Tuesday, March 09, 2004


This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of Lillian Roth's memoir I'LL CRY TOMORROW, which was groundbreaking for its time in its examination of Roth's battle with alcoholism and her tortured life. I think I actually read bits of this book as a kid--I was certainly aware of its existence, at the very least. Roth was certainly an interesting figure, and she did manage to overcome her demons, starring on Broadway in several shows and working right up until her death in 1980.

James Todd Booker has been on death row since 1977, when he was convicted of sexual assault and murder of a 94 year old woman. But in the meantime, he's written poetry that's become acclaimed in various circles and published in many different poetry journals. So, how to judge, if one really can? The New York Times examines the possible dichotomy between an artist's work and his violent past.

Peter Marks at the Washington Post remembers Spalding Gray's work and life, and tries to get past the sad way of his death.

Chris Lehmann applauds Tom Perrotta's ginger steps into more mature subject matters with his newest book, LITTLE CHILDREN, about the boredom and ennui that leads suburban parents to embark on things they might not have otherwise attempted.

Boris Starling, whose first novel, MESSIAH, was turned into a somewhat graphic BBC miniseries, is back with a new novel set in contemporary Russia. He speaks to the Newcastle Chronicle about researching it, and makes a surprising admission that he's never seen an autopsy or a dead body.

The Globe and Mail gets on the Cecelia Ahern press junket Bandwagon. She speaks to Rebecca Caldwell about whatever this "chick lit" is and the impetus for writing her bestseller P.S. I LOVE YOU (hey, wasn't that the name of a flop show starring Connie Sellecca? Whatever happened to her? Oh, wait, I better not digress.)

Salman Rushdie has been named the President of PEN, the International Writer's Assocation. He will serve a two-year term.

The Independent is quite impressed that Jay Griffiths' non-fiction work A SIDEWAYS LOOK AT TIME just won the B&N Discovery Award, which was handed out to several other Brit authors like Zoe Heller and Monica Ali.

Wow! E.L. Konigsburg, of MIXED UP FILES OF BASIL E. FRANKWEILER fame, is still writing, and her new book gets a nice review this morning in USA Today. When it comes to Konigsburg's work, MIXED-UP FILES was great but I have a special fondness for the long-out-of-print minor classic ABOUT THE B'NAI BAGELS, where a bunch of Jewish kids get together to play softball while one's frantically learning his Bar Mitzvah portion. Lots of fun, that one was.

And finally, what to make of Stevie Cameron? As a journalist, she was all over the Airbus affair, pointing fingers at Brian Mulroney and his cronies. But now it turns out that at the same time, she was an RCMP informant--for the same scandal she was reporting on. Conflict of interest? Sure looks that way to me. But Antonia Zerbasias of the Toronto Star finds the story's even more complicated than that.

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