Graeme Whiting, headmaster of the Acorn School (motto: “Have courage for the truth”) of Nailsworth, Great Britain, recently published a blog post condemning “sensational” fantasy novels such as the Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Hunger Games series that feature “dark,” “insensitive,” and “addictive” subjects....more
Posts Tagged: la times
BBC One and Netflix are joining forces to produce a four-part miniseries of Watership Down. The new series intends to give the female rabbits a more prevalent role:
On the bright side, Aitken did announce the miniseries’ intent to strengthen the roles of the female rabbits, an element of Adams’ original novel that often garners criticism.
At the LA Times, Claire Vaye Watkins recounts her realization that she has been writing to appeal to the white male literary establishment:
I am trying to write something urgent, trying to be vulnerable and honest, trying to listen, trying to identify and articulate my innermost feelings, trying to make you feel them too, trying a kind of telepathy.
And now I look back and think I’m so glad that I was brave enough to break my own heart—and I wish that I had been braver sooner because maybe I would have broken his a little less.
In a short interview with the Los Angeles Times, Junot Diaz discusses how he chooses what works to read at events, some books he’s reading now and loving, and America’s uncanny ability to erase racial struggle from its collective mind:
I think that we’re in another moment where historically, periodically issues of race and the kind of panorama in which we live becomes more clear and comes into focus.
The stories we tell ourselves and others give our lives meaning and allow us to connect with those closest to us. These stories can also mislead, disappoint, and hold us back from being our true selves, selves that belie legible narratives.
Chipotle’s Cultivating Thought campaign, which has put essays from the likes of George Saunders and Aziz Ansari on takeout bags and soda cups, will expand next year to include a contest for young writers. Students can submit an essay on “a time when food created a memory” through the end of May....more
I was trained in basic cocktails by the time I was 6.
In two new books, Mariel Hemingway shares her experiences of growing up in a family plagued by mental illness and addiction and how she was able to overcome it....more
To celebrate the 60th anniversary of Allen Ginsberg’s Howl, a veritable smorgasbord of celebrities came together at the Ace Hotel in Los Angeles to put on a variety show for the ages. Hal Willner, a longtime musical producer for SNL, brought together performers from Lucinda Williams to Courtney Love and Amy Poehler to Tim Robbins, who played to a packed house....more
New Jersey is about to get Poststructural, thanks to Princeton’s recent acquisition of Jacques Derrida’s library. The collection contains nearly 14,000 books, many of which bear marginalia from the celebrated critic and philosopher. The collection will be available to scholars at Princeton’s Firestone Library....more
The long-awaited release of The Autobiography of Malcolm X in ebook format is on track for May of this year, to commemorate what would have been the activist’s 90th birthday. The print edition has been available from Ballantine, an imprint of Penguin Random House, for some time; the author’s estate is spearheading the digital publication in keeping with his principles, according to attorney L....more
Has the US turned into a satire of itself? Consider how quickly Congress has gone from championing Freedom Fries to chastising President Obama’s absence from the Paris peace march. Over at the LA Times, David L. Ulin looks at why Americans are choosing irony over satire:
Is it coincidence, then, that the rise of postmodernism in the 1970s overlaps almost exactly the decline of satire?
Parents in one of the wealthiest towns in Texas are lobbying to get Ayn Rand into schools, and in a classic case of life imitating art (or art being chosen to reflect and enact a desired worldview, perhaps) they intend to do so at the expense of ‘The Working Poor,” a contemporary anthropological study by David K....more
McDonald’s Happy Meals are about to get a little more literary, with the addition of children’s books. The LA Times reports that a deal with HarperCollins will put versions of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Big Nate: In a Class by Himself, Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses, and other titles into the popular children’s meals through February....more
Readers who visit Paris or London in the hopes of paying their respects to departed authors can do so in one fell swoop, with graves concentrated in a single, central location; visitors to LA, however, will have to do some schlepping....more
In Leawood, KS, a 9-year-old was forced to remove the Little Free Library he built in his family’s front yard because it’s considered an “illegal detached structure.” After he takes the issue to the city council next month, he may be allowed to return the library to its original location, but in the meantime he has rebuilt the library in the garage....more
Spoken word poet Maggie Estep has passed away. The Los Angeles Times has a wonderful write up of her life and career and how she shaped a whole movement.
“In her early work, Estep was a downtown New Yorker who talked tough, joked and was drawlingly sardonic while being sexually explicit.
In November, we posted a link to a story about To Kill a Mockingbird’s Harper Lee suing her hometown museum.
But it turns out the aging author has an even bigger fish to fry in the courtroom: her literary agent who “duped” her into signing over the copyright to her Pulitzer Prize–winning novel....more
The LA Times reported this week that sixteen-year-old Malala Yousafzai’s memoir I Am Malala, has been banned from over 40,000 schools in her native country of Pakistan.
The book (co-written with British journalist Christina Lamb) describes Malala’s transformation into a vocal advocate for girl’s education rights while living under Taliban rule and the attempt by a member of the that organization to assassinate her....more
Over at the L.A. Times, David Ulin argues that the art of the contemporary essay is “in a renaissance.”
He praises the recent essay collections of Tom Bissell and Mark Dery, adding them to the ranks of books like Jonathan Lethem’s The Ecstasy of Influence, Geoff Dyer’s Otherwise Known as the Human Condition, Dubravka Ugresic’s Karaoke Culture, Jonathan Franzen’s Farther Away, and John Jeremiah Sullivan’s Pulphead, all of which walk “an exhilarating tightrope between the personal and the critical, their most fundamental inquiries those the authors make about themselves.”...more