Wednesday, January 14, 2004

News o' the morning 

To start off, looks like the movie version of the #1 Ladies Detective Agency is a go. Sydney Pollack is now scheduled to direct, and actresses like Oprah Winfrey, Queen Latifah, and Whoopi Goldberg have expressed interest in playing Precious Ramotswe. Nooooo! Get someone totally unHollywood, please!

The first draft of Jack Kerouac's ON THE ROAD is well, going on the road. The draft, which unspools as a 120-foot long scroll, will be touring across the country for the next few months.

The WH Smith book award shortlists have been announced: and JK Rowling's on the adult fiction one, along with Ian Rankin, Mark Haddon, Colum McCann, and James Herbert.

Everyone's been linking to the story of 19-year-old Helen Oyeyemi's book deal, but she does come across as a rather intelligent sort, although it'll be interesting to see how the book actually fares.

Salvador Dali's centenary is this year--and things have gotten off to a rather rocky start, as biographer Robert Descharnes claims that the Dali Foundation has cut him out of a rightful share of cash and royalties. This battle's been raging on for a decade, and shows no signs of stopping now.

Canadian author Jonathan Bennett is interviewed at January Magazine.

Achmat Dangor's new novel deals with some brutal subjects: rape, unwanted pregnancy, family tragedy and murder. It's based on the story of his grandfather, but is also a metaphor for the ugliness of what has happened in South Africa not so long ago.

The entire staff at OneWord radio, a station devoted to book happenings, readings and discussion, has been let go (or "made redundant," as the Brits say.)

In book reviews, Leslie Marshall's debut A GIRL COULD STAND UP is approved by the Independent. Peter Biskind's take on the Independent film industry (and Harvey Weinstein, too) is enthusiastically favored by the NYT. The Evening Standard calls Audrey Nifenegger's debut "The Next Lovely Bones." The Philly Inquirer finds the new biography of Patricia Highsmith to be, perhaps, too detailed for its liking.

And finally, to all those obsessives who adore the Lord of the Rings: go find something else to do. Although for some, it'll be LOTR-related anyway.

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