at a few of Hollywood’s stranger casting decisions for previous (and upcoming) biographical films. But with the Oscar-winning Iron Lady out today on DVD and Blu-ray, we thought we might also take a look at some of the more successful actor/biographical subject match-ups—with a particular eye on those that most convincingly embodied the figures they were playing.

Playing a well-known and well-documented actor, musician, or public figure can’t be easy, even for the best of actors — they not only have to assemble a serviceable performance in the conventional sense, but must also work up a convincing impersonation. They’re playing people that we’re used to seeing, whose look and speech have become familiar and distinctive, and must thus be replicated. The great performances in biographical movies must also then transcend the mere imitation, and create a compelling character beyond that. After the jump, we’ve assembled a dozen of the actors who memorably got into someone else’s skin; add your own in the comments. … Read More

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10 Fascinating Interviews with Legendary Journalist Mike Wallace

Just five months ago, the journalistic community lost 60 Minutes media personality Andy Rooney, and sadly Mike Wallace now joins him. The esteemed CBC reporter had an impressive career that spanned over sixty years, comprised of fascinating interviews with notable headliners. He spent decades asking tough questions, brazenly steering his interviews directly to the heart of the matter and getting answers audiences were dying to know. To share screen time with the legendary journalist could either signify your career’s high points, or it’s absolute lows. We’ve taken a look back at some of Wallace’s most memorable chats with famous faces. Whether on 60 Minutes, or one of the media giant’s earlier programs like The Mike Wallace Interview, these intriguing one-on-ones recall another era of journalism — with figures many of us would grapple at the chance to talk to — and Wallace was one of the best. Hit the jump to find out what the intrepid reporter asked of Malcolm X, Salvador Dalí, Ayn Rand, and others. … Read More

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In Black and White: 10 Famed Literary Jailbirds

The internet has been hopping this past week with the news that Lil’ Wayne is set to release Gone Till November, a memoir based on the journals he kept during his eight month stint at Rikers Island, this fall. Weezy’s transformation to memoirist got us to thinking about other famous literary jailbirds — whether they wrote in jail, wrote after coming out of jail, or were imprisoned for their writing. As you might imagine, going to prison seems to be almost a rite of passage for a canonical author — at least it used to be — so it looks like Weezy is heading down the right path. Click through to read our list of ten famed literary jailbirds, and let us know if we missed any of your favorite authors-behind-bars in the comments. … Read More

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The 2011 National Book Award Finalists Announced

This year, a whopping 1,223 books were submitted for the 62nd National Book Awards. Just this morning, the twenty finalists were announced in front of a live audience on Oregon Public Broadcasting’s morning radio program, Think Out Loud. At the start of the program, when asked what separated the National Book Award from other literary prizes, National Book Foundation executive director Harold Augenbraum noted that the finalists and winners are chosen only by “practitioners in the genre,” something relatively unusual among American book awards. 2001 Young People’s Literature winner Virginia Euwer Wolff commented, “It’s comforting to know we are being judged by people who do what we do.” 

Each NBA Finalist will receive a medal and a prize of $1,000. The four winners, one each in the categories of Young People’s Literature, Poetry, Nonfiction and Fiction, who will be announced next month, will receive a $10,000 prize. Click through to see the 2011 National Book Award nominations and let us know your predictions for the winners in the comments! … Read More

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Morbidly Attractive Invitations to Famous Assassinations

Page through the Flavorwire archives and a few things will quickly become clear: that we love Patti Smith, that we have a fascination with photos of abandoned spaces, and that stylish, pop-culture-oriented graphic design abounds on the Internet. But with all the great posters and prints out there, it’s rare to see a designer do something truly unexpected, which is why we’ve spent much of the morning analyzing our own reaction to Evan Stremke’s Invitation to an Assassination series. Combining evocative minimalist images and famous quotes to create actual invitations to historic assassinations, Stremke raises the uncomfortable question of whether it’s possible to find beauty and fun in humanity’s darker moments. His invitations to the death of such beloved figures as John Lennon, Harvey Milk, and Martin Luther King Jr. may be pleasing to the eye — but it’s difficult to actually enjoy them. See what we mean — and share our ambivalence — after the jump. … Read More

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Typewriters and Mug Shots: The Top 10 Literary Outlaws

It’s hard being a member of the creative class sometimes. Writers throughout history have been known to run afoul of the law, with charges ranging from disorderly conduct to murder. With the advent of the mug shot in the late 1800s, a latent image emerged of these various offenses, realized through this new, curious medium. In On Photography, Susan Sontag wrote, “The camera has the power to catch so-called normal people in such a way as to make them look abnormal.” But what if you’re unusual to begin with — what does the camera capture then? The following is a list of the top 10 authors to have walked the line. … Read More

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