Though Tom Wolfe’s last novel, 2004′s I Am Charlotte Simmons, fell flat for many readers and reviewers — Michiko Kakutani called it “disappointingly empty” — some critics are heralding his new effort, Back to Blood, which hit bookstores this week, as his comeback book. Only time will tell, of course, but the idea got us thinking about a few other important books that have pulled some of our favorite authors back from the brink of oblivion (or worse, bad reviews). After the jump, read about the many ways authors have dusted off and recharged their careers with a well-placed tome, and as always, add any we’ve missed in the comments. … Read More
Karl Taro Greenfeld’s Triburbia was one of our favorite novels of this summer — but is novel even the most precise word? In truth, the book is collection of linked short stories revolving around a neighborhood, a master patchwork that has both the feel of a solid, complete novel and the flexibility of a collection. We asked Greenfeld to tell us about some of his other favorite collections of linked stories that either feel like novels or are billed as such, he obliged.
Greenfeld tells us: “Before I wrote Triburbia, my novel-in-stories set in the Tribeca neighborhood of Manhattan, I had always read and enjoyed linked collections of stories. At their best, they reminded me of the Disney short film “Nature’s Half Acre,” in which a tiny meadow is observed by time-lapse camera and micro-photography over the course of four seasons and we get to see all these changes, particularly among the plants and insects, that the naked eye would never normally detect. (When a mouse or a rabbit shows up in that film, it’s a big fucking deal.) That was my goal when I was writing Triburbia — I wanted to illuminate this one little ecosystem — and I often looked to and thought about these collections of linked stories as I wrote Triburbia.” Click through to check out his picks, and if he didn’t select your favorite, be sure to add to his list in the comments. … Read More
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
Hollywood has always looked to literature for inspiration and adaptation fodder, but these days, it seems more likely than not that any given new film will be based on a book (or be a sequel or a superhero movie, but let’s set that aside). Not that that’s a bad thing — we’re looking forward to Cloud Atlas, On the Road, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower as much as the next guy. Still, we’re baffled at some of the books that, for whatever reason, haven’t yet been snapped up by the Hollywood machine. After the jump, we’ve put together a list of novels that we’d love to see hit the big screen — click through to check out our picks and add your own wish list in the comments! … Read More
Today marks the release of Rosecrans Baldwin’s sophomore effort Paris, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down, a memoir about moving to his favorite city in the world. As might be expected, the City of Light itself plays as much of a role as any other character Baldwin encounters — we’d almost consider it to be a book with two main characters: Baldwin and Paris. We’re always interested in the ways real cities blend into fiction and take on lives of their own, so we came up with a list of a few other books starring metropolises around the world. Click through to check out ten books in which the cities characters inhabit become characters in themselves, and let us know if we missed any of your favorites in the comments. … Read More
1. Robert De Niro and Richard Price have sold a crime drama to CBS called Rookies that’s about “a team of six freshman cops who are sent into high-crime trouble spots.” They will also executive produce the series. [via THR]
2. Indie filmmaker Whit Stillman is busy at work shooting his first… Read More
Richard Price’s recent self-outing as Jay Morris, the unknown author behind a forthcoming series of detective thrillers, is a reminder that aliases can sometimes be more about artistic autonomy than anonymity. But if public pen names are used with the same self-mocking playfulness as Halloween attire, then Fernando Pessoa’s rolodex of “heteronyms” can be better understood as a costume closet for a sold out Broadway extravaganza. … Read More
Is glass the new plastic? Or, perhaps better phrased: Is the ancient, magical medium of glassworks challenging artists anew? Two European exhibitions suggest that glass is back big-time and, while still in touch with tradition, reflecting contemporary concepts of art-making.
Glas(s), Gerrit Rietveld Academy Amsterdam 1969-2009 is being held at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag in the Netherlands, and Glasstress, which features an international group of artists from the past 80 years, is on view at the Istituto Veneto di Scienze Lettere ed Arti at the Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti in Venice, Italy. Taken together, these two shows represent an amazing overview of some of the best modern and contemporary artists manipulating the medium. … Read More