Book Bits: Shirley MacLaine, More Jane Austen, ‘The Golden Calf,’ and ‘The Ecopoetry Anthology’
Well, here we go again, poor Jane Austen. Now the servants get to tell their story in Longbourn (item 2). Carolyn Kellogg (item 4) says “Make It Stop.” As long as writers who can’t come up with their own characters are making money digging up Jane, I’m think of coming out with another untold story in a book tentatively titled “Prude and Prejudice” in which a major character that Jane told me about in a seance tries to have Northanger Abbey banned in Bath because Catherine Morland gets novels mixed up with real life.
Here are today’s links:
- News: Shirley MacLaine’s Only Daughter, Sachi Parker, Pens a Shocking New Tell-All – “In her memoir ‘Lucky Me,’ excerpted below, she shares her painful story (a story her mother, in a statement to PEOPLE, calls ‘virtually all fiction. I’m sorry to see such a dishonest, opportunistic effort from my daughter’).” People Magazine
- News: New book gives servants’ perspective in “Pride and Prejudice” – “A British writer has written a book based on Jane Austen’s classic novel “Pride and Prejudice” but told from the servants’ point of view, its U.S. publisher said on Thursday. In “Longbourn,’ which will be released later this year in the United States, writer Jo Baker focuses on a romance between the main characters, a newly arrived footman and a housemaid on the Bennet family estate.” Reuters
- Translations: “The Golden Calf,” by Helene Tursten; translated by Laura A. Wideburg – “Most readers outside of Scandinavia probably didn’t encounter the character of Swedish cop Irene Huss until 2003, when Helene Tursten’s first novel in the series, Detective Inspector Huss (originally Den krossade tanghästen), was published in an English translation. Since that time, four other Huss police procedurals have been rendered into English, with another half dozen still awaiting that treatment.” Pierce’s Picks on The Rap Sheet
- Commentary: Make it stop: Jane Austen via ‘Downton Abbey’ in new book, by Carolyn Kellogg – “So perhaps it was inevitable that we should be treated to a book that tells ” ‘Pride and Prejudice’ from the servants’ perspective.” Maybe the real question is, Why did it take so long?” The Los Angeles Times
- New Title: “The Ecopoetry Anthology,” Ann Fisher-Wirth and Laura Gray-Street, editors, with an introduction by Robert Hass (Trinity University Press, February 2013) – “The poets collected here, of wide-ranging talents, backgrounds, and beliefs, speak in many voices to reinforce the most critical story of our time: that we must love and care for the planet and appreciate the integrated biological beauty that sustains us, or lose the only world we’ve got.” Trinity University Press
- How To: Fiction: Location, Location, Location, by Malcolm R. Campbell – “Location can make or break a novel. Picture this: The Night Circus set in the day time or, worse yet, Dubuque.” Malcolm’s Round Table
- Contest: Indiana Review Poetry Prize, deadline April 1, 2013, prize $1,000 plus publication, entry fee $20, three poems per entry up to eight pages.
- Quotation: “‘Downton Abbey’ has spread through the culture like well-attired kudzu. There are Downton books, Downton-esque fashions, and heaps of Downton-era stories of the upper-class and lower-class living in close proximity in the grand houses of England.” – Carolyn Kellogg in ” Make it Stop.”
- Interview: Pam Jenoff (“The Ambassador’s Daughter”) – “The post-World War I era is such an exciting period — the whole world was being reborn, new nations and identities, new roles and possibilities for women. The fledgling interest in the period following the First World War can be seen in everything from the popularity of recent novels such as THE PARIS WIFE to the phenomenal success of “Downton Abbey.”” Book Reporter
- Lists: 15 Names and Descriptions of Effects, by Mark Nichol – “We’ve all heard about one behavioral or scientific effect or another, but perhaps we’re not sure we’re getting the name right, or even that we mean the one we think we do when we name it. Here are the labels of the most ubiquitous of effects and the thesis or the scientific principle underlying each one.” Daily Writing Tips
- Review: “The City of Devi,” by Manil Suri, reviewed by Sam sacks – “Manil Suri’s novel “The City of Devi” is the big, pyrotechnic finale to the trilogy he began with his best-selling debut, “The Death of Vishnu,” in 2001. The trilogy is thematic—the novels don’t share characters or story lines, but each one integrates aspects of one of Hinduism’s principal deities with tales of ordinary denizens of Mumbai.” The Wall Street Journal
- Feature: Depressing books could be just what the doctor ordered, by Martin Chilton – “Instead of ‘mood-boosting books’, imagine doctors handing out prescriptions for gloomy masterpieces by Samuel Beckett and Thomas Hardy. ” The Telegraph
- Contest: Diana Woods Memorial Award in Creative Nonfiction, reading period February and March 2013, prize $250 plus publication, no entry fee, essays of up to 5,000 words.
- Viewpoint: Anna Karenina: How Joe Wright Got Anna Right, and the Critics Got It Wrong, by By Andrew D. Kaufman – “I’ve read Anna Karenina countless times…it is particularly exciting for me when an adaptation comes along that allows me to see the novel in a fresh light and even stirs me to tears over moments I thought I knew by heart. That happened to me a number of times while watching Joe Wright’s 2012 adaptation of the work. Which is why I was disappointed when the movie was nominated for Oscars in what amounts to the consolation prize categories, the ones having to do more with the style than the substance of the film: Cinematography, music (original score), costume design, and production design.” The Millions
- Lists: 20 Words You Didn’t Know Were Inspired by People, by Emily Temple – “Recently, we’ve been thinking about the etymology of common words, particularly the ones that can be traced back to specific people in history, whether authors, scientists, or just wealthy estate agents who were, well, boycotted by the town around them.” Flavorwire
- Commentary: Boys: The trouble with female celebrity profiles and the men who write them, by Carly Lewis – Male writers “write jejunely about women, accentuating one isolated, exploitable trait (attractive, rebellious, sweet, rude, slutty, rich) for the sake of producing more easily understood subject matter. Until they learn (or at least try to learn) how to write about female subjects in a way that does not purposefully weave paternalistic generalizations into every paragraph, I propose a moratorium on this stagnant approach to literary writing. ” The Walrus
- Review: “Wise Men,” by Stuart Nadler, reviewed by Steve Novak – “In his first novel, ‘Wise Men,’ Iowa Writers Workshop graduate Stuart Nadler tells a story through the eyes of a son whose father has grown larger than life.” Minneapolis Star-Tribune
- How To: I Love You: A Subject-Object Valentine, by Mignon Forgarty – “Valentine’s Day is coming up, so I thought it would be a good time to say, “I love you.” Not only because I love you, but also because “I love you” is a handy little sentence for remembering the difference between a subject and an object.” Grammar Girl
- News: Macmillan settles with DOJ, leaving Apple last defendant standing in ebook pricing case, by Laura Hazard Owen – “Macmillan, the last remaining publisher holdout in the Department of Justice’s ebook pricing antitrust lawsuit against five publishers and Apple, has decided to settle about ten months after the lawsuit was originally filed.” PaidContent
“Book Bits” is compiled several times a week by Malcolm R. Campbell, author of the new fantasy adventure novel “The Seeker,” due out in March from Vanilla Heart Publishing.
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