We share five of our favourite links to news, reviews or articles that we’ve discovered over the past week.
Fans of Game of Thrones, the series based on George R.R. Martin’s novels, shouldn’t miss eyeballing the medieval feast staged to celebrate the DVD release. But they might want to miss out on actually eating it. Complete with bloodied pigs’ heads, ‘eyeballs’ and ‘dragon’s eggs’ drizzled with liquid gold, it’s a feast for the eyes, but not one that will necessarily work up an appetite.
Rachel Cusk’s latest memoir, Aftermath, about her separation from her husband of ten years, includes lines like, ‘My husband said he wanted half of everything, including the children. No, I said … They’re my children … They belong to me.’ Cusk caused a scandal – and spawned the ‘mummy memoir’ genre – with her brutally self-analytical memoir of early motherhood, A Life’s Work, in 2001. She sharply divided critics, who either loved or hated her for laying bare the dark side of motherhood. The Guardian says of Aftermath (April): ‘She has again mined her life and told of her experience of being a woman, in a Read the extract and make up your own mind.
Stephen Colbert is making bookish news this week, after a gag during a two-part interview with Maurice Sendak (which he began by saying ‘I don’t like children or books or children’s books’) has turned into a book deal. After pitching an idea for a sequel, While the Wild Things Are: Still Wildin’ (starring Vin Diesel), Colbert joked he was writing a picture-book-in-verse, I Am a Pole (and So Can You!) and read a preview aloud. Sendak, who told Colbert that most children’s books are ‘very bad’, admitted, ‘The sad thing is, I like it.’ So did Grand Central Publishing, who has signed him up, with a publication date of 8 May 2012. ‘It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to write a children’s book,’ said Colbert. ‘I hope the minutes you and your loved ones spend reading it are as fulfilling as the minutes I spent writing it.’
Wondering what to read this year? Readings’ Martin Shaw has asked a handful of Australian writers to share the books they’re most looking forward to in 2012 for a series of posts for Kill Your Darlings. Nam Le is looking forward to new books from Chloe Hooper, Hilary Mantel and Richard Ford – and the second novel from Rachel Kushner. And there were multiple mentions of Texts in the City host Ruby Murray’s first novel, Running Dogs (Scribe, May) and Paddy O’Reilly’s Fine Colour of Rust (Harper Collins, March), which will be released simultaneously in Australia and the UK. Israeli comic short-story writer Etgar Keret, who will be appearing at the Wheeler Centre next month, also earned a nod for his new collection Suddenly a Knock at the Door, which got a rave review in last weekend’s Australian.
In the lead-up to this week’s Oscars, the Independent talked to five novelists about their books’ transitions from page to screen. Kaui Hurt Hemmings, author of The Descendants, said director Alexander Payne ‘met my whole family, and they all ended up being in the movie’. He said, ‘Almost every line of dialogue was right out of the book, every sequence, the music I’d mentioned, the clothes they wore, the places they went to.’ Lionel Shriver thinks Lynne Ramsay’s movie of We Need to Talk About Kevin is ‘rather wonderful’, though ‘the movie does lean towards Kevin being evil from birth, whereas that’s more up for grabs in the novel’. Fay Weldon, however, enjoyed the money for the rights to her book The Life and Loves of a She Devil, but says the movie (starring Roseanne Barr and Meryl Streep) ‘missed the point entirely’. She’d still do it again, though.
Award-winning author Nam Le took a slightly different approach to the ‘Voices From Elsewhere’ theme on our Gala Night. He regaled the audience with a self-reflexive take on how he had approached the task of how to respond to the theme. Confused? Watch the video and all will be explained.
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