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Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Tuesday morning QB 

Lucy Hawking's debut novel, JADED, is a frenetic crime novel with many action-packed sequences. But it pales in comparison to the drama of her real life as the daughter of Stephen Hawking. She speaks to the Telegraph about her difficult relationship with her father and the possibility he's a victim of Munchausen by Proxy syndrome.

The Sydney Writers' Festival has some serious star wattage: V.S. Naipaul, John Dean, DBC Pierre....and Salam Pax? Hmm, and here I thought he was a pseudonymous blogger who didn't want his true identity revealed (ed.: doesn't stop Charles Todd from going places. Oh yeah, good point.) Anyway, Pax will host a blogging workshop, which may or may not be interesting. And no word on whether a certain Ms. Du Jour will show up as well...

Seems like an odd place to find author interviews, but Bankrate.com has a fairly interesting one with Robert B. Parker, known to one and all as the creater of Spenser. Not surprisingly, the focus is primarily on how success has impacted Parker on a financial level, but there's some discussion on how the academic world viewed him after THE GODWULF MANUSCRIPT was published 30 years ago. Elmore Leonard was interviewed by the same website a couple of months ago, and it's a nice one as well.

Uh, oh. Looks like J.K. Rowling's neighbors aren't too thrilled with her idea to install 5 spy cameras in and around her house. The perils of being famous, but then again, neither Ian Rankin nor Alexander McCall Smith, who also live in the same neighborhood as Rowling (the Merchiston suburb of Edinburgh) have to resort to such measures....

The Telegraph, in conjunction with Ottakar's, has launched the "Real Read", polling readers for the best non-fiction book in Britain. Sam Leith discusses why non-fiction is so appealing, how (pardon the cliche) truth truly can be stranger than fiction.

Although Salman Rushdie is about to marry Padma Lakshmi, and has been the focus of gossip ever since they started dating, Vanessa Thorpe tries to remind readers of one fundamental thing: the man's a seriously important writer. But hey, people want dirt, so that's what they get....

Clare Boylan's "Emma Brown" is her imagining of what Charlotte Bronte might have written had she been able to complete a 2-chapter draft. Just now published in the US, Boylan is unable to tour for it as she is undergoing chemotherapy for just-diagnosed ovarian cancer.

The Globe and Mail reveals Sophie Kinsella's true identity: Madeleine Wickham, the author of seven previous novels before the Shopaholic books catapulted her to greater success.

Mindi Dickstein of the Floridian reviews Joseph Gangemi's debut thriller INAMORATA, which meets with her approval.

Hard Case Crime, the splashy new paperback imprint that will publish old and new pulp classics, has updated their website. Forgive me, I'm still trying to recover from looking at those glorious covers.

And finally, one of my favorite all-time comedians is coming to Toronto on Friday night. Sure, Newhart's aged and he is, perhaps, not as sharp as he once was, but damn, the man is funny. The Driving Instructor and Retirement Party sketches still have me in stitches.

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